In August, the blueberry bushes here in New Hampshire overflow with berries. Birds love them and so do most of us. If you don't have a bush nearby visit a local farmers' market.
Blueberries are native to North America, and are one of the few truly blue foods on earth. For centuries Native Americans gathered “star berries” (the blossom end of each berry forms the shape of a perfect five-pointed star) from forests and fields and ate them fresh or dried them for later use. The dried blueberries were added to stews, soups and meats. Dried berries were also crushed into a powder and rubbed into meat for flavor. Blueberry juice was used to cure coughs, and also made a nice purple dye for cloth and baskets. A tea made from the leaves of the blueberry plant was believed to be good for the blood.
Today blueberries are known to improve your vision and protect your arteries, wrinkle-proof your skin, and strengthen your body's natural defense system. There's also some proof that blueberries prevent urinary tract infections and may help improve short-term memory.
Enjoy fresh blueberries on cereal and in muffins, or try our favorite Blueberry Oatmeal Crisp and Blueberry Pound Cake recipes.