Thursday, June 04, 2009
Posted by Andrea Meyers
Summer wouldn’t be the same without some of our favorite fruits, and blueberries are at the top of the list. Though native to northeastern parts of North America, they are now grown in many parts of North America and in other countries around the world. Blueberries typically fall into two categories: highbush, which can grow as much as 4 meters tall; and lowbush (aka “wild”), which typically grow just 35 centimeters tall or less, but can grow as tall as 60 centimeters. The various species produce fruit at different times in the season, and are thus categorized as early, mid-season, or late.
Early fruits start arriving in the United States in mid-May, so blueberries are already in the markets and grocery stores. We planted six blueberry bushes this spring with harvest times spread all across the season in hopes of having blueberries throughout the summer. It takes a few years before the bushes produce fruit and you have to protect them from birds and other animals, which enjoy the berries as much as people do. The fruits can be used in a wide variety of ways, including preserves, baked goods, frozen desserts, sauces, yogurt, beverages, or just enjoyed out of hand.
In recent years blueberries have received recognition as an important food for good nutrition. Both lowbush and highbush blueberries are rich in vitamins and cancer-fighting antioxidants, and studies conducted by the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center have shown benefits in the fight against chronic disease and reversal of short-term memory loss associated with Alzheimer's as well as the loss of motors skills with age. Recent studies even demonstrate a link between blueberry consumption and improved blood pressure, lowered cholesterol, and total lipid levels.
So go ahead, treat yourself to the the taste and health benefits of blueberries while they are in season, and if it’s hot where you are you can try this berry sorbet made with blueberries, raspberries, and marionberries.
THREE BERRY SORBET
Makes about 1 quart.
fine mesh strainer
1 to 2 quart bowl with lid (or plastic wrap)
ice cream freezer
1 cup (175 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound (~900 g) blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
8 ounces (~450 g) raspberries, rinsed and patted dry
8 ounces (~450 g) marionberries (or other blackberries), rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. In the saucepan combine the sugar, water, and salt. Cook over medium heat until completely dissolved. Let cool for 15 minutes.
2. In the blender, purée the berries with the syrup and lemon juice until very smooth. Press the mixture through the strainer to remove the skins and seeds. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Churn in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer's directions.
This post was written by Andrea
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