In honor of National Blueberry month, first tuesday is bringing you all you ever wanted to know about blueberries.

Native to North America and Eastern Asia, blueberries provide a lot of health benefits. One of the most commonly touted is that of antioxidants. In fact, blueberries rank highest in antioxidant activity in comparison to other fresh fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants have been shown to neutralize free radicals in the body which sometimes lead to cancer and other age related diseases. It is believed that anthocynanin, the pigment responsible for the blue in blueberries, is responsible for the presence of antioxidants. This tiny fruit has also been found to prevent urinary tract infections and improve eyesight. Furthermore, blueberries have also been shown to reduce cholesterol.

The varieties of food dishes containing blueberries are endless! Here are just a few of the yummy things that can be prepared using blueberries:

· Smoothies

· Daquiris

· Breakfast bars

· Blueberry stuffed french toast

· Blueberry tartlets

· Blueberry cobbler

· Glazes

· Salads

· Jam

· Syrup

· Vinaigrette

· Dressing

· Pies

· Muffins

· Wines

· …and many more!

In honor of National Blueberry month, first tuesday is bringing you all you ever wanted to know about blueberries.

Blueberries grow on small to medium-sized shrubs with bell-shaped flowers. Prior to ripening, the fruit is green. Then it turns reddish-purple and finally dark blue before being picked. The berry may be as large as 16 millimeters (mm) in diameter, but may also be as small as 5 mm. Blueberry season peaks in July but runs between May and October.

The great state of Maine produces 25% of all blueberries in North America and is the largest producer of the fruit in the world. Other high producing blueberry states include Michigan, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina. Oregon, Washington, California and our Canadian friends in British Columbia are not far behind and are fast becoming major producers of the fruit.

The blueberry homepage: //www.blueberry.org/

For simple blueberry recipies, please visit //www.blueberry.org/Basic%20Blueberry%20Recipes1.pdf

For more information regarding the health benefits of blueberries go to //www.blueberry.org/health.htm

Another source for blueberry information: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry