If berries were people, the strawberry would be a flashy, attention-seeking celebrity; the raspberry would be an exotic, snooty, slightly unattainable intellectual; and the blueberry would be, well, your best friend next door.
Small, unpretentious, reliable and good-natured, the blueberry is very much a North American native.
Cultivated blueberries are larger and plumper than their wild cousins - but the wild ones, which are widely available frozen, have a more concentrated flavor.
Blueberries are a great choice for healthy low calorie desserts. These little berries are high in fiber and potassium and low in sodium and calories. A half cup serving is only 40 calories - a dream dessert for anyone on a diet!
There are plenty of other health benefits packed into these little blue fruits. Researchers at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts compared the antioxidant activity of blueberries to 40 other types of fruits and vegetables. Blueberries came out number 1.
Antioxidants are thought to be helpful in slowing down aging, reducing the risk of getting many types of cancer and lowering cholesterol. The pigment anthocyanin that gives the berries their dark blue color seems to be the reason for these benefits. In addition to their special role in fighting disease, blueberries can help keep you "in the pink" everyday.as they are also packed with Vitamin K, Vitamin C, manganese and copper.
The best time to buy blueberries? Experts say the peak season for blueberries in North America is July and August, although you can buy frozen blueberries (great for spooning over desserts) or dried blueberries (that are perfect for baking into muffins) at anytime of year.
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