Once upon a time you would only hear of blueberries on sentimental TV dramas, usually in the context of how much some freshly scrubbed all-American boy loved “Momma’s blueberry pie”. For years I didn’t know what a blueberry was and I had never tasted one until I was about forty. But that was before blueberries became a regular on the shelves of every supermarket all year round.
I’ve become used to them now and often have them on my morning cereal, even though I do find them very expensive – and sometime a bit bland and squishy. To be quite honest, they’re not a blackberry, are they? But they are pleasant enough and they DO have lots of health benefits.
For instance, blueberries are known to improve circulation so their consumption can help with conditions such as varicose veins and chilblains. They can improve night vision and help with a range of other eye problems, such as cataracts. Like cranberries, they have been found useful for protecting against the main bacteria which cause urinary tract infections. In the past they were also used to treat diarrhoea. Not only all that, but they are also high in antioxidants which help build the body’s defences against ill health, including heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.
Blueberries were originally native to North America, but it is now becoming increasingly common to grow them in the U.K.. They can do well in U.K. gardens or containers, provided they are planted in fairly acidic soil. In fact, it’s a good idea to have a go at growing your own, since they remain very expensive in UK shops, presumably because they are delicate to pick and to store. They freeze very well, though, so buy plenty when they’re reduced!
In terms of recipes for blueberries, I don’t find them particularly exciting. Nevertheless, they are perfectly pleasant and are simple to enjoy in all these ways:
- Fresh by themselves or as a component of a fruit salad. Try a combination of pineapple, kiwi and blueberries.
- A handful scattered over breakfast cereal
- Lightly cooked with other berries to make a compote which can be served with yoghurt or ice cream
- On top of a cheesecake or pancakes either raw or lightly cooked.
- As an ingredient in smoothies.
- Stirred into a sponge-like cake mixture – in blueberry muffins, for instance
And if your blueberries are particularly tasteless, try livening them up with a squirt of lemon juice – works wonders.
If you have any other tasty recipe ideas for blueberries, please let us know by commenting below.
Here’s the list of Top Twenty healthiest Foods.
And here’s where you can read about some of the others: