Sure, you could say that Teresa Craft has a vested interest in promoting blueberries. After all, right behind her home in Talladega, she and her husband Randall have a two-acre, pick-your-own orchard with row after row of bushes that are loaded with plump, juicy berries, ripe for the picking.
Still, when Teresa touts the incredible health benefits of blueberries, “nature’s ultimate health food,” as she dubs them – it isn’t some marketing gimmick designed to drum up business for Craft’s Blueberry Farm. It is scientific fact: The tiny blueberry delivers tons of health benefits. Studies show, for instance, that blueberries:
-Rank number one among antioxidants that fight cancer and other diseases, when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables;
-May actually reverse age-related losses of memory and motor skills;
-Stop urinary tract infections;
-Help clear arteries by reducing the buildup of “bad” cholesterol;
-Improve night vision and reduce eye strain.
And furthermore, one cup of blueberries contains no fat, no cholesterol and just 80 calories and gives you 15 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C and 14 percent of the fiber you need every day.
Blueberries are great eaten by themselves, sprinkled over cereal or stirred into yogurt, but when they’re baked into pies and cakes and cobblers and such, they’re simply irresistible. Just check out the berry delicious recipes we’ve got for you here this month.
Teresa sent in several of these recipes. All come from a blueberry cookbook that Randall’s late first wife, Sue, compiled. Among Sue’s classics: recipes for blueberry syrup, pie filling, muffins and cobbler.
Granola bars and blueberry vinegar are among the recipe offerings from the North American Blueberry Council, and, from the Food Network’s own Emeril Lagasse, delicious Blueberry Drop Cookies you can bake up in a flash.
And finally, because July is Pork Month, there’s a ham-and-blueberry recipe, brought to you by the National Pork Producers.
So what are you waiting for? Grab that bucket and head for the pick-your-own-blueberry farm nearest you.