Take Your Pick

By / Food / August 3rd, 2012 / Like

The harvest season of everyone’s favourite little blue fruit has begun! Wild blueberries will be coming soon to your grover – if they haven’t already.

Fans of the little blue berry have a great reason to rejoice! This year, they’ll be able to enjoy wild blueberries on their plate sooner than usual. What’s more, this summer harvest promises to be bountiful, much to the delight of both young and old!

Usually available as of early August, the little sweet fruit we hold so dear for its flavour and nutritional properties should be making its grand appearance in grocery stores and markets across the country about now. While last spring’s temperatures were erratic in many parts of the country, the sun, heat and limited rainfall has proven to be a great combination for the little fruit, which has already formed into well-proportioned bunches.

 

Great taste and great for you

For Anne-Louise Desjardins, epicure and author of best-selling recipe books, known for her numerous collaborations with many prominent chefs, wild blueberry can be used in a great many original recipes. “My love affair with wild blueberries started back in my childhood days, when I’d spend mornings picking them in the woods with my godmother”, said Ms. Desjardins. “Since then, they have been an integral part of my culinary repertoire. For example, I use them to make a delicious carrot and blueberry salad; a barley and shrimp blueberry pilaf; a cold, vanilla yogurt and cantaloupe-based blueberry soup; as well as layered lemon cream with blueberries.”

Not only are they delicious, wild blueberries are a very healthy choice. Indeed, studies have confirmed that, among all small fruits, the wild blueberry offers the greatest antioxidant benefits. Among the many virtues attributed to it is the prevention of various types of cancers and cardiovascular diseases, as well the effects of aging. A single 250 mL cup of wild blueberries contains 87 calories, 4 grams of dietary fibre and the equivalent of 45% of your daily dose of vitamin C. As such, there is no reason to miss out on the pleasures of wild blueberries. In order to enjoy them year-round, look for them in the frozen foods section or dry your own blueberries with a paper towel and place them in a freezer bag to preserve their flavour. When you’re ready to savour them, just give them a quick wash and you’re all set!

Tourist-friendly blueberry farms and forest picking

Planning a stop during your summer vacation? Why not take this opportunity to visit one of the many tourist-friendly, pick-your-own blueberry fields? Check out the blueberry farmers association websites in your province for more details on pick-your-own locations. It’s a sure-fire way to have some fun!

Wild blueberries are Canada’s most grown fruit, taking up over half of the country’s fruit-growing land. Exported to more than 30 countries, including the United States, Japan and Germany.

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Looking at the small things that make life great and the people who create them.

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