Blueberries have earnt a reputation in recent years as a “superfood”. Why are blueberries so good for you though? Is it media hype or are blueberries something we should be eating more of? Read on to find out more.
Here comes the science bit
Blueberries contain a host of valuable nutrients such as vitamin C and carotene but, above all else, their blue pigment is rich in anthocyanins, and research suggests these have considerable health benefits. Together with vitamin C and iron, these plant anthocyanins are believed to stimulate the formation of blood cells as well as help to protect blood vessels from damage and, in particular, from atherosclerosis. Blueberries could also be very good for people who suffer from night blindness. Together with the tannins that they contain, their blue pigment is said to have an inner cleansing effect.
How many calories are there in blueberries?
You can eat blueberries in relatively large portions – 100g contains approximately 36 calories.
Not only are blueberries good for you, they also complement and enhance a huge variety of dishes. You can use blueberries as an ingredient in muffins, as a scrumptious accompaniment for pancakes, on bread as a jam, or as a topping for your breakfast cereal. You can also eat them as a quick snack to stave off the munchies. You might even have seen them used as a decorative garnish in restaurants. Their rich violet-blue hue adding an enticing splash of colour to the plate.
The best way to keep blueberries fresh
After buying or harvesting blueberries, make sure that you transport them carefully as they are very sensitive and easily damaged. You should always put them straight into the refrigerator at home. In a traditional refrigerator compartment, they will keep fresh for up to four days and, if stored in a Liebherr BioFresh compartment, for up to nine days. Blueberries store well in the freezer for several months.
A Liebherr herb and berry compartment (pictured above) is the best place to freeze blueberries as it prevents them from clumping together on freezing, thereby facilitating easy portioning for subsequent storage in freezer bags or containers. Simply spread out your blueberries in the herb and berries tray and leave them to pre-freeze for about 10 – 12 hours. Then divide them into portions and store in the freezer in normal freezer bags or resealable plastic containers, ensuring that these are tightly sealed to prevent the ingression of moisture.