It’s finally blueberry season! Blueberries are such a versatile berry and they are packed with good stuff. If you’re not taking advantage of them being in season, you need to go get some.
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Health Benefits of Blueberries
Before I let you know the best way to clean blueberries before eating them, let’s go over some of the amazing health benefits of the little blue gems.
Here are some of the boons of eating blueberries. Source: drweil.com
- reverse age-related memory loss
- protect brain from stroke
- may help prevent cancer
- protect heart health
- full of antioxidants
- good source of fiber
- reduce oxidative stress in the body
Do You Need To Wash Blueberries?
This is something a lot of people wonder, especially if you’re buying organically grown blueberries.
Even if you do buy organically grown blueberries, you still need to clean your berries really well before eating them. This is because all produce harbors surface bacteria while it’s growing. Produce can also pick up more bacteria during the shipping process.
Obviously, if your blueberries are NOT organic, you really need to give them a thorough wash to clean off as much of the pesticide residue as possible. Although blueberries are not in the EWG’s Dirty Dozen, they are #17 as far as pesticide concentration. So if you can, it’s safer to buy organic. See the full list of produce by pesticide level here.
The method shared here in this article will clean any blueberries, whether they are organic or conventionally-grown.
What’s The White Stuff?
Contrary to logic, the white chalky coating on blueberries is not pesticide. Blueberries, as well as grapes, produce this “bloom” on the surface of the fruit’s skin as a waxy protectant. The bloom seals the moisture in and helps keep pests out.
And it’s harmless to eat, although I find that it can taste a bit chalky if you happen to buy berries that have a particularly heavy bloom on them. That’s one reason I love this method for cleaning blueberries. It helps remove a heavy bloom on the berries for a nice, sweet taste.
How To Wash Blueberries
Follow these quick and simple directions for cleaning blueberries, ridding them of bacteria and pesticides so they can be eaten safely.
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 cup blueberries
- Place blueberries in kitchen colander.
- Run cool water over the blueberries to get them wet.
- Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda over the wet blueberries.
- Use your hands to gently distribute the baking soda throughout the blueberries, and continue to agitate for 30-45 seconds.
- Rinse blueberries thoroughly with cool water until all trace of baking soda is removed.
The amount of baking soda used can be estimated. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse the blueberries before you eat them to eliminate all traces of baking soda.
Blueberries…How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways.
If you need any convincing that you should go get some fresh blueberries, wash ’em, and eat ’em, here are some of my favorite ways to eat blueberries!
- By themselves!
- In a salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Blended in a protein drink
- Blueberry Crisp
- Blueberry Scones (this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction is the bomb!)
- Added to greek yogurt with granola
- Stirred into steel-cut oats with agave syrup and slivered almonds
- Fresh Blueberry Pancakes
What’s your favorite way to eat blueberries? Leave a comment below!
Blueberry jam. I have my own bushes in my backyard. Birds, squirrels, and chipmunks love them too, which presents why you need to wash even your home grown fruit and vegetables.