I have a stack of favorite books and Jo Robinson’s Eating on the Wild Side sits on top. This book is a treasure, a true common sense guide on how to 1) choose fruits and vegetables that are closer to wild plants and have richer nutrient profiles and 2) how to prepare this produce so that you reap the maximum benefits.
The book is also filled with surprises. Jo Robinson’s insights into blueberries—a consistent feature in my fridge—taught me that I was going about my blueberry picking and shopping all wrong! Here are some tips from Joe Robinson on how to get the most of nature’s blue superfood:
1. Cooked blueberries have more antioxidants than plain berries. This is a great reason to make tarts and fresh syrups.
2. Drying berries in the sun takes a lot of the nutrition out of them. Berries that are hot air-dried, tunnel-dried, or REV (radiant energy vacuum)-dried retain more of the fruit’s original nutrients.
3. Frozen blueberries are almost as nutritious as fresh berries. Seek out ones that are “flash-frozen.” This is the most effective fruit drying technique.
4. When shopping for frozen blueberries, look for the word “wild.” Wild berries are the most nutrient-dense choice.
5. At the farmer’s market, look for Rubel blueberries. In a recent analysis of 87 varieties of blueberries, Rubel scored the highest for antioxidant value and the second highest for anthocyanin.
Source: Eating on the Wild Side, by Jo Robinson