From the Sacramento Bee:

They're cute little blue powerhouses, packed with antioxidants and flavor. Eat them by the handful or pop them into pancakes and muffins. And kids love them, too.

Blueberries – one of America's original favorite foods – have soared in demand as more consumers tap into their many health benefits.The Central Valley crop is now in stores and farmers markets.

Due to the nation's blueberry boom, California farmers have started growing more to meet demand. The state's production has zoomed almost 52 percent in just three years.

"We went from 29 million pounds to 44 million pounds," said Alex Ott, executive director of the Fresno-based California Blueberry Commission. "We used to be ranked eighth or ninth (among states) in total production. Now, we're fifth or sixth – and growing."

In another sign of California's blueberry bonanza, the United States Highbush Blueberry Council is headquartered in Folsom.

On average, Americans eat twice as many blueberries as they did a decade ago. That consumption is expected to keep climbing.

For more, see: In Season: California now a center of blueberry agriculture