Hello my dear readers,
We have seen what are blueberries, how are cultivated and how to store them…Now let’s see how to eat them and how eating them benefits our organism.
Use in the kitchen
Blueberries are excellent fruits to be enjoyed naturally with a few drops of lemon or to enrich yogurt and sorbets.
They are used for sweets and cakes of all kinds.
Among the recipes for desserts that use blueberries, in addition to the classic tarts, the famous blueberry muffins triumph.
With blueberries you can prepare delicious do-it-yourself preserves, jellies, compotes as well as fresh and natural smoothies to drink.
Blueberries also lend themselves to savory preparations, especially in northern European countries. They can generally accompany meat dishes such as beef fillets, duck breast, guinea fowl, chicken, roasts. In Sweden, a delicious blueberry sauce is prepared that accompanies the meatballs in a harmonious and tasty way.
By leaving the fruits to macerate in apple vinegar for at least twenty days, a flavored vinegar is obtained which, once filtered, can be used to season salads, crustaceans and vegetables.
Currently a good percentage of the blueberry harvest is absorbed by the dairy industry, as an addition to fruit yoghurt.
Nutritional information of blueberries
By virtue of their hypoglycemic power, beneficial against diabetes, blueberries are called “vegetable insulin”.
The ripe fruits are considered excellent intestinal, antibacterial and astringent disinfectants, therefore useful in diarrhoea forms, not to mention their beneficial hypoglycaemic properties in diabetic forms.
As a cure, in all these cases, it is recommended to eat about twenty berries in the morning on an empty stomach.
Their juice, taken in spoons, is refreshing and vitaminic; applied on the skin it heals and disinfects burns and sores, swelling and itching.
The red berries of Vaccinium vitis-idaea, eaten fresh, have a high digestive power and are also of good vitamin content.
Blueberry has been considered for centuries as a very precious plant in medicine thanks to the presence of anthocyanins, antioxidants essential for the treatment of capillary fragility of the eye and damage to the retina.
Actually I do remember when I was a kid that my grandparents that used to live in the mountains used to pick blueberries, put them to macerate with honey and they used to send this mixture to a person that had problems with his eyesight.
Properties of blueberry
Blueberries juice has excellent astringent properties with beneficial effects on circulation as well as for eye health.
Blueberries are very rich in vitamins A and C, as well as trace elements important for well-being.
Properties on the micro circle
At the capillary level, the blueberry protects and strengthens the blood vessels. For this reason, blueberry preparations for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, couperose are useful.
The consumption of blueberries facilitates the elimination of excess liquids by fighting water retention and reducing edemas.
Thanks to the large quantities of antioxidants such as anthocyanins found in blueberries, the body’s ageing processes can be slowed down and protected from cardiovascular diseases and tumors. It seems the blueberries are among the best natural sources of antioxidants, second only to black grape juice.
Urinary tract disinfectant
It has recently been discovered that the substances present in blueberries inhibit the presence of colibacilli in the intestine and on the walls of the bladder, which is why they are useful for treating cystitis.
Properties and effectiveness of blueberry leaves
There are some theories, supported by a limited number of studies, according to which the active ingredients of blueberry leaves could:
- Reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Improve blood flow compromised by type 2 diabetes mellitus (e.g. ocular site).
- Make infusions or decoctions for inflammatory gargling.
Blueberries are rich in vitamins A and C, but also in vitamins B1, B2, PP as well as essential mineral salts such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium and potassium, hence their antioxidant action.
The use of dry blueberry extract in people suffering from kidney stones is not recommended because it can favor their appearance.
When should blueberries not be used?
It is advisable to avoid the use of extracts and other over-the-counter products, both fruit-based and leaf-based, during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Blueberry is also contraindicated:
- In potentially allergic subjects.
- In case of pharmacologically treated diabetes: blueberry leaves could lower blood sugar by adding its effect to that of drugs.
- Before surgery: for the same reason just described, it is recommended that you stop taking blueberry at least two weeks before a planned surgery.
Curiosity and legends
The famous Cosmopolitan cocktail made famous by the television series “Sex and the city” is prepared with the juice of the blueberry.
According to traditional and Nordic folk tales, the blueberry plant was able to protect from bad luck, so much so that in Scandinavia its branches were used in the “Little Yule” ceremony, celebrated on December 13th, a ritual associated with the winter solstice.
The largest blueberry producing country is the state of Maine.
Blueberries can also be used as a natural food coloring.
According to a legend, the first American settlers apparently used to boil milk with blueberries to obtain gray paint.
The powder on the blueberry peel is an indication of good fruit conservation.
Do you eat blueberries?
Thank you all for reading.
And if you would like to discover more about our food, you may enjoy my previous posts
Wish you a wonderful day!
And please stay at home and stay safe!