It’s Blueberry Pickin Time!
Friends, staff members and family are pickin their own blueberries and bringing home pounds of the delicious bluish, deep purple fruit. The color is not only rich looking but the natural pigment contains the potent anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are members of the flavonoid group of phytochemicals which have a positive influence on a variety of health conditions such as heart disease, eyesight, diabetes and blood pressure. Every blueberry is a powerful health storehouse for our body!
Blueberries are a no maintenance fruit. They require no chopping, pitting or peeling. It is not uncommon to see blueberries on our supermarket shelf during harvest season as a buy one get one free (bogo) bargain. If you are unable to pick your own, when purchasing at the supermarket, look for berries that are firm, dry, plump and smooth-skinned, with a silvery surface bloom and no leaves or stems. Color is an indicator of maturity, not size. Make sure to choose the deep purple-blue to blue-black ones. Avoid blueberries that look shriveled or soft. Look to see if their are juice stains in the container as this might indicate the fruit has been bruised.
Fresh blueberries need to be kept refrigerated. According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, be sure to wash your blueberries just before you start snacking, and eat them within 10 days of purchase.
In case you don’t get to consume within the 10 days of purchase, you can freeze blueberries. Make sure the fresh blueberry is dry as you can rinse them either before or after but the key is to make sure they are dry before placing them in the freezer. In this way, you can take what you need from the freezer since the berries will freeze individually. You can use the original container or use a resealable freezer bag/container. For best results, use the blueberries within 10 months.
Looking for something fun, outdoorsy to do? Check out the local, pick-your-own farms in Flagler, St. John’s Counties and north Florida (Pick Your Own website). They have a slew of information on where and when you can pick fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetable festivals and other crop availability/harvest schedule. Have fun and enjoy your fresh pick!
Blueberry Coconut Roll Ups Recipe (US Highbush Blueberry Council)
- 1/2 cup coconut flavored yogurt
- 4 multi-grain tortilla wraps (10-inch)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed and rinsed
- 1 cup granola
- Spread yogurt down along the center of each tortilla, leaving a small border on both ends. Sprinkle with shredded coconut.
- Top with blueberries and granola. Fold up the bottom of tortilla over filling, then fold in sides and roll up tightly burrito-style.
You can substitute vanilla Greek yogurt for coconut yogurt.