At last! The blueberries are ready!
Well, lets start off with some fun facts about blueberries:
Blueberries are perennial flowering plants that have either blue– or purple–colored berries when matured. They are in the same class as cranberries, bilberries, huckleberries and Madeira blueberries. There are generally two types of blueberry bushes; the wild (‘lowbush’) and cultivated (‘highbush’) blueberries and all are found in North America.
Blueberries usually grow close to that ground, with a woody stem system, and a plant can vary in size from 10 centimeters to 4 meters in height.
The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, and 1–8 cm long and 0.5–3.5 cm broad. The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink or red, sometimes tinged greenish. The fruit is a berry 5–16 mm in diameter with a flared crown at the end; they are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally dark purple when ripe. They have a sweet taste when mature, with variable acidity. Blueberry bushes typically bear fruit (and are fruit for the bear!) in the middle of the growing season: fruiting times are affected by local conditions such as altitude and latitude, so the peak of the crop, in the northern hemisphere, can vary from May to August.
Blueberries are one of the easiest berries to find. July to August is typically blueberry season, but that can vary based on the weather. According to Northern Ontario Tourism, when hunting for your perfect spot, look in high, sunny areas. Check barren areas, rocks and cliffs, trails and hills, and if you find some crunchy, dried out moss, there’s likely blueberries nearby.
But remember, picking wild, lowbush blueberries is hard work. According to the team at Northern Ontario Tourism, bringing some key gear along makes for better picking. Be sure to bring:
- Long pants
- Sunscreen (blueberries like high, sunny spots)
- Insect repellant (blueberry season is also mosquito season!)
- Bucket/basket for berries (bags can damage your haul)
And of course the best part is eating the blueberries! Whether you eat them raw (I have a hard time filling my container, because I eat faster than I pick!), or in your favorite pie, the blueberries are delicious.
Here is some nutrition info:
Top seven health benefits of blueberries:
- High in Antioxidants
- Help Fight Cancer
- Amp Up Weight Loss
- Boost Brain Health
- Alleviate Inflammation
- Support Digestion
- Promote Heart Health
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of raw blueberries has:
- Calories: 57
- Water: 84%
- Protein: 0.7 grams
- Carbs: 14.5 grams
- Sugar: 10 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
And finally, here are 10 delicious blueberry recipes from Northern Ontario Travel (just click the link):