3 Super Good-for-You Blueberry Recipes
Photo credit: BC Blueberry Council/Tracey Kusiewicz
Go ahead, get the blues with these three recipes.
Blueberries, considered by health experts as a super food, have more to offer than just good looks and taste. And, the lovely little fruit is in season, right now. But you can eat them year round, as frozen blueberries are put in the deep freeze directly after picking, to maintain fresh flavour and all-important vitamins and nutrients.
According to the experts at the B.C. Blueberry Council, “Blueberries have been considered one of the leading “superfruits” by researchers in Canada and U.S. who keep finding more and more health benefits from this tasty little berry. A 125ml (1/2 cup) serving of blueberries is all it takes to make up one of the 7-10 daily servings of fruits and vegetables recommended by the Canadian Food Guide.
With the picking season in high gear in B.C., New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and wild blueberry festivals in urban centres such as Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks on Sunday, August 21, it’s cool to be blue. You may even get to try some blueberry beer. www.evergreen.ca
Blueberries rank among the highest for antioxidant activity in testings of over 100 different foods, says the B.C. Blueberry Council. “Being one of the best sources of antioxidants, blueberries can help slow the aging process and reduce cell damage that can lead to cancer, cardiovascular disease and loss of brain function. Blueberries also contain condensed tannins that help prevent urinary tract infections, and anthyocyanin — a natural compound linked to reducing eyestrain.
- a good source of Vitamin C – a ½ cup serving contains 10% of the Recommended Daily Allowance
- naturally sweet but low in calories – a ½ cup serving has just 44 calories with virtually no fat
- high in dietary fibre, with 2 g per ½ cup serving
- an excellent source of antioxidants and flavonoids
- virtually sodium free.
Only 80 calories per cup, blueberries are virtually fat-free and a good source of fibre and vitamin C. In addition, studies continue to provide us with promising clues to the many different ways blueberries may help keep us healthy.
Blueberries are also superfoods for the following reasons:
- Heart Health Blueberries have been linked to lowering blood pressure, as well as protecting the cardiac muscle during a heart attack and repairing damaged heart muscle.
- Improved Insulin Response Research has shown that blueberries can improve insulin response, resulting in lower blood glucose levels and reduced abdominal fat.
- Brain Health A recent study indicates some types of age-related memory loss might not just be prevented but actually reversed by consuming blueberries. Blueberries have also been linked to possibly treating Parkinson’s disease.
Click through for 3 recipes to try now. Go ahead, get the blues.
Blueberry White Wine Sangria
Yields 5 cups
2 cups (300 g) B.C. Blueberries, fresh or frozen – divided
¼ cup (60 ml) Honey
½ cup (120 ml) Orange liqueur
1 bottle (750 ml) White wine
½ cup (75 g) Apple, sliced
½ cup (75 g) Strawberries, sliced
½ cup (120 ml) Orange juice
3 tbsp (45 ml) Lime juice
½ cup (120ml) Club soda (optional)
- In a pitcher combine 1 cup of the blueberries and honey and gently muddle until fruit is lightly crushed but not pureed.
- Add the orange liqueur, wine, remaining blueberries, apple, strawberries, orange and lime juice.
- Serve over ice.
- For a lighter drink top with club soda.
Blueberry Spinach Lentil Salad
Yields 2 main portions, or 4 side portions, ¾ cup of dressing
Blueberry Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
½ cup (75 g) B.C Blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
3 tbsp (45 ml) Olive or vegetable oil
2 tbsp (30 ml) Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp (5 ml) Honey
½ tsp (2.5 ml) Salt
½ tsp (2.5 ml) Pepper
3 cups (90 g) Fresh spinach leaves, washed and stems removed
1½ cups (225 g) Fresh B.C. Blueberries
1 cup (125 g) Cooked green lentils, cooled
¾ cup (100 g) Apple, sliced
½ cup (75 g) Goat cheese (optional)
⅓ cup (40 g) Walnuts, chopped
- To make vinaigrette, blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Keep refrigerated.
- Toss the spinach leaves in a small amount of the blueberry apple cider vinaigrette and place at the bottom of a large shallow bowl.
- Layer the blueberries, lentils and apple on the bed of dressed spinach.
- Drizzle with more vinaigrette and top with goat cheese and walnuts.
Blueberry Galette with Almond Crust
Yields 2 x 12″ galettes
1¼ cups (185 g) All-purpose unbleached flour, plus ¼ cup for rolling
1 tbsp (15 ml) Granulated sugar
½ tsp (2.5 ml) Salt
½ cup (125 g) Unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
3 tbsp (45 ml) Ice water
2 tsp (10 ml) Vinegar
4 cups (600 g) B.C. blueberries, fresh or frozen
⅓ cup (60 g) Granulated sugar
2 tbsp (20 g) All-purpose unbleached flour
1 tbsp (15 ml) Lemon zest, finely grated
3 tbsp (45 ml) Fresh lemon juice
1 tsp (10 ml) Cinnamon
2 tbsp (30 g) Unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 large (15 g) Egg
1 tbsp (15 ml) Milk
½ cup (50 g) Sliced almonds
- In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the cold butter until you have a coarse, crumbly pea-size mixture. Alternatively, pulse in a food processor.
- Sprinkle the vinegar and ice water into mixture a tablespoon at a time. Finish mixing dough with hands to until it just comes together; do not over mix.
- Form into two discs, wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F /205°C with rack positioned in the centre. Line a large baking sheet (or two small) with parchment paper.
- Mix the blueberries (do not thaw if using frozen), sugar, flour, lemon and cinnamon together in a separate bowl. Cube 2 tbsp of cold butter and set aside.
- Prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg and milk.
- Remove dough from refrigerator 15 minutes before rolling. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a rough circle measuring about 1/8″ thick and 12″ in diameter.
- Transfer dough to the lined baking sheet, fill each with blueberry mixture leaving 3″ around the edge and dot with cubes of butter.
- Fold and overlap the edges of the dough, leaving a 4″ opening in the middle.
- Brush the dough with egg wash.
- Scatter the sliced almonds on the dough and lightly press in.
- Bake in the middle rack of the pre-heated oven for 40-55 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.
- Allow to rest at room temperature. Serve with ice cream.