Friday, July 16, 2010

National Blueberry Month

July is National Blueberry Month

On May 8, 1999 Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America proclaimed the month of July as "National Blueberry Month".

Spotlight on Blueberries

Blueberry Facts.
Blueberries are a native North American fruit produced in 35 States.

Fresh blueberries are available for about eight months of the year from producers across the United States and Canada. North America is the world's leading blueberry producer. The North American harvest runs from mid-April through early October, with peak harvest in mid-May through August.

Blueberries can be found in the market all year round, along with frozen, canned and dried blueberries.

Blueberries are low in calories and sodium and are a good source of fiber.

Blueberries rank high in antioxidants that help protect against cancer, heart disease and other age-related diseases.

Researchers have found compounds in blueberries that may help prevent urinary tract infection.

How To Select and Store Blueberries

Purchasing Blueberries
When purchasing fresh blueberries, look for firm, plump, dry berries with smooth skins and a silvery sheen. Check the color - reddish berries aren’t ripe, but can be used in cooking. Avoid soft or shriveled fruit, or any signs of mold. Containers with juice stains indicate that the fruit may be bruised.

Storing Blueberries
Refrigerate fresh blueberries as soon as you get them home, in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or storage container. Wash berries just before use. Use within 10 days of purchase.

Freezing Blueberries
Freeze unwashed and completely dry. Discard berries that are bruised or shriveled. Blueberries can be frozen in their original plastic pack or in a resealable plastic or frozen bag or transfered to freezer containerRemember to rinse them before using.

Serving Suggestions
*Add blueberries to your favorite muffin or pancake recipe.
*Combine blueberries with yogurt and granola cereal.

*Sprinkle blueberries over mixed greens.
*Serve blueberries with sour cream, yogurt or cottage cheese.

Blueberry Smoothie
Makes 3 Servings.

1 small, ripe Banana
1 cup Frozen Blueberries
8 ounces low-fat Yogurt (Vanilla or Fruit Flavored)
3/4 cup low-fat (1%) Milk

1. Peel banana, cut into 1-inch chunks. Place the banana chunks into the blender.
2. Put the frozen blueberries, yogurt and milk into the blender with the bananas.
3. Cover and blenderize on high speed for about 1 minute or until the mixture is smooth.
4. Pour smoothie into cups.
Nutrition Analysis per one serving:
Calories (kcal) 124; Dietary Fiber (g) 2.2; Fat (g) 2; Calcium (mg) 177; Sodium (mg) 75

North American Blueberry Council. NABC, The North American Blueberry Council
U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Birthday America

America turns 234 years old

From our Pets

From Wellness News and Dietitians-Online