Blueberries are now in season and we recently received a notice from our favorite "pick your own" farm that they were ripe and ready to pick. I told Dan we couldn't wait until the weekend... we had to go right away! The next day we decided to wake up bright and early to head out for our picking adventure. We have had a lot of rain and no late frosts - a recipe for blueberry heaven!
It's amazing how my interests have evolved and changed throughout the years. Years ago, if I even ate a blueberry, I surely wasn't going to go and pick it myself. The grocery store aisle would have been the only row I was heading down and I would have picked up a pint there.
But the other day Dan, Benaiah and even Abigail went down the blueberry patches with our buckets in hand. We kept walking down the endless rows until we found a spot that no one had touched. The blueberries were so huge this year and abundant that I almost felt like I was picking grapes from a vine.
In ancient Greek, Roman, Jewish and Christian religions, people would offer their crops' "first fruits" to the temple. These fruits were deemed to be the very best. As we picked the blueberries this year it became obvious to me why – a plant's first yield supersedes all others! We picked slightly over 20 pounds in about an hour and a half and consumed nearly 5 pounds while we picked. I should have brought my scale from home and stood on it before we started picking and then when we were done! I think we cram-packed our yearly allowance of antioxidants into that one hour!
Blueberries have only about 80 calories per cup and are very high in fiber, vitamin C, manganese and are an antioxidant powerhouse. While they are awesome raw, they can also add a great nutritional boost to smoothies, yogurt, cereal, granola and muffins. You can throw blueberries into anything, they make all of your options so yummy!
And, if you thought things couldn't get any better, I have been eating fresh picked lettuce from the garden with chopped fresh parsley, fresh green onions from the garden with peaches and blueberries like it's going out of style. My salads have been full of beautiful colors, textures and flavors. People often say cheese makes anything tastes better, but I would argue blueberries make any dish taste better!