|blueberry fields forever|
Meanwhile, I managed to bring a 1.5kg bucket of berries back with me (minus the ones I munched on in the car on the way back). This will make for great eating over the next couple of days, and Elvi promises we will be going back there before I leave Christchurch.
Some Nutritional Facts About Blueberries
Blueberries are high in Vitamin C . A single 100g serving contains 9.7mg, 20% of the recommended daily requirement. They provide us with many essential minerals including manganese which plays an important role in bone development and metabolism of macronutrients.
|100gms of Blueberries contain:|
|*this information, courtesy of NZ Blueberry Growers Association|
• beneficial in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke
• useful in treating and preventing urinary tract infection
• a protectant against the damaging effects of free radicals
• beneficial in helping treat some cancers
• helpful in reversing the effects of age related deterioration
|berries in abundance at Blueberry Bliss farm|
The humble blueberry is a native of North America and captured in American culture as blueberry pie. In pre-colonial times it was the native american indians who gathered blueberries for food. Their folklore explains how the blossom end of each berry, the calyx, forms the shape of a perfect five-pointed star. Elders of the tribe would tell of how the Great Spirit sent "star berries" to relieve children's hunger during a famine. Parts of the blueberry plant were also used as medicine and the juice was used for dyes.
Today, America produces about 90% of the world's blueberries. This includes a wild-harvested variety local to Nova Scotia. As a food, they are eaten fresh, frozen, canned, juiced, and used in muffins, pancakes, sauces, cakes, salads, smoothies. sorbets. My favourite way of eating them is fresh. But i also enjoy them in a banana-berry smoothie (fresh or frozen).
Blueberries are a member of the plant family, Vaccinium along with 450 other species of plants. Included amongst these are the bilberry, cranberry and many other esoteric varieties of berries not often seen in commercial production.
Blueberries grown commercially fall into three main groups:
a) northern highbush: this is the variety most often found in Australia and New Zealand production. It grows up to 1.5m high.
b) southern rabbiteye: named thus because the calyx of the berry resembles the eye of the rabbit. Most common in southern USA.
c) lowbush or "wild blueberry": cold-hardy dwarf bushes surviving in the wild as far north as Arctic North America.
|Eating more than i picked!|
|A bucket of beautiful berries to take home.|