Test Your Blueberry IQ!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 | 0 comments »

By Joe Wilkes

Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month? How much do you know about these tiny nutritional powerhouses?
  1. What did early American colonists make by boiling blueberries and milk? Grey paint. As anyone who has had to wash a child after a blueberry-picking outing can attest, blueberry stains are quite powerful. They don't use them in those denture commercials for nothing.
  2. Blueberries are the second most popular berry in America. What's #1? Strawberries are the most popular berry, but blueberries are gaining popularity all the time. Over 200 million pounds of blueberries are grown commercially each year, and North America produces 90 percent of them—with Maine responsible for 25 percent.
  3. How many berries can one bush produce in a year? Over 6,000 blueberries, making the blueberry a real price performer for farmers. They have only been commercially cultivated since the early 20th century, though. Before that, you had to collect them in the wild to make blueberry muffins (or paint).
  4. How long will fresh blueberries last in the refrigerator? Blueberries have a pretty good shelf life. They will last in the refrigerator for 10 days. Blueberries ripen on the tree and do not ripen further when picked, so when you buy fresh blueberries, what you see is what you get. Blueberries also freeze well.
  5. What vitamins are blueberries particularly high in? Blueberries have high levels of vitamins B6, C, and K. They also contain high levels of manganese and dietary fiber. Studies have shown that blueberries may lower blood cholesterol levels, prevent urinary tract infections, and lessen the effects of Alzheimer's disease.