So I finally went blueberry picking. We had a nice morning for it, hot but cloudy with a nice breeze. I went with a good friend who has been many times before so she was my instructor. One thing I discovered real quick is that it takes a lot longer to fill a bucket with blueberries than with strawberries! I only got about 5 pounds and have them waiting in my kitchen for blueberry cobbler, blueberry pie, and freezing the rest. I read that I shouldn't wash them just yet, so I haven't done anything with them so far.
I tried to get clusters of blueberries but often had to pick them one by one.
Great activity for kids! There were several there today.
Want to know more? Here's some information and tips from http://www.pickyourown.org/freezingblueberries.htm
Blueberry Measurements and Conversions
Keep in mind that blueberries vary in density and moisture content, so these ranges are approximates.
- 1 pint of fresh blueberries weights about 3/4 of a pound.
- 1 pound of fresh blueberries is about 2 and 2/3 cups of berries.
- It takes about 4 cups (about of blueberries to make a blueberry pie
- A normal batch of blueberry preserves, jam or jelly requires 5 pints of berries.
- Once picked, don't place the berries, still warm from the sun, in a closed bag or container. Leave the container open so moisture doesn't form in the container.
- Don't wash berries until just before using to prevent berries from becoming mushy.
- Chill berries soon after picking to increase shelf life. If refrigerated, fresh-picked blueberries will keep 10 to 14 days.
- Freeze berries in freezer containers without washing to keep the skins from toughening. Place berries one layer deep. Freeze, then pour the frozen berries into freezer containers. Because unwashed blueberries freeze individually, they can be easily poured from containers in desired amounts. Remember both frozen and fresh berries should be rinsed and drained just before serving. Just before using, wash the berries in cold water.
- Blueberries are ranked No. 1 in antioxidant activity compared with 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. That means a serving of blueberries has more of the antioxidant power you need to fight aging, cancer and heart disease.
- Put this in your pipe! Indians in the Northwest Territory smoked wild blueberries to preserve them for the winter. (Bet you didn't know that!)
- Want to grow your own blueberries? Here's an article about how to: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden, HYG-1422-98
- Weights and measures: 1 cup of blueberries normally weighs about 143 grams, which about 1/3 of a pound, so 1 pound of blueberries is almost 3 cup's worth. Of course, this can vary considerably based on the variety, weather conditions and degree of ripeness. Typically, many recipes call for 3 to 4 pounds of blueberries for a 9 inch pie.
- Nutrition and miscellaneous facts: 1 cup (143 grams) of blueberries is 84 calories (technically, kcal). Blueberries contain no cholesterol or fat and are also low in calories. Blueberries are high in dietary fiber, Vitamin A and niacin. They contain iron and other trace minerals and are a fair source of Vitamin C. Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with notably high levels (relative to respective Dietary Reference Intakes) of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber (table below). One serving provides a relatively low glycemic load score of 4 out of 100 per day.
Especially in wild species, blueberries contain anthocyanins, other antioxidant pigments and various phytochemicals possibly having a role in reducing risks of some diseases, including inflammation and different cancers. Blueberries may have anti-disease effects, too. Researchers have shown that blueberry anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, flavonols, and tannins inhibit mechanisms of cancer cell development and inflammation in vitro. Similar to red grape, some blueberry species contain in their skins significant levels of resveratrol, a phytochemical with increasing evidence as an anti-cancer compound.[source: Wikipedia]
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 60 kcal 240 kJ
|- Dietary fiber 2.4 g|
|Thiamin (Vit. B1) 0.04 mg||3%|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.04 mg||3%|
|Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.42 mg||3%|
|Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.1 mg||2%|
|Vitamin B6 0.1 mg||8%|
|Vitamin C 10 mg||17%|
|Vitamin E 0.6 mg||4%|
|Calcium 6 mg||1%|
|Iron 0.3 mg||2%|
|Magnesium 6 mg||2%|
|Phosphorus 12 mg||2%|
|Potassium 77 mg||2%|
|Zinc 0.2 mg||2%|
|manganese 0.3 mg||20%|
|vitamin K 19 mcg||24%|
Source: USDA Nutrient database