The Blueberry: King of Fruit
In my opinion, summer is the best time for local produce. Mid-Missouri is filled with delicious fruits and vegetables from May to August including tomatoes, watermelon, sweet corn and blueberries. The blueberry can be an underrated fruit; and is often overshadowed by its boisterous cousins: the raspberry and blackberry. But the blueberry deserves its moment in the sun! It’s a delightful addition to muffins and waffles; and is great paired with lemon. July is actually National Blueberry Month, and I think it’s time to celebrate this marvelous little berry.
Health Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries are packed with nutrients including: iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, fiber, folate, copper, beta-carotene, choline and vitamins A, B6, C and K. Wow! That’s a lot of nutrients. One cup of blueberries equates to 24% of the daily recommended vitamin c for the average person. Due to the high nutrient content per calorie, blueberries are considered the 5th most nutrient dense fruit by the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.
Fast Blueberry Facts
We’ve rounded up some fast facts on blueberries so next time you’re at a dinner party, you can show up your friend Mark who always wins trivia night.
Blueberries get their blue color from anthocyanin; which is also found in raspberries, blackberries, Concord grapes, eggplants and cherries
Blueberries are part of the genus Vaccinium, which includes cranberries and huckleberries.
Blueberries are actually native to North America and weren’t introduced to Europe until the 1930s.
Blueberry season is typically May to August, dependending on the weather.
There are over 20 species of blueberries currently known.
U-Pick Blueberry Farms near Columbia
There are three different pick-your-own blueberry farms in the mid-Missouri area. Sadly, blueberry season ended early this year due to the heat wave and Japanese beetle infestation in Missouri. You can keep up with current season picking on each of their Facebook pages listed below
Prairie Wind U-Pick Blueberry Farm https://www.facebook.com/Prairie-Wind-U-Pick-Blueberry-Farm-123762614325470/ Centralia, MO
Blue Shepherd Farm https://www.facebook.com/BlueShepherdFarm/ Rocheport, MO
Danamay Farm https://www.facebook.com/DanamayFarm/ Fulton, MO