Bilberries ~ Flavoured by the Finnish Northern Lights

Brought to you by Berryfect

Bilberries are often confused with the high bush blueberries that we commonly know, as the word bilberry translates into blueberry in many European languages. However bilberries (or forest blueberry) refer to those that grow naturally in Northern Finland, Norway, Sweden and some parts of Russia.

Growing under the Northern Lights and the midnight sun in wild forests in Finland, bilberries and other berries are organic part of Scandinavian life – something we got to know at our coffee morning with Minna Herranen, Managing Director of Nordic Power General Trading and regional distributor of Berryfect. Minna reminiscences about her childhood – ‘This is something that we still do – we pick berries! Although we lived in Helsinki, we would go to our country house during the summers. There are forests every where in Finland and it is every man’s right to pick berries, mushrooms and a few other things. We would have enameled mugs in our hands or big buckets and we would just pick berries that would later be turned into jams and jellies, juices or would simply be stored in the freezer. A famous Finnish dish using bilberries is Mustikkapiirakka, the bilberry pie or Mustikkakeitto, the Finnish Blueberry soup, that is also sold in the supermarkets in bottles.  Minna has shared the soup recipe exclusively with FoodeMag dxb readers, we promise to knock on Minna’s door soon for the pie recipe!

Wooden path in the forests of Finland

Wooden path in the forests of Finland

The midnight sun reflecting in the lake waters during a colorful summer evening sunset

The midnight sun reflecting in the lake waters during a colorful summer evening sunset

Bilberry Benefits:

Bilberry is four times richer in flavonoids and three times higher in anthocyanins than the blueberry. Research suggests that flavonoids and anthocyanins may play important roles in helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and cancer. They also act as powerful antioxidants, which are well-known for their anti-aging and immune system benefits.

Regular use of bilberries has been found to have a positive impact on blood pressure and HDL cholesterol levels and they are also one of the best sources of polyphenols, which have been found to have highly beneficial health effects such as reducing high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

Bilberry also contains high amounts of vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as nutritional fibre and hence a perfect food choice for children, the elderly, competitive athletes and anyone trying to improve their health, or trying to lose weight.

Berryfect comes in easy to use individual sachets which can be added to shakes, smoothies, porridge, dressings, dips and in baking, making it ideal for a busy lifestyle. The deep purple powder adds colour, nutrients and an extra tangy taste to food. One 3g serving is the equivalent of  30g of fresh berries and one complete box contains one litre of fresh picked arctic berries – all the Bilberry’s nutritionally dense parts: juice, pulp, skin and seeds are used. Berryfect contains no additives, preservatives or sugar.

Bilberry Facts: Did you know? 

  • Bilberry is sometimes called whortleberry and from the vaccinium myrtillus species.
  • Bilberries stain fingers, mouth, tongue, clothes and your picking bucket dark blue whereas blueberry does not stain as much.
  • Bilberries are tangier and stronger in flavour than blueberries.
  • In Finland, bilberries are eaten fresh or made into jams and dishes. The most famous one is the bilberry pie.
  • In Ireland, the fruit is known as fraughan, from the Irish fraochán, and is traditionally gathered on the last Sunday in July, known as “Fraughan Sunday”.
  • Bilberry is used for improving eyesight, including night vision. In fact, during World War II, British RAF pilots ate bilberry jam to improve their night vision.
  • Bilberry contains tannin that can help improve diarrhea, as well as mouth and throat irritation, by reducing swelling  and inflammation.

Berryfect Bilberry powder

Berryfect is a premium berry powder, made from bilberries grown under the Northern Lights and the midnight sun in wild forests in Finland. Berryfect powders are ground from whole juicy Bilberries. All the Bilberry’s nutritionally dense parts: juice, pulp, skin and seeds are used. Berryfect is brought to the region by Nordic Power General Trading. Follow their visual journey on Instagram and search for the hashtag #berryfectme for violet superfood inspiration.

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Images and info supplied. We have also tried Berryfect Bilbbery at FoodeMag dxb kitchen.



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