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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
They are a sweet, small treat either eaten by themselves or in a smoothie, cake, muffin,
or however you wish to dress them up. They not only add wonderful flavor to foods,
that little round ball is packed full of antioxidants which protect the body from
damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, or unstable oxygen molecules
that damage the body and can cause various diseases and aging.
Scientists believe that blueberries contain some of the highest antioxidant levels
of any fresh fruit and even many of the vegetables. Eating one cup of blueberries
will give you about 9,019 antioxidants per cup.
Blueberries aren't actually blue, but deep purple, which is the color of anthocyanin,
a pigment that is especially rich in blueberries. Anthocyanin is said to contain the
antioxidants that help protect against many types of cancer as well as heart disease,
dementia and type 2 diabetes, to name a few. A good rule to follow is, the darker
the berry the more anthocyanins are present.
With only about 80 calories per cup, there is no need to feel guilty if you eat a
cup or two of this naturally sweet treat. They are good sources of fiber, Vitamin
C and an excellent source of manganese.
Just one cup of blueberries counts 4 grams towards your daily fiber intake recommendation.
They are thought to ward off constipation, help with your gut health, and a diet rich
in fiber can also help keep your cholesterol in check.
It’s not hard to think that blueberries might be packed with vitamin C. Their deep
color is a giveaway that they help maintain healthy gums, promote the growth of healthy
tissue and a healthy immune system. Just one cup will supply you with 25 percent of
your vitamin C for the day.
Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese, which is important in bone health,
as well as helping to convert fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy that we
We are located with several u-pick blueberry farms nearby. At these farms, you can
pick berries from the tree. They are available to pick now or you can purchase them
already picked at the Gateway Farmers Market.
How do you pick blueberries? Look for those that are plump and firm with a light silvery
“bloom.” This bloom is a natural protective wax on the berries. They will not ripen
once picked, so select those that have a light blue to blue-black color. Red berries
need to stay on the tree longer to ripen.
Refrigerate fresh blueberries when you get them home, in a covered bowl or container.
Only wash your blueberries just before you start snacking, and eat them within 10
days of purchase (that’s the easy part!).
Resist the urge to wash berries prior to storing them. Moisture from washing allows
mold to grow. Instead, wash them just before you use them. If you are going to freeze
them for later use, spread them in a single layer on a jelly roll pan and place in
the freezer. After they are frozen, remove them and pack into freezer bags or containers.
If you properly store your berries, you will be able to prepare them in numerous ways
later. Gently wash them in cold water just prior to using. To remove all the excess
water, drain them in a colander, or spread on paper towels to dry.
Click here for your free copy of Enjoy Arkansas’ Fresh Blueberries which contains nutritional information as well as recipes. We also have free publications
on how to can, freeze, and make jams and jellies from fresh blueberries.
Contact us at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Miller County
Extension office in the courthouse, e-mail me at email@example.com or call 870-779-3609.
You can also get great tips on facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaDueHadley, and
twitter at @MillerCountyFCS.
One bite of these homemade blueberry muffins and you will know they did not come from
a mix. Be careful not to overmix or you will end up with muffins that have a peaked,
smooth top, that on the inside are dry and tough.
Homemade Blueberry Muffins
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar if desired for sprinkling on tops
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease only the bottoms of 12 regular size muffin cups with
nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat milk, oil and egg. Stir in flour and
sugar all at once until the flour is moistened. Carefully fold in blueberries to avoid
berries from busting and turning the dough blue. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups.
If desired, sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown
and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes in pan, then
remove to cooling rack.
By Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.