The blueberry harvest is upon us and with that, we will see great quality juicy blueberries galore! Why have blueberries become so popular in recent years? Is it because they have so many recognised health benefits or simply because they are delicious? Whatever the reason, we think they’re great! So here are 10 interesting facts about blueberries which make it hard not to love them...
1. The blueberry is one of the only foods that is naturally blue in colour. The pigment that gives blueberries their distinctive colour is called anthocyanin, and is the same compound that provides the blueberry’s amazing health benefits.
2. People have been eating blueberries for more than 13,000 years.
3. The silvery sheen (or “bloom”) found on the skin of blueberries is a naturally occurring compound that helps protect the fruit. That is why you should only wash blueberries just before you’re going to eat them. The berries should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep fresh for up to 10 days.
4. In the commercial production of blueberries, the smaller species are known as “lowbush blueberries”, while the larger species are known as “highbush blueberries”. Blueberries produced from the highbush varieties are mostly used fresh, while blueberries produced from the lowbush varieties are often used in food processing.
5. Blueberries freeze in just 4 minutes.
6. Blueberries are green in colour when they first appear, then deepen to purple and blue as they ripen.
7. The blueberry is a very popular and versatile berry. It is low in calories but high in fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K.
8. In 2017, demand reached record levels within the UK, making blueberries one of the most popular berries amongst UK shoppers.
9. Blueberries ranked number one in antioxidant health benefits in a comparison with more than 40 fresh fruits and vegetables.
10. When blueberries have been frozen they still contain all of their antioxidant properties.
Why not take a look at some of our delicious recipes for ways to use blueberries this summer…