Nothing means summer more than freshly picked blueberries! You can eat them fresh, add them to recipes, smoothies... the possibilities and the nutritional benefits are endless!
This season, we are pleased to announce that we will be selling our most popular varieties of our freshly picked Leduc blueberries at our retail stores on 30th Street and M40 location.
We no longer offer u-pick blueberries, but our berries can be purchased in the following sizes:
- 5 lb boxes
- 10 lb boxes
Blueberries are not available for online ordering. To better serve our customers, we recommend calling ahead to pre-order quantities of 6 boxes or more by calling us at 269-657-3871. Have the amount needed, name, date needed and phone number ready when calling. Pre-ordering ensures availability and less wait time at our location.
Directions for Freezing Blueberries
Freezing blueberries is a great way to always have fresh blueberries on hand. I use frozen blueberries most often in smoothies and fruit sorbets.
- First wash them well and pat them dry. Discard any bad ones.
- Place blueberries on a cookie sheet with a lip in a single layer and freeze for 24 hours. The reason for this is so they won't freeze together in a giant blueberry clump.
- After about 24 hours, move them to plastic freezer bags or an airtight container and keep frozen until ready for use.
Nutritional Benefits of the Blueberry
With just 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries offer many noteworthy nutritional benefits. Here’s the skinny on blueberry nutrition:
Blueberries Are Packed With Vitamin C.
In just one serving, you can get 14 mg of Vitamin C – almost 25 percent of your daily requirement. Vitamin C aids the formation of collagen and helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries. It also promotes iron absorption and a healthy immune system1,2.
Blueberries Are Dynamos Of Dietary Fiber.
Research has shown that most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diets. Eating foods high in fiber will help keep you regular, your heart healthy and your cholesterol in check. A handful of blueberries can help you meet your daily fiber requirement. What a tasty way to eliminate this worry from your day!
Blueberries Are An Excellent Source Of Manganese.
Manganese plays an important role in bone development and in converting the proteins, carbohydrates and fats in food into to energy – a perfect job for blueberries.
Blueberries Are Leaders In Antioxidant Activity.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), blueberries are near the top when it comes to antioxidant activity per serving (ORAC values). Their capacity is impressive – click here to see how the antioxidant activity in blueberries compares to other foods. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals — unstable molecules linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Substances in blueberries called polyphenols, specifically the anthocyanins that give the fruit its blue hue, are the major contributors to antioxidant antioxidant activity.
Get the lowdown on blueberry nutrition here, and download more information about the health benefits of blueberries from these dynamic resources.
Blueberry Fun Facts!
Fall in love with berries all over again by learning some blueberry fun facts. Everyone loves blueberries whether they're picked and eaten straight from the bush or baked into a favorite dessert, but have you ever wanted to know more about this delicious fruit? Explore some of the lesser-known facets of this classic American food source.
Blueberries In History
Just like other fruits and vegetables, blueberries are an important part of history. They have always been abundant on the North American continent, making them a staple in the diet of Native Americans as well as the first colonists who settled in North America. Here are some blueberry fun facts about the early days of our continent.
- Native Americans once called them "star berries," because the five points of blueberry blossoms make a star shape
- They held blueberries in high esteem, believing that the "Great Sprit" created the berries to feed their hungry children during famine.
- Blueberry juice had medicinal value for Native Americans as well and was used to treat persistent coughs and other illnesses.
- Blueberries were commonly used to make pemmican, a jerky type of dried food packed for sustenance on long journeys..
- They also used blueberries in non-traditional ways like making dye from blueberry juice for textiles and baskets.
- Taking their cue from Native Americans, early settlers of America introduced blueberries into their diets when other food sources were scarce.
- Early colonists made gray paint out of blueberries by boiling them in milk.
- Mocking their British roots, the first colonists added blueberries to traditional English fruit and dough puddings and renamed them "buckle," "grunt," and "slump."
- The traditional blue paint used in the homes of Shakers was made from blueberry skins, sage blossoms, indigo, and milk.
- During the Civil War of the 1860s, blueberries were collected, packaged, and sent to Union troops for use as a food staple.
More Blueberry Fun Facts
- American poet, Robert Frost, loved blueberries so he wrote a poem about them. You guessed it; the poem was called "Blueberries."
- America's favorite muffin is, of course, blueberry.
- Blueberries are one of the only natural foods that are truly blue in color.
- July is national blueberry month because that is the peak of the harvest season.
- The pale, powder-like protective coating on the skin of blueberries is called "bloom."
- The anthocyanin present in blueberries is good for eyesight.
- Blueberries contain more antioxidants than most other fruits or vegetables and may help prevent damage caused by cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's.
- A blueberry extract diet improves balance, coordination, and short-term memory in aging rats.
- The blueberry industry of North America ships over 500 metric tons of fresh berries to Japan each year and over 100 metric tons to Iceland.
- Blueberries are naturally low in both fat and sodium.
- Michigan is the blueberry production capital of North America and produces almost 100 percent of all berries harvested in the country.
- Blueberries grow best in acidic soil at a pH of four to five and make a good container plant.
- Minnesota claims the blueberry muffin as its official state muffin and New Jersey claims the berry as its official state fruit.
- Blueberries are the official berries of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Since blueberries are so well-loved, it's easy to learn more about them. There are societies and organizations and other kinds of groups that offer a wealth of information that is all about the blueberry. Visit some of the resources listed below for more blueberry fun facts.
For great Leduc berry recipes and ideas on how to use your berries, visit our recipe page.
Thanks to the following online information sources: