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Blueberries - Amazing - Facts - And - Recipes
Amazing Facts About Blueberries
I remember my grandparents describing to me how they loved eating blueberries when they were kids. The only blueberries available back then were wild. They would fill their "gunny sacks" as full as possible. Once they were home, they would count the berries to see who picked the most. The winner was given a blueberry pie all their own.
Some Blueberry Facts You May Not Know ~
- Did you know that the native americans called blueberries "star berries.?" Notice the five points of a star made by the blossom itself.
- If you go back to the eighteenth century, you'll find that blueberries were used for medicinal purposes. And in Germany they were used for coughs, as a diuretic, a treatment for gout and even for problems with diarrhea. I find that just amazing. It makes me wonder why blueberries aren't "prescribed" today for these maladies.
- And here's another fact that you probably haven't heard. During WWII night vision was improved after eating blueberry/bilberry jam.
- Now Honey Bees can't reach far enough down into the flower to pollinate it. But both Mason Bees and Bumble Bees can, however, pollinate blueberries. So be nice to these bees. The Bumble Bee gets a bad rap. Let's appreciate these "honey's" for their service to us.
- Blueberries are one of the most healthful foods we can consume mostly because they're full of anti-oxidants. But as you read on, you'll discover other reasons these tasty blue morsels are important for good health.
- And here's a fact that blew my mind. Blueberries help to improve balance. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a study was done, showing that " a diet rich in blueberry extract, reversed some loss of balance and coordination and short term memory in aging rats." (Taken from Journal of Neuroscience, Sept. Issue.)
- You thought that only carrots were good for the eyes? Well so are blueberries. "Anthocyanins" are found in blueberries and have been credited with capacity to modulate cognitive and motor function, to enhance memory, and to have a role in preventing age-related declines in neural function. (J Biomed Biotechnol. 2004 December 1; 2004(5): 306–313.doi: 10.1155/S111072430440401X)
Pretty interesting stuff.
10 Different Ways to Eat Blueberries
Some of you may have tried some of these various ways to eat blueberries, but then again, maybe not. Let me know by leaving your comments following this hub. And if you have a recipie that isn't listed here, please include that as well.
1. Blueberry Chili - Just add a cup or two of blueberries to your standard home-made chili. The blueberries add a hint of sweetness that you will not soon forget.
2. Yogurt and blueberries - This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy blueberries. Simply sprinkle the berries as a topping or stir into the yogurt. Add a few sunflower seeds or other varieties of nuts.
3. Blueberry Pie - Only 1 small slice now.
4. Bluberry Cobbler - Oh go ahead and enjoy a bowl full along with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or cold milk.
5. Garden Salad with Bluberries - Very healthy as long as you watch the dressing. Use a variety of fresh vegetables - organic is preferred.
6. Bluberries and Chocolate - Serve fresh blueberries covered with melted chocolate. You can also harden the chocolate by refrigerating the blueberries and chocolate.
7. Make a Blueberry Smoothie - Blend blueberries, greek yougurt, skim or almond milk with a drop of vanilla and honey or stevia. Add a banana for potassium. I like to add a little wheat germ or flaxseed too. If berries are frozen the smoothie will be thicker.
8. Blueberry Muffins - Simply add fresh berries to your muffin or cake mix. Tastes great.
9. Blueberry Pancakes - Add blueberries to your pancake or waffle batter. When done, smother with butter and sprinkle powdered sugar.
10. Cereal - Fresh blueberries can be added to almost any breakfast cereal and granola. This combination is certain to give you that extra boost for the day.
Be sure to tickle your palate with blueberries at least 3-5 times a week. Your immune system will thank you and so will your brain.
~Early American colonists made grey paint by boiling blueberries in milk.
~North America produces nearly 90% of world blueberry production (2005).
~During the Civil War of the 1860s, blueberries were collected, packaged, and sent to Union troops for use as a food staple.
~July is National Blueberry Month because that is the peak of the harvest season.
Main,Michigan, Canada, Quebec, Nova Scotia grow our supply of blueberries.
Anyone remember this song besides me?
Blueberries can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Do not wash until you're ready to eat them. It's a good idea to store them in either a plastic bag or plastic container to keep them from contaminating other foods.
If you choose to freeze blueberries you may want to wash them first. This way you can snack on a few knowing they're clean. Wash them gently and let them dry completely before freezing. Place in a Ziplock bag removing as much air as possible to reduce freezer burn. Label each bag with the date.
Use This Recipe As A Mask For Your Skin
In addition to the benefits of blueberries when eaten, they are also good to apply to the skin. Try this blueberry/chocolate face mask.
In a bowl mix the following:
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder (hot cocoa mix will work!)
- 2 tablespoons of sour cream
Make sure it is mixed well and that the berries are well crushed.
- Pull your hair back or wear a shower cap to protect it.
- Gently spread mixture on face and neck, avoiding the eyes.
- Leave on for 10 minutes while you relax with a nice hot cup of blueberry tea.
- Using a soft wet washcloth, gently remove the mask using circular motions,
- Moisturize with your favorite moisturizer
Always protect your face with a sunscreen of at least an SPF of 30.