are usually erect, but sometimes prostrate shrubs varying in size from 10 centimeters to 4 meters tall. In commercial blueberry production, smaller species are known as "lowbush blueberries", and the larger species are known as "highbush blueberries".The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, ovate to lanceolate, 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 millimeters in diameter with a flared crown at the end; they are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally dark blue when ripe. They are covered in a protective coating of powdery epicuticular wax, colloquially knows as the "bloom". They have a sweet taste when mature, with variable acidity. Blueberry bushes typically bear fruit in the middle of the growing season: fruiting times are affected by local conditions such as altitude and latitude, so the height of the crop can vary from May to August depending upon these conditions.
1. Blueberries are sold fresh or processed as individually quick frozen fruit, purée, juice
, or dried or infused berries, which in turn may be used in a variety of consumer goods, such as jellies
, blueberry pies
, snack foods and cereals.
2. Blueberry jam is made from blueberries, sugar, water, and fruit pectin
3. Blueberry wine is made from the flesh and skin of the berry, which is fermented and then matured; usually the lowbush variety is used.
Health benefits of blueberries
1. Blueberries are very low in calories. 100 g fresh berries carry just 57 calories. Nonetheless, they possess notable health benefiting plant-nutrients such as soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely towards optimum health and wellness.
2. Blueberries are among the highest anti-oxidant value fruits. The ORAC value of 100 g fresh blueberry is 5562 TE. Their antioxidant value largely comes from poly-phenolic anthocyanidin compounds such as chlorogenic acid, tannins, myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol.
3. Additionally they compose of other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotene-ß, lutein and zea-xanthin.
4. Altogether, the phyto-chemical compounds in the blueberry help rid off harmful oxygen-derived free radicals from the human body, and thereby, protect it against cancers, aging, degenerative diseases, and infections.
5. Further, research studies suggest that chlorogenic acid in these berries help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus condition.
6. Fresh berries carry small amount of vitamin C
, vitamin A
and vitamin E
. Altogether, these vitamins work as potent anti-oxidants which help limit free radical mediated injury to the body.
7. The berries also carry a small amount of B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folates and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are acting as co-factors that help in metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
8. Furthermore, they contain a good amount of minerals like potassium
, manganese, copper, iron
. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
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Recipe using Blueberry see Here and Here and Here.