Bilberries

Blue bilberry contrast to the green foliage of the forest (Vesa Leinonen)


Bilberries are plentiful in the Nordic region, they grow wild on the fields and also thin forest areas.



 

The antioxidant properties of bilberries are tremendous, it is said to be more than those of cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, . They contain remarkable compounds such as anthocyanins, vitamin C, resveratrol (health benefits of red wine),
vitamin E, and ellagic acid.


Bilberries are great for the skin, they help your skin and prevent the skin cellutite from wrinkling.

Close up picture of two berry baskets full, bilberry basket in the foreground followed by the lingonberry basket in the background. (Vesa Leinonen)


Bilberries have a long list of health benefits.

 

Bilberries and the Nutritional Facts.

According to Heal With Food.org here is a long list of nutritional benefits from Bilberries.

Glycemic Index (GI) Rating / Glycemic Load (GL):
Wild blueberries have a GI rating of 53±7 and are therefore generally considered a low GI food.

Calories:
Like most berries, blueberries and bilberries are low in calories, with 1
ounce (28 grams) of blueberries containing approximately 16 calories.

Macronutrients:
Bilberries and blueberries consist mainly of water and carbohydrates, including dietary fiber such as pectin.
Vitamins & Minerals:

Bilberries and blueberries are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K.
They are also one of the best berry sources of vitamin E. Blueberries
are also rich in manganese.
A summer forest picture with red and blue berries, also bright yellow colored Chanterelle mushrooms, laying on a green lichen carpet with a chestnut brown colored basket. (Vesa Leinonen)

Picking bilberries from  the fields and in the forests of the approaching summer is a good investement of time and energy for your own good health, the benefits are many. To be picking wild bilberries will have some obstangles in the way, there are mosquitos (use repellant) and maybe snakes (i have not seen any in 3 years, but watch your step just in case) and the time needed to go searching (unless you know where they grow) and gathereing them for a few hours per morning/day/evening.  Once the bilberries are harvested they can be processed on the same day or the following day. Rinse bilberries in fresh clean water in a sieve, allow any dry bilberry leaves to wash off and pick out any dry bilberries.strain bilberries place in a fridge and package into 1/4, or 1/2 litre containers with a ight fitting lid and place into a freezer for the coming winter.  Repeat process, go foraging until you have sufficient amount of bilberries to last through out the next winter.

 (Vesa Leinonen)

To purchase images of the Bilberries visit the following link to a web site.

Images of Bilberries.

For more information click here for info on The Nordic Berry Season.