Blue Heaven

Enhance the freshness of any savory or sweet dish by spooning on a generous helping of dark, juicy blueberries. Add them to a custard tart or let their subtle tanginess add a new dimension to glazed pork chops. Perk up your everyday eating with the pleasing taste and nutritional benefits of this perennial favorite.

Out of the Blue

Blueberries were called star berries by Native Americans, who identified them by their five-point blossom ends. Indigenous peoples added blueberries to stews, soups and puddings. Tribal leaders were thankful for these gifts of Creation because berries helped keep their children from starving during famine. Little did they know that this tasty fruit they found growing wild on bushes was a gold mine of antioxidants, a superfood.

YOUR PICK

Blueberry plants come in two varieties—one that supplies fresh fruit and another whose fruit can be frozen. Most fresh blueberries come from highbush plants, cultivated for more than a century to yield large, succulent, mildly sweet berries. These are the berries typically sold at your local supermarket in plastic clamshell containers. The other type are lowbush berries, often referred to as wild blueberries. These plants produce smaller, tangy-sweet berries that are most widely available in frozen form. Fortunately, freezing does not reduce the fruit’s anthocyanin levels, which give blueberries their skin color. 

EASY PREP 

These little blue blessings couldn’t be easier to add to your daily diet. The bountiful U.S. harvest peaks in July and August, but blueberry production in South America allows fresh fruit year-round. Once in your kitchen, blueberries only require rinsing—nothing to peel, trim, seed or chop. With minimal effort, blueberries can be added to any dish you choose.  

DRIED

Dried blueberries have a wonderful concentrated flavor and are easy to store. Toss them into the batter when making scones, muffins or pancakes. But beware, a handful of dried berries is much higher in calories than a handful of fresh berries. 

A POWERHOUSE FOR HEALTH

Blueberries fit naturally into healthy lifestyles. Fresh berries are low in calories, a good source of the bone-forming mineral manganese, and high in fiber and vitamin C. They’ve recently been ranked highest of any fruit in antioxidants, substances that may prevent or delay cell damage. Researchers are looking at the possible role anthocyanins  play in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, vision loss, cognitive decline, inflammation and cancer. As blueberries’ benefits continue to be revealed, we marvel at our Creator’s goodness to pack so many benefits into such a tiny berry. 

Enhance the freshness of any savory or sweet dish by spooning on a generous helping of dark, juicy blueberries.
"He has made His wonderful works to be remembered. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. He has given food to those who fear Him."
Psalm 111:4-5 NKJV

Better with Blueberries

CHICKEN OR TUNA SALAD 

Stir a generous amount of fresh or frozen blueberries into tuna or chicken salad just before serving.

ALMOND OR PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH 

Spread one slice of whole grain bread with almond butter or peanut butter. Arrange fresh blueberries in a single layer. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup, if you like, and top with another slice of bread.

PIZZA 

About 2 minutes before pizza is finished baking, top with ½ cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries and ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake 2 minutes more. 

MELON SALAD

Toss fresh blueberries with watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew melon. Add a squeeze of lime and fresh mint. 

FISH, GRAIN AND FRUIT SALAD 

In a large shallow bowl, arrange ingredients in layers: chunks of grilled salmon (or chicken), fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped cucumber or honeydew, salad greens and quinoa, brown rice, farro or wheat berries. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette.

SAUTÉED KALE

After sautéeing kale with minced shallot, add fresh blueberries with a squeeze of lemon and a little salt.

SALSA FOR GRILLED CHICKEN 

Combine coarsely chopped blueberries, diced fresh peaches, chopped red onion, hot pepper jelly, lime juice, cilantro and salt.

BARBECUE SAUCE 

Add fresh or frozen blueberries to barbecue sauce, and heat just until berries start to break down. Incredible on grilled turkey burgers!

BREAKFAST PARFAIT

Layer blueberries in a glass with yogurt and your favorite breakfast cereal. Serve immediately.

BLUEBERRIES FOR KEEPS

Storing: Fresh blueberries store best in a shallow container, covered, in the fridge. Don’t wash berries until ready to use. Depending on their freshness when purchased, they should keep for five to seven days. To wash, gently rinse in a colander in cool water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. 

Freezing: Avoid rinsing fresh berries before freezing them because it may make their skins tough. Simply keep them in the original plastic container, place in a resealable plastic bag and freeze. Rinse before using.

If you plan on cooking blueberries or prefer to wash them before freezing, rinse and dry as above. Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the freezer for about 24 hours or until solid. Transfer to resealable plastic bags or freezer containers, label and freeze up to 12 months.

Enhance the freshness of any savory or sweet dish by spooning on a generous helping of dark, juicy blueberries.
"My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips."
Psalm 63:5 ESV
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Blueberry Walnut Salad

The blueberry dressing is the key to this simple but dramatic salad. Honey-sweetened balsamic vinaigrette carries blueberry flavor into every nook and cranny on this plate. Accents of toasted walnuts and goat cheese provide contrasting tastes and textures. 

Recipes: Blueberry Walnut Salad
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French Pork Chops with Blueberry Sauce

Adding blueberries to savory meat dishes seems novel, even trendy, until we learn that Native Americans used a rub of crushed, dried blueberries on their meats as a means of preservation. Here, the goal of the continental cuisine is purely flavor, beautifully achieved in a reduced garlic-and-herb sauce served over seared pork chops. 

Recipes: French Pork Chops with Blueberry Sauce
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Blueberry Crostini

Cooking often involves a symphony of combinations, but in sophisticated appetizers such as this, flavors are best appreciated in a quartet. Creamy mascarpone offers a subtle base while juicy blueberries carry the theme of summer freshness. Basil's boldness and the muting quality of honey offer perfect counterpoints. Encore!

Recipes: Blueberry Crostini
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Blueberry Brûlée Trifle

Tradition is compromised and nutrition embraced in this English trifle with a créme brûlée finish. Top fat-free angel food cake cubes with an easy pudding mixture brightened with Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries. Just before serving, sprinkle brown sugar over the top and use a kitchen torch to form a thin, brittle curst. Garnish with fresh blueberries.

Recipes: Blueberry Brûlée Trifle
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Blueberry Custard Tart

Side by side on a creamy bed of custard, a gathering of plump berries gets a chance to prove this fruit's exceptional flavor in its natural, uncooked state. The flaxseed crust with a cookie-like texture is hardy enough to support the filling without crumbling. Freshly grated lemon zest is always a welcome complement. 

Recipes: Blueberry Custard Tart
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Blueberry Fudge Brownies

Blueberries and chocolate have not yet achieved the same pairing status as strawberries and chocolate, but that may change after you taste one of these brownies. The blueberries' pleasant floral quality brings a little brightness to chocolate's dark side, creating an intriguing combination that warrants another bite. 

Recipes: Blueberry Fudge Brownies
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Light Blueberry Scones

There's a berry in every bite of these biscuit-like wedges. Unlike traditional scones that are dense and buttery-rich, these healthy alternatives get their moist texture from healthy coconut oil and unsweetened applesauce. A splash of vinegar makes them tender and light. 

Recipes: Light Blueberry Scones
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