Let Them Eat Blueberries?
Do you sometimes feel that all the real power foods are strong tasting, like garlic, collards, broccoli, soy and carrots? When berry season starts, you can think again.
Berries, especially blueberries, are absolutely at the top of the chart for vitamins and vital antioxidants. We know that the U. S. Department of Agriculture sometimes is overly conservative when it comes to making health claims about foods. But reports in past weeks confirm health claims that have been around since World War II, when Royal Air Force pilots were experimentally given lots of blueberries (bilberries) to improve their night vision. USDA researchers at Tufts University have slowed and even sometimes reversed the aging process in rats with blueberries. Other studies indicate that the phytochemicals in blueberries and some other foods can help clogged arteries and promote healthy veins, relieve urinary tract infections and help prevent cancer. Some studies have shown they improve memory, even slowing the progress of Alzheimer's disease.
Many more reports on health benefits are summarized by the North American Blueberry Council.
There is little nutritional difference between frozen and fresh blueberries, so you can enjoy them all year round. Look for berries frozen without sugar, and make sure they are loose, not in clumps which would indicate thawing at some point. When you buy fresh berries, keep them refrigerated unwashed until you are ready to use them, then rinse thoroughly. Don't keep them more than two or three days in the refrigerator. If you buy too many or don't use them promptly, wash, drain well and freeze them loose on a cookie sheet, then store in a labeled zipper freezer bag until ready to use.
Cooking does not harm the nutrients and antioxidants, except for loss of some Vitamin C. Blueberries are low calorie, with approximately 40 calories per 1/2 cup serving.
Blueberry recipes abound on the internet, but you can just use your imagination for many ways to serve them. Add to fruit salad, Jello, cottage cheese or yogurt, sprinkle on cereal, cheesecake or pudding, add them to muffins, pancakes or cobblers, pack in lunches or just eat for a snack.
Find recipes at Fabulous Foods.
Try this for a delicious breakfast item or as a dessert: Blueberry Yogurt Parfait.
A quicker and lighter recipe from the Sneaky Kitchen: Blueberry Rolls. This is a fast and tasty healthy treat.
Leftover muffins and rolls containing fruit should be stored in the refrigerator (if any are left uneaten).