Activities like picking blueberries can be loads of fun for the whole family–and a great way to eat fresh, delicious fruit in the summertime. It’s time to learn about and celebrate Pick Blueberries Day!
History of Pick Blueberries Day
Native to North America, blueberries originally grew wild and were likely picked by local hunters and gatherers as part of their diet. Blueberries were not successfully cultivated for commercial production until the early 20th century.
Falling right at the height of the season for the best blueberry crops, Pick Blueberries Day was founded as part of National Blueberry Month by the National Blueberry Council in the United States. Since 2003, the day has been officially recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Blueberries are not only tasty, but they are also a healthy fruit. In fact, they have the highest level of antioxidants of any common fruit or vegetable. So get ready to celebrate Pick Blueberries Day!
How to Celebrate Pick Blueberries Day
Enjoy Pick Blueberries Day as part of summertime festivities with some of these fun ideas:
Grab the kids, some friends or a neighbor and head on over to a blueberry farm that offers U-Pick options. The blueberries that are ripe and ready to be picked will be deep blue, plump and have a slight dusting of gray. If the berries are still hard, white or green, then they are not ripe and should not be picked yet.
Although it can be a bit back-breaking from bending over, hand-picked blueberries are the best because they are more likely to be ripe and ready to eat. Yum!
Learn about Blueberry Nutrition
Sometimes referred to as a “superfood”, blueberries are considered to be a very nutritious food, chock full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the health benefits that eating blueberries can provide:
Protect from Free Radicals
Free radicals are waste that is produced by the body’s cells that can be damaging (and even cause cancer. Eating blueberries for just two weeks can reduce cell damage by 20%.
People who have diabetes may be able to manage their insulin better when they make blueberries a regular part of their diets.
Manage Blood Pressure
Blueberries can help with cardiovascular health, perhaps by helping the body to produce more nitric oxide, which reduces blood pressure and helps to smooth out the vessels.
Vitamins and Minerals
Blueberries are chock full of essential nutrients the body needs, including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Manganese and Antioxidants.
Cook or Bake with Blueberries
Of course, after picking blueberries, there’s much delicious work to be done in the kitchen. Whether baking a pie, making jam or popping some classic blueberry muffins into the oven, the tasty rewards are absolutely delightful. Pile some blueberries on top of a classic cheesecake, toss some into a batch of pancakes or even throw them into the middle of a spinach and grilled chicken salad to add some flavor and nutrition. Blueberries can even be made into a delicious salad dressing or syrup for topping pancakes or waffles.