Considered one of the fruit world's super foods, these little gems are loaded with good things for your body. They rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berries. Could be because they're sweet, versatile, and highly snackable! For centuries, blueberries were gathered from the forests and bogs by Native Americans and consumed fresh and also preserved. The Northeast Native American tribes revered blueberries and much folklore developed around them.
Commercial development of blueberries really didn’t begin until the beginning of the 20th century when they were successfully cultivated. Blueberries are now gaining popularity in the marketplace due to their growing list of health benefits, including reduced risk of cancer, prevention of urinary tract infections and improved eyesight. Selection and Storage of Blueberries Select berries that are completely blue, with no tinge of red. That natural shimmery silver coating you see on blueberries is desirable as it is a natural protectant. Blueberries that are too large tend to be watery. Purchase smaller blueberries and they will have more intense flavor. Blueberries must be ripe when purchased. They do not continue to ripen after harvesting. Avoid soft, watery or moldy blueberries. Stained or leaking containers are an indication of fruit past its prime. Keep blueberries refrigerated, unwashed, in a rigid container covered with clear wrap.
They should last up to two weeks if they are freshly-picked. Water on fresh blueberries hastens deterioration, so do not wash before refrigerating. Blueberries are highly perishable so do try to use them as soon as possible. Blueberries are great for freezing. After thawing, they are only slightly less bright and juicy as in their original harvest state. Do not wash them before freezing as the water will cause the skins to become tough. Rinse after thawing and before eating. Try this great recipe from our Cookin' the Market chefs: Blueberry Coulis