Blueberries: A healthy mid-summer treat

Blueberries: A Healthy Mid-Summer Treat

HOLLAND, MICH. - See ways to serve up blueberries this summer!

How to Buy Blueberries

Fresh blueberries are available year-round. The peak season for fresh blueberries runs from mid-June to mid-August. Like fresh blueberries, frozen, canned and dried are never out of season.

When purchasing fresh blueberries, look for firm, plump, dry berries with smooth skins. Size doesn’t matter, but color does – reddish blueberries aren’t ripe, but can be used in cooking. Containers with juice stains indicate that the fruit may be bruised.

How to Store Blueberries

Refrigerate fresh blueberries as soon as your get them home, in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or storage container. Wash berries just before use. Use within 10 days of purchase.

Blueberry Nutrition Facts

At only 80 calories per cup, blueberries are a good source of fiber and vitamin C and an excellent source of manganese – a powerful antioxidant that helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels and keep bones healthy.

Blueberry Serving Suggestions

  • Add blueberries to your favorite muffin recipe – about 1 cup for each batch of 12 muffins. Gently stir in the blueberries at the end (unthawed, if frozen).
  • Layer blueberries with yogurt and granola cereal in a tall glass.
  • Place 2 to 3 blueberries into each section of an ice cube tray. Fill the tray with water or lemonade and freeze. Use the blueberry ice cubes to chill and flavor water and drinks.

Recipe Ideas

Blueberry Pineapple Salsa

Makes 3 cups

All you need:

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • Kosher salt, as needed

All you do:

  1. Combine blueberries, pineapple, jalapeño, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, lime zest, cilantro and red onion.
  2. Season with salt and additional lime juice as needed.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to fish or chicken.

Blueberry Feta Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Serves 6

All you need:

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Salad

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


All you do:

  1. Place vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar; close lid tightly and shake until combined (or whisk together in a mixing bowl).
  2. Place salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour vinaigrette over and toss lightly to combine. Serve immediately or keep cold until ready to serve.

Quick Blueberry Peach Sorbet

Serves 8

All you need:

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups frozen peaches
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • ½ cup vanilla soy milk or almond milk

All you do:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a powerful blender or food processor until combined (if some chunks are left, that’s ok).
  2. Enjoy immediately or place the mixture in a metal loaf pan or metal bowl and freeze until ready to serve.

Courtesy: Chef Jen Plaggemars, Chef Jen LLC: http://chefjen.com

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