According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, July is National Blueberry Month! Native to North America, blueberries are grown in 35 out of 50 states. That translates into supplying roughly 95% of the entire world’s crop.
It’s no wonder then that from blueberry pies to Blueberry Hills, these blue beauties are oldies but goodies and we can’t get enough of them!
Luckily, blueberries are packed with nutrition. They are loaded with antioxidants and have been shown to help with brain, eye and vascular health. Plus, not only are blueberries low in calories and high in fiber, they are packed with plant compounds that may promote healthy aging. In fact, preliminary studies focused on blueberry consumption have shown improved motor skills and a benefit in age-related short-term memory function. Blueberries may also provide other benefits such as supporting cardiovascular health and a healthy urinary tract.
While it may be too hot this month to turn on the oven to bake a pie, you can try these blue healthy treats in lots of other ways. Here are some ideas from Whole Foods you might want to try:
- Add fresh or frozen blueberries to a smoothie.
- Have a bowl for breakfast, snack, or dessert – plain, or topped with yogurt, granola, a little shaved chocolate, a few chopped roasted nuts or a small dollop of sour cream.
- Add them to any breakfast cereal; dried blueberries make a great raisin substitute for oatmeal or any cooked cereal.
- Try blueberries in a green salad.
- Make tabouli or couscous salad and add some blueberries right along with your chopped veggies
- Add fresh or frozen blueberries to pancakes.
- Puree blueberries with blueberry juice and freeze in popsicle molds.
- Cook blueberries with a little apple or blueberry juice and then use as a sauce for yogurt or ice cream.
- Why not try blueberry sauce over grilled chicken, turkey, or pork?
- Add them to any fruit salad. They are great with chopped bananas and peaches.
- Spread peanut or almond butter on toast. Top with blueberries (press them down slightly to help them stay put).
According to Whole Foods, when shopping for fresh blueberries, choose firm, dry berries that have a subtle, whitish bloom over a uniform blue-black color. The chalky bloom is a sign of freshness, not mold. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator and eat them within a few days. Don’t wash them until you are ready to eat.
Do you have a favorite blueberry recipe you’d like to share? Send me an email; I’d love to try it!
Source: Whole Foods