July is Blueberry Month!

Rich in fiber and packed with antioxidants, July is prime time for these little blue gems. With local availability peaking across the U.S., try some of our favorite ways to serve blueberries.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, July is National Blueberry Month! If any fruit deserves its own month of honorable recognition, the little blue beauty certainly does. Native to North America, blueberries are grown in 35 out of 50 states. That translates into supplying roughly 95% of the entire world’s crop. With flavors ranging from puckery tart to mildly sweet, blueberries are in full seasonal swing somewhere from April through October, but July is prime blueberry season. (They can also be enjoyed frozen or dried at other times of the year.) Experts often include blueberries in their Top 10 Lists of the healthiest foods. That’s because, like many fruits, they are rich in fiber, low in calories and boast Vitamin C and other important antioxidants. Blueberries get their deep purple-blue color from anthocyanin pigments that have long been thought to have health benefits.

When shopping, be sure to look for firm blueberries with even coloring. Shake the container gently to make sure they move easily and are free of mold, moisture or damage. Once you get them home, don’t wash them until ready to eat or use in a recipe. Try to eat them within three to five days. If you’ve got extra on hand, freeze them in an air-tight plastic bag for later. Blueberries are perfect for topping hot or cold breakfast cereal and you’re probably familiar with blueberry pancakes and blueberry pie. But there are other great ways to use them. Ever tried tossing a handful on your green garden salad or stirring them into a whole grain pilaf? Here are some more bright ideas to help you bask in blueberry bliss:

Do you plan to celebrate National Blueberry Month? Got a favorite recipe? Let me know!

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