Web : U.S. Highbush Blueberry
Thanks to the wonderful invitation, I recently went to AEON One Utama Shopping Center for the launching event of U.S. Highbush Blueberries from the United States, the most popular blueberries amongst Malaysian consumers, which is now in season up to October.
Native to North America, Highbush blueberries are basically taller cultivars and produce larger, juicier berries. It flourishes from April to October but thanks to industrious farmers, the fresh and flavorful blueberries can be enjoyed all year round. Highbush blueberries are grown in the acidic soils found in the highlands of California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington.
Grown and harvested by farmers in a collective under the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, they have proven that there is strength in numbers with a pooled effort in research, breeding and cultivation science, top notch technology which has resulted in superior blueberries regarded as some of the world’s best.
Here are 5 reasons why picking up a packet of blueberries is a promise for a fun adventure!
1. Juicy, delicious, and versatile enjoyed on its own or prepared in dishes.
2. Help to regulate blood sugar levels.
3. Shown to have benefits for brain health, heals damaged brain cells and improve cognitive memory.
4. These “Little Blue Dynamo” pack a punch in cancer-fighting antioxidants and has one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables.
5. Help with eye health and better vision.
An interesting fact, the anthocyanins and bioflavonoids in blueberries are more powerful than those found in red wine. These nutrient-dense berries contain only 80 calories in a cup. Initial studies by the University of Michigan suggests that blueberries may help improve the function of insulin, decrease blood lipid levels, and help reduce abdominal fat.
“The US is the largest producer of blueberries in the world, and we have seen an increase in demand for our blueberries, almost double in the last decade which is a great sign that more people are starting to understand the benefits of this small but punchy berry. It started a hundred years ago, and its inspiring to see the blueberry fever catching across the world. The climate and the acidic soil in higher lands and collective farmer’s experience from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry farms have made US a popular choice for blueberries,” said Ms Joani Dong, the Agricultural Attaché from the U.S. Embassy to Malaysia.
Nutritionist and Celebrity Chef, Alexandra Prabaharan was also at the event to demonstrate two recipes showcasing the blueberries’ taste and health benefits. She highlighted that blueberries have significant amount of antioxidants, as well as loaded with Vitamin C, minerals such as potassium, iron, manganese which aids in the management of anti-inflammatory ailments.
“Blueberries are nutrient superstars as they are packed with goodness, have a burst of flavour and is so versatile in any type of dish, any time of the day. It is also a great marriage with new favourites such as stackable pancakes, muffins and smoothies,” explained Alexandra while she prepared the Blueberry Power Smoothie (recipe) and Blueberry Pancakes in Blueberry Caramel Sauce (recipe).
“Blueberries have seen an increase in popularity compared to other berries as increasingly research uncovers the many benefits of this super berry. With this launch we hope to inspire more Malaysians to take a step towards better health by loading up on our blueberries which is great to snack on, packs a punch on health benefits and you can eat it as much as you want,” said Madam Phornthip Poolprasert, South East Asia Market Manager for U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.
More photos at FOOD Malaysia facebook page, a Malaysian food & lifestyle blogger since 2010
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