July is National Blueberry Month. Check out these creative uses for this tiny blue superfood.
In honor of National Blueberry Month, we’re celebrating the ripe, blue-hued fruit by sharing all the reasons why they’re good for us, as well as fresh, mouth-watering ways to enjoy them.
Blueberries are considered a superfood for a reason. They’re rich in antioxidants, a great source of fiber and manganese, as well as vitamins C and K, and only 84 calories per cup. There are two types of blueberries: Highbush blueberries are the most commonly grown species in the U.S., while Lowbush blueberries — often referred to as “wild” blueberries — are often smaller and may be richer in some antioxidants, according to Authority Nutrition’s website.
Research from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council links blueberry consumption to health benefits that range from aging improvements and cancer prevention (due to the antioxidant compounds called flavonoids); as well as to improving insulin sensitivity in obese, insulin-resistant men and women; aiding gut health; lowering blood pressure and more.
You’ve probably thought of adding fresh or frozen blueberries to oatmeal, smoothies and parfaits, but here are a few creative ways to incorporate more blue into your diet.
Fruity Breakfast Quinoa
If you haven’t tried quinoa for breakfast yet, this recipe on Almond Breeze’s website will have you eager to start. Making quinoa with vanilla almond milk will add sweetness as well as additional protein to this plant protein-based breakfast bowl. Top the quinoa with ripe blueberries and sprinkle slivered or chopped raw almonds on the top for a crunch in every spoonful.
Blueberry Kale Salad
Your superfood salad will be even healthier when you toss in blueberries. This recipe on the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council’s website contains kale, blueberries, orange marmalade, beets, avocado, and toasted pumpkin seeds. It’ll be a field day for your taste buds!
If you love steak and spinach salads, try this elegant recipe on EatingWell.com that uses blueberries as a base for the dressing.
Blueberry Grilled Cheese
You may have added grilled tomatoes or fresh apple slices to your favorite grilled cheese sandwich, but blueberries are a sweet way to make this comfort food a summer lunch or dinner specialty.
The blueberry grilled cheese recipe on the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council’s website calls for American cheese and apple slices.
Blueberry Pork Tenderloin
Juicy pork tenderloins pair well with fruits, and blueberries are no exception. This five-ingredient Spicy Blueberry Pork Tenderloin recipe from FoodNetwork.com, takes the cake for being super simple, perfect for entertaining, and an easy clean up since it doesn’t use a ton of dishes.
Red, White and Blueberry Popsicles
Your Independence Day celebrations and the whole month following will be even sweeter once you bring out these sweet frozen treats after the barbecue fare. Here’s how to make four ice pops, and you can double or triple this U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council recipe, depending on how many people you’ll be serving. (Warning: Once adults see kids with them, they’re going to want one, too!)
1 cup diced watermelon
¾ cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
- In a blender, add blueberries and 5 tablespoons yogurt; puree until smooth.
- Divide blueberry mixture among the ice pop molds, filling them about a third of the way.
- Freeze 1 to 2 hours. Add a layer of 2 tablespoons yogurt on top of frozen blueberry layer to each ice pop mold.
- Freeze 1 hour until almost completely frozen. In the meantime, in a blender, puree watermelon and 1 tablespoon yogurt.
- When the yogurt layer is almost completely frozen, add watermelon mixture to form top layer of the ice pops.
- Push in the pop handles. Freeze another 1 to 2 hours.
(Excerpted with permission from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.)
Blueberry Lemon Collins
Channel your inner mixologist and impress guests with this blueberry-themed drink.
1.25 oz Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin (or your favorite gin)
0.5 oz simple syrup
4 oz lemonade
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Gently tumble between mixing glass and tin. Pour directly into a Collins glass. Top with extra blueberries and a lemon wedge.
(Used with permission from Nolet.)
Blueberries and Bourbon
If you prefer a Southern-style cocktail, add bourbon to muddled blueberries in a shaker glass. The recipe creator says it’s a summertime version of an Old Fashioned. Find the full ingredients list and recipe at Serious Eats.