Before the blueberry season ends here in Florida, run — don’t walk — to your favorite U-pick farm and get yourself a load of this sweet, succulent superfood.
For such a small berry, it is packed with nutrition. According to the Blueberry Council, blueberries are jam-packed with Vitamin C (important for tissue growth and wound healing), dietary fiber (great for digestive and heart health) and manganese (essential for bone health and converting foods into energy). Blueberries also contain antioxidants that can help with memory as we age. What’s more, these little babies are only 80 calories per cup and have zilch fat.
Oh yeah, and did we mention that they taste great? Our favorite way to eat them is frozen. Just pop one gorgeous blueberry into your mouth and let the flavor explosion unfold as it melts.
When you’re buying or picking blueberries, concentrate on color. Whether their large or small, berries that are a deep, silvery blue will be the sweetest. Also look for berries that are firm, smooth and plump. Blueberries that are soft, shriveled or are literally bleeding blue are past their prime.
To store your blueberries, refrigerate them in their original container or a covered bowl. Don’t wash the blueberries until you’re ready to use them and consume them within 10 days. If you’re freezing fresh blueberries, rinse and thoroughly dry them before you place them in a freezer-safe container.
Blueberries taste great mixed into a smoothie or yogurt, tossed on top of cereal, oatmeal or even a salad. And when you’re cooking with blueberries, think beyond the muffin. You can easily make a blueberry reduction to spoon over chicken or pork. Blueberry Council offers many delicious recipes to inspire you to cook with blueberries. Here’s one of their recipes that caught our eye:
Easy No-Bake Glazed Blueberry Oat Bars
• 2 cups blueberries, divided
• 1 cup oats
• 1 cup dates, pitted
• 1/2 cup almonds, sliced and toasted
• 1/4 cup chia seeds
• 1 teaspoon orange zest
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar (optional)
• 1 teaspoon orange juice or water (optional)
• Line an 8-inch x 8-inch pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang and spray with cooking spray.
• In a food processor, combine 1 cup blueberries, oats, dates, almonds, chia seeds, orange zest and cinnamon and process until mixture is sticky and holds together.
• Stir in remaining 1 cup blueberries.
• Press into prepared pan and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
• Combine confectioners’ sugar and orange juice and drizzle over top if desired.
• Cut into 16 bars.
Number of servings (yield): 16 bars
3.5 g fat
0 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol
3 g protein
24 g carbohydrates
4 g fiber
13 g sugar
0 mg sodium
149 mg potassium (4% of daily value)
42 mg calcium (4% of daily value)
1 mg iron (6% of daily value)
3 mg vitamin C (4% of daily value)
1 mcg vitamin A (0% of daily value)
Check out our favorite recipes and nutrition advice to help you lead a healthier life style.