Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

“Fresh2U” Nutrition Program for Kids and Parents


In the 1600s, North American Indians gathered blueberries to store for the winter. They dried the berries in the sun, beat them into a powder and added this powder to parched meal. Today, blueberries are the third most popular non-citrus fruit in the United States and are available in Florida from April through June.

Wild blueberries are smaller than the cultivated variety. Look for plump, firm, indigo-blue berries with a silvery frost. Do not wash blueberries until ready to use. Then rinse thoroughly, discarding shriveled or moldy berries. Pick off any stems that are still attached. Keep handling to a minimum. Overripe fruit and fruit stored too long will appear dull and lifeless. Fresh berries will not bleed unless the skin is broken. When used in muffins, toss the blueberries into the batter at the very last moment.

Blueberries contain more vitamin A than any other berry. A 1/2-cup serving has only 41 calories and is a good source of fiber, iron, and potassium, while also providing a high content of vitamin C.

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