How to Choose Sweet Blueberries
Blueberries are one of the healthiest snacks in the world. Eating these delicious berries can improve your memory and help slow down or postponing the onset of other cognitive problems frequently associated with aging. Lab and animal research studies on blueberry intake suggest that a large part of this cognitive protection is most likely due to nerve cell protection from oxygen damage by the vast array of antioxidant nutrients in blueberries. Below, you will find some helpful tips on choosing the freshet and sweetest blueberries.
What to look for: Look for large firm berries free of green unripe patches on their skins. Quality blueberries are firm to the touch, but not hard, and have a nice even color. The tiny blue petals protruding from around the crown of the berries should ideally be crisp and perky-looking instead of crushed and collapsed. Fresh picked blueberries will always have a light dusty coating called a “bloom.” This dusty layer is entirely harmless and acts as a natural waterproofing that protects the berries from the sun during the growing season. After blueberries have been handled too many times during transportation, they will be missing their bloom. Avoid blueberries lacking this hazy white coating, as they will not be as fresh. Lastly, look at the shape of the berries. A plump, curvy contour is an indication of sweetness.
What to avoid: Avoid blueberries that are shriveled, mushy, bruised, and show signs of mold or leakage.
Storage: Fresh blueberries may be refrigerated for up to a week, or may be kept frozen for up to six months.
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