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Cheer up your menu: try fresh blueberries

They are ready for the picking. Those clusters of tiny green berries hanging from and sometimes hiding in those green-branched bushes have finally turned a beautiful dark blue. Blueberries are here for our enjoyment whether we prefer them raw or cooked. Either way, they offer a culinary experience like no other berry.

Blueberries are flowering shrubs native to North America, eastern Asia and northern Europe. Often confused with huckleberries, they are also known as bilberries, whortleberries and hurtle berries. They have a special pigment which makes them one of few human foods that are a natural blue color.

The American blueberry has had a long history because of its flavor, nutrition and health benefits. Native Americans used these berries, leaves and roots for medicinal purposes. The fruit was used as a fabric dye and, combined with meat, made into a nutritious dried jerky. They taught the early settlers many ways to use the blueberry. One interesting method was drying the ...

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