Celebrating Wild Foods Day with Wild Blueberries
As we transition to Fall, many of us are celebrating the foliage, cooler temperatures, apple picking, and pumpkin carving. However, one day that commemorates one of Maine’s most illustrious industries but often gets overlooked, is Wild Foods Day on October 28. Wild Foods Day celebrates plants, fruits, and vegetables that grow wild – and yes, that means Wild Blueberries! So, to celebrate this iconic day, we’re sharing some information about what makes wild blueberries different than ordinary blueberries. After all, there’s a reason many restaurants and well-known brands are choosing to formulate with wild and why you’re putting them in your shopping carts.
- More intense blueberry flavor: Thousands of naturally occurring diverse plants in every field combine to create a potent and complex flavor ranging from tangy tartness to succulent sweetness that ordinary blueberries can’t match.
- More Antioxidant Power: 33% more brain-healthy anthocyanins and 2x the antioxidant capacity of ordinary blueberries makes wild blueberries the berry healthy bodies and brains crave.
- Smaller (with more punch): Smaller wild blueberries offer a higher skin-to-pulp ratio; meaning less water and more antioxidant-rich pigments, more fiber, and more intense blueberry flavor per serving.
- Grown Wild and Local: As 1 of 3 native North American fruits, wild blueberries are never planted. They grow wild in the thin glacial soils and harsh northern climate of Maine – the very same place where Mother Nature put them more than 10,000 years ago.
- Frozen at Peak Freshness: Harvested at the peak of Maine summer, 99% of the wild blueberry crop is frozen fresh within 24 hours ensuring all the taste and health benefits are ready for you in the frozen fruit section of the grocery store.
- Ordinary Taste: By propagating a select few genetically narrow varieties, growers produce a blueberry of consistent size, with a blander flavor than the naturally more complex wild flavor profile.
- Less Antioxidant Power: Like the wild ones, ordinary blueberries contain phytochemicals called flavonoids, which deliver antioxidant protection to your cells. But if you want the biggest antioxidant bang for your blueberry, go wild!
- Bigger (and blander): Larger uniform berries have more watery pulp, which means less antioxidant-rich pigments from the skin, less fiber and less intense flavor per serving.
- Larger Carbon Footprint: Imported ordinary blueberries come from several high bush variety plants that are propagated and har- vested around the world landing on store shelves having incurred a much larger carbon footprint.
- Picked Before Ripe and Shipped: Fresh ordinary blueberries are often picked before fully ripe and shipped thousands of miles after harvest, only to wait around for weeks before hitting store shelves.
So, what are you waiting for? Wild blues are good for you and taste better than ordinary blueberries! Next time you’re at the grocery store visit the frozen foods aisle and pick up a bag of frozen wild blueberries. The frozen ones are great to use in one of these cozy Fall-appropriate recipes that you can whip up to celebrate Wild Foods Day:
- Wild Blueberry Pie
- Wild Blueberry Crumb Cake
- Wild Blueberry & Rosemary Stuffed Baked Brie
- Standard Baking Company’s Wild Blueberry Oat Scones