Featured Fruit: Blueberries

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Blueberries (2)Blueberries as the name suggests, are deep blue coloured berries on a perennial flowering plant from the genus Vaccinium.

Loved by many, this plump juicy sweet fruit is a potent source of several age and disease fighting antioxidants/phytochemicals including Flavonoid Anthocyanin.  Blueberries have three common varieties: Lowbush, Highbush and Rabbiteye and they are available fresh in Australia from June to April.

Blueberries are a low to moderate energy source providing 218kJ/100g, and a good source of fibre providing 1.8/100g. . They are packed full of so many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins C, E, Beta Carotene, Riboflavin, Folate, Magnesium, Manganese and Potassium.

When buying blueberries in clear plastic punnets, always turn the punnet over to see if the is any moisture or berry juice visible on the bottom, to make sure there are not damaged or over ripe berries that can’t be seen from the top.  If there is, choose another punnet!  The best way to store fresh blueberries is in a glass or plastic lidded container, lined with a small amount of paper towel.  Pick out and discard any berries that don’t look firm and plump.  Don’t wash the berries until just before you are going to use them as water will reduce their lifespan.  To freeze (a fantastic idea when they are at their lowest price in summer), place unwashed berries on a tray lined with baking paper and freeze overnight.  Once frozen, place in snap lock bags and store in the freezer (it’s a good idea to get as much air out of the bags as possible, before you snap them closed)

Enjoy them fresh, in a smoothie, scattered over muesli or on top of your favourite yoghurt!  A little tub of blueberries is a fantastic lunchbox addition.  Sweet and yummy, but oh so nutritious!

Check out the recipe for Little Berry Pavlovas from the cookbook Low to No Addidives, using Blueberries!

 

 

Nutritional Information Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & New Zealand 2006; NUTTAB 2010.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Fruits & vegetables in season may vary depending on where you live.  Check with your friendly greengrocer.