Blueberries can be found in forests and moors. They grow on small bushes that are only about 50 centimeters tall and belong to the heather family. The hallmarks of wild blueberries are their small size and delicious aroma.
The original home of blueberries is found in northern, central and eastern Europe.
They are available as imported products throughout the year, but the season lasts from July to September.
Blueberries taste subtly sweet.
Properties of blueberries
berries are as small as their reputation is enormous.
This is mainly due to abundant mirtilin, a natural dye that not only provides a deep blue color but also neutralizes free radicals that play an important role in the development of chronic diseases and premature aging processes.
Furthermore, mirtilin, which belongs to anthocyanins, promotes the elasticity of blood vessels and, therefore, has a preventive effect against heart and circulatory diseases.
In folk and natural medicine, blueberries have been known for centuries as an effective remedy for intestinal problems.
The wild ones in particular are extremely rich in tannins, which, for example, protect the affected mucous membrane in the event of diarrhea and can inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses.
By the way, compared to other berries, blueberries contain a lot of fiber, and therefore stimulate digestion and help against intestinal diseases.
Since blueberries grow close to the ground, fox tapeworm eggs, which are very harmful to humans, can stick to them. To be safe, unfortunately, neither a full wash nor freezing is enough.
Eggs only lose their danger if heated above 70 degrees Celsius. If you’re going to pick blueberries yourself, avoid slopes, rocks, stumps, or tree crossings.
Benefits of blueberries
Blueberries have numerous benefits, including:
Keeps you young and fit
They contain many natural properties. The abundant mirtilin is particularly interesting: it neutralizes free radicals in particular, which play an essential role in the development of aging processes. The considerable proportion of vitamins A, C, and E in blueberries also supports the protective effect of cells.
Protect the heart
Mirtilin, a so-called anthocyanin, also improves the elasticity of blood vessels, makes blood thinner, and therefore has a preventive effect on cardiovascular disease.
Helps with detoxification
Especially in wild blueberries, there are large amounts of tannins that help the liver to break down harmful substances and thus promote detoxification.
Fight against pathogens
Secondary plant substances present in blueberries inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses. In the case of diarrhea, for example, they can protect the affected mucous membrane in the intestine and, in general, strengthen the immune system.
Lower blood lipids
Blueberries contain considerable amounts of the soluble fiber pectin. It not only stimulates digestion but also binds fat to the intestine, thus helping to reduce high cholesterol.
Promote blood formation
With nearly 1 milligram of iron, blueberries are not among the top suppliers of this mineral. But thanks to the combination of around 22 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams, they still effectively promote blood formation and oxygen transport in the blood.
With an emission value of fewer than 130 grams per 100 grams, the CO2 balance of blueberries is good. CO2 values are based on calculations by the IFEU Institute for Energy and Environment Research in Heidelberg and were individually counted as ‘average food’ for each food sold in Germany.
They take into account the production location, the production method, all associated transportation, processing, packaging, and storage. The emissions of all greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) were taken into account and converted into CO2 equivalents too. In simplified terms, however, we only talk about CO2.
It can be risky
Wild blueberries have a more aromatic flavor and contain more healthy substances than those grown. Unfortunately, very damaging fox tapeworm eggs can also stick to it. Neither washing nor freezing helps against them; Just heating above 70 degrees Celsius can avoid the danger.
Shopping and Cooking Tips for Blueberries
When buying blueberries, make sure they look plump and have perfect skin. They should not look wet. Take a look at the bottom of the carton as they should not soak or discolor.
Berries are pressure-sensitive, moldy easily, and can turn bitter if stored too long. It is best to consume fresh blueberries as soon as possible or store them loosely on a large plate for up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator. In this way, the berries stay fresh longer.
It is best to swing them from side to side in a bowl of fresh water and then drain them well in a strainer.
Preparation tips for blueberries
With blueberries, you can bake cakes and of course muffins. Lightly crushed, you can also mix them with curd cheese, and yogurt, or make creams and ice creams. An ancient way to enjoy berries is homemade juice, as well as jelly and jam.
Since even small forest blueberries are rarely very sweet, they are also perfect for use in the kitchen. Drizzled over a mixed salad, for example, they make a visual and culinary delight.
In addition, berries are a delicious attraction in all kinds of sauces.