Blueberries
Darci Bell

Blueberries

Next up in our “What’s in Season?” series is blueberries! 

What sets blueberries apart?  

Blueberries are bursting with flavor, color, and health benefits. These berries belong to a subgroup of fruits called berries and summer fruits and are known for the variety of nutrients they contain. Here are a few reasons to eat more blueberries this summer:   

  • Georgia is known as the “peach state.” But did you know that it produces more blueberries than peaches? [1]  
  • Anthocyanins (an-tho-sigh-uh-nins) give blueberries their deep blue color and have health benefits. For example, including blueberries in the diet has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. [2] 
  • Research also shows that blueberries can play a role in vision improvement and can protect against loss of vision as we age. [2] 
  • Blueberries contain Vitamin C. This vitamin keeps our immune system strong so that it can fight off diseases. [3]  
  • Like many fresh fruits and vegetables, blueberries are a great source of fiber. [4] Fiber is important because it helps to regulate blood sugar and can keep you feeling fuller for longer. [5] 

a cluster of ripe blueberries growing on a bush

Harvested in Georgia  

Georgia produces a lot of blueberries each summer! This is largely because the soil in Georgia is sandy and acidic which is perfect for these berries to grow. [1] Short winters followed by a warm spring and summer also help Georgia blueberries grow healthy and strong. [1]  

Interested in growing your own blueberries? UGA Cooperative Extension Services suggests buying blueberry plants and transplanting them into your home garden soil in the winter. [6] The first year is normally spent pruning the plant by removing any flowers or fruit. This helps the plant focus its energy on growing. By the second year, you will have fresh blueberries to enjoy! [6] For more detailed information on how to grow blueberries at home, click here 

Some local farms let you pick your own blueberries. This can be a great family activity for the summer. Click here to shop for blueberries from local Georgia growers.  

Check out our What’s in Season chart to keep track of when you can expect other local produce to be available! 

a young girl in a red bucket hat picking fresh blueberries from a bush and placing them in a plastic container

Blueberry Recipes  

Blueberries can easily be enjoyed on their own. If you are looking for some new and creative recipes to try with these berries this summer, try these.  

  • Our recipe for Whole Wheat Berry Buckle is a great way to use freshly picked blueberries in a sweet treat everyone will love. 
  • Looking for creative ways to stay hydrated this summer? Try Peach Blueberry Water for a refreshing, naturally flavored drink with no added sugar.  
  • A great place to add fruit to your diet is breakfast. This recipe for a Yogurt Crunch Parfait is an easy and delicious way to increase your overall fruit intake in the morning! 
  • These Very Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins are so full of blueberries, you wont even notice that they have less sugar than most muffins! 

buttermilk blueberry muffins sitting on a wooden cutting board with fresh blueberries scattered around

Hopefully, this blog has given you some new information on blueberries and how you can enjoy them in the coming months. Check back next month for the next featured fruit or vegetable of the season! 

 

Written by Darci Bell, RDN, LD | Edited by Leslie Davis, RDN, LD, CDCES, and the Nutrition Team   

Posted: June 6, 2022 

[1] GA Grown 

[2] Yang et al.  

[3] EatRight.org 

[4] U.S. Department of Agriculture  

[5] EatRight.org 

[6] University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Services  

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