Blueberries are the fruits of a shrub that belong to the same family as the cranberry and bilberry as well as the azalea, mountain laurel and rhododendron. They are deep in color, ranging from blue to maroon to purple-black, and feature a white-gray waxy “bloom” that covers the surface serving as a protective coat. The skin surrounds a semi-transparent flesh that encases tiny seeds. North America is the world's leading blueberry producer, accounting for nearly 90% of world production at the present time. The North American harvest runs from mid-April through early October, with peak harvest in July.
Blueberries have very high levels of antioxidants, which combat cell radicals that produce damage to body cellular structures. Blueberries have also been shown to improve cognitive function in older adults.
Storing & Cooking Information
Handling: Blueberries should be washed before use.
Storing: Blueberries will maintain their quality for up to two weeks after harvest if chilled properly. For best shelf life, blueberries should be refrigerated (33°F - 34° F), but not washed until ready to serve.
Freezing: To freeze your blueberries use berries that are unwashed and completely dry. Place the berries in a re-sealable plastic freezer bag Tupperware-type container into your freezer. The berries will freeze individually and you can remove just the portion you need. Remember to rinse them before using.