Featured today on Fiber Focus Friday is the blueberry. This fruit is a classic staple of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts! The blueberry can be found in an assortment of different recipes with all kinds of different uses.
Its versatility is only the beginning though, as the blueberry is one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet. There is no reason why you shouldn’t find a way to invoke the power of the blueberry and add it to your arsenal of go to foods.
In this post you will learn all about the blueberry, and questions such as where do blueberries come from, and how much fiber is in a blueberry will be answered. Also included is a brief guide to growing blueberries (with links), a list of health benefits you can receive by eating blueberries, and other fun facts about blueberries.
As always, please comment with any questions or suggestions for future foods to be featured on Fiber Focus Friday!
The Blueberry Quick Fact Card
Types of Blueberries
There are actually over 50 different varieties of blueberries! These include but are not limited to the following:
- Pink Lemonade
All of these different types still retain the original health benefits and deliciousness of a standard blueberry, but each has its own unique flavor, size, shape, and color.
Where Do Blueberries Come From?
Blueberries actually originated in North America and they were being eaten by Native Americans long before the Mayflower set out on her maiden voyage. The Indians then taught the pilgrims all about the different kinds of crops, blueberries among them! The popularity of blueberries has only risen from there and now 550 Million Pounds are grown worldwide!
Blueberries are grown on bushes and can be grown wild, or added to farmland. If you so desire, you can indeed grow blueberries right in your backyard. It will take a little time and a little effort, but if you have the patience you can begin to expect fresh blueberries in about 2-3 years.
3 years might seem like a lot, but just imagine having fresh blueberries ready to pick right on your lawn! I can almost taste the sweet deliciousness of a fresh berry that is bursting with flavor.
Growing blueberries is indeed possible if you follow the quick steps listed below:
- Do your research and make sure that blueberries can be grown in your climate and location. If blueberries can flourish in Maine I imagine that they can be grown in quite a variety of climates, considering that Maine is known for its harsh winters (trust me, I KNOW).
- If you are growing blueberries in groups then make sure your space appropriately.
- Time the planting to make sure your plant is mature enough to survive a varying climate.
- Mulch, Prune, and fertilize to achieve maximum potential for blueberry plant success.
- Sit back and watch your berries grow!
Good luck with growing blueberries if you decide to try it!
Fiber Content of Blueberries
The fiber content of blueberries hovers right around 3.6 grams. To get these this amount of fiber you need to imbibe an entire cup of blueberries. Doing this will significantly up your daily sugar intake, but the benefits definitely outweigh the cost. Blueberries are without doubt one of the best foods you can choose to eat.
Blueberries offer some of the most amazing health benefits of any food. They are a superfood by any definition of the word and adding them to your diet will absolutely benefit you. Some of these health benefits are listed below:
- Blueberries are a high fiber food and contribute to your daily fiber intake.
- Improved memory.
- Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants which can prevent against disease and boost your immune system.
- High in several different phytonutrients, including anthocyanins and hydroxycinnamic acids, blueberries also have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Berries in general have a very low glycemic index which helps to regulate our blood sugar. This is where the common misconception of fruits and vegetables comes in to play. Even if a fruit or vegetable is high in sugar, it doesn’t mean that it is bad for you! We need to avoid ADDED sugar, not the natural sugar found in natural foods.
- Reduced risk of heart disease.
- Berries have been proven to have cancer fighting nutrients.
Nutrition Facts/Fun Facts About Blueberries
- Blueberries can actually protect against memory loss. This amazing berry can save you from forgetting where you put your keys, keep you from leaving that coffee on top of your car as you are driving away, and help you remember the way to Grandma’s house!
- Blueberries are actually one of nature’s only truly blue foods.
- Maine is the state with the highest blueberry production in the world! I can only be proud of this fact because I am from Maine and I love blueberries!
- The blueberry can be used as a dye which is quite obvious to anyone that has ever spilled something with blueberry all over themselves (raises hand).
- Blueberries are also known as star berries to some people!
- Wild blueberries are actually smaller than their farmed grown counterparts.
- To harvest a blueberry bush all you need to do is give it a hearty shake and catch any falling fruit!
- July is the official blueberry month.
How Many Blueberries in a cup?
There are about 90 berries to a cup if the berries are extra large, and right around 200 blueberries if the berries are the small variety. A cup of berries is the normal serving size, but don’t be afraid to eat more than as this food is truly awesome for you.
How Do I Eat Blueberries (Besides a Blueberry Muffin)
I eat my blueberries by putting them in my smoothies. I always use frozen wild blueberries from Maine because I think they taste amazing. See below for a quick recipe for this awesome smoothie.
Blend all of the following items using a magic bullet or a standard blender:
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of kefir or greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup flax milk, regular milk, or almond milk (I use almond milk)
- 1/2 cup of blueberries (of course!)
- A small bit of honey
- Flax seeds
This makes a delicious and nutritious smoothie that you can have with dinner or even as a meal replacement!
Other awesome recipes include:
- Wheatberry Pancakes– I have personally made this recipe and I can tell you that these pancakes taste amazing! If you are feeling the need for a little sweetness, you can add white chocolate chips to make these recipe worth dying for.
- Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Oatmeal.
- Turkey with Blueberry Pan Sauce.
Final Thoughts on the Beautifuly Blissfull Blueberry
As you can clearly see, blueberries are incredible. With their different uses, the ease of finding ways to eat them, and their amazing health benefits, blueberries should always find a spot in your fridge.
What are your thoughts? Are you as obsessed with blueberries as I am? Do you have a favorite way to eat them? Let me know in the comments below and have a great day!