Packed with vitamin C, 25% of your daily need in every serving and only 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat…no wonder we all love blueberries! These little treasures are also filled with dietary fiber and are an excellent source of manganese, all the while claiming nearly the top in antioxidant activity per serving! No wonder we produce over 200 million pounds of blueberries every year in North America; we supply 90% of the world’s blueberries!
Choose blueberries that are firm and have a lively, uniform hue colored with a whitish bloom. Shake the container, noticing whether the berries have the tendency to move freely; if they do not, this may indicate that they are soft and damaged or moldy.
Don't wash berries until right before eating as washing will remove the bloom that protects the berries' skins from degradation. Store ripe blueberries in a covered container in the refrigerator where they will keep for up to 3 days. If kept out at room temperature for more than a day, the berries may spoil.
Some quirky fun facts:
The Ojibwa Indians dried blueberry flowers over hot coals and inhaled the fumes to treat "madness." The Algonquians used a blueberry leaf tea for colic, labor in childbirth, and following miscarriages. And various Native American tribes often added blueberry leaves to their smoking mixes. Early American colonists made grey paint by boiling blueberries in milk. Today, blueberries are known as the vision fruit in Japan.
One very important fact that I almost forgot to mention is they taste great! I’m going to share two Blueberry Desserts. One is uber-healthy and super easy the other does have butter but I have replaced cream cheese with non fat Greek yogurt to keep it as guilt free as possible!
Ingredients for 4 parfaits:
2 cups (one 16 ounce container) non fat Greek yogurt
1 Cup Granola
1 pint fresh blueberries
4 tablespoons gourmet honey ( I use Savannah Bee Company Honey)
1. Place a ½ cup of yogurt in a tall clear glass
2. Top with a heaping spoonful of your granola
3. Next comes the blueberries
4. Repeat the three layers
5. Top with the honey and serve
Blueberry Gratin (Gratin au Myrtille)
The top of this oven baked Blueberry Gratin will be a mouth-watering golden brown. The almond powder/meal in combination with the non fat yogurt lends a texture and moistness that are truly unique! One can also serve this dessert “A la Mode”; with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream for a truly decadent international delight!
Prep time 15 minutes Bake time 25 min Serves 6-8
1 Pint Fresh Blueberries
4 Ounces Butter at room temperature
4 Ounces Greek Non Fat Yogurt
1 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Almond Powder/ also call Almond Meal
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Add the eggs one at a time
4. Add the yogurt and Vanilla, beat until smooth
5. Add the Almond Powder/Meal and blend well
6. Gently fold in the Blueberries
7. Turn batter into a 9 inch baking dish
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Top will be golden brown and the gratin will be moist and yummy!
9. Serve warm or room temperature