Ingredient Focus: Blueberries

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Whether they’re in pies, jams or just by the handful, blueberries are delicious no matter how you serve them. So this month, we’re highlighting them in a sweet tea you can feel great about drinking: Berry White. Lets take a gander at the little berry that makes this tea so special.

Made in America

One of few fruits native to North America, blueberries have been a part of local cuisine and customs for centuries. The first records of the berry date back to the early 1600’s, when the Wompanoag tribe would dry and grind them into a seasoning for meats, soups and stews. As a remedy, they also infused blueberry leaves into a tonic, while the juice was made into a sweet cough syrup. And to think… we had to suffer through banana-flavoured medicine.

Why so blue?

Blueberries get their captivating colour from tiny molecules called flavonoids. These superhero-sounding compounds represent a group of powerful antioxidants, which among other things, are said to help improve brain function. Studies have also shown that these superfruits are rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s no wonder that during blueberry season, black bears will travel 10-15 miles a day in search of a fresh blueberry patch!

Maine squeeze

Today, blueberries are grown from south-eastern Florida, all the way up to north-western BC. In fact, they’re so popular that they’ve become Canada’s single largest fruit and berry crop. But no province or state can match Maine’s harvest. In 2012, The Pine Tree State produced roughly 25% of all North American blueberries – a whopping 91.1 million pounds worth! Pretty impressive considering the average blueberry weighs between 0.3-0.6g. We did the math. That’s a lot of berries.

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Now that you know about blueberries, it’s time to get cooking with them. Try our Blueberry Syrup and Berry White & Tonic recipes and let us know what you think.

Blueberry Syrup  Berry White & Tonic

Still not enough blueberry for you? Check out our other blueberry teas!

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