Out where I live, the hills are alive with the colour blue. Thanks to a bumper year for the amazing blueberry, we’re all enjoying more of this sweet fruit than ever.
I’ve stopped by a dozen or so fruit stands and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such big blueberries, and when you can get a 10lb box of them for $15, you can’t say no to a box or two. So with my cupboards literally covered in blueberries, I’ve had to think of some creative ways to use them.
I like to freeze sheets of them and then pop them into the freezer for a cold snack on a hot day or to use when it’s time for back to school. You can also use them to top everything from oatmeal to crepes and pancakes or a big garden fresh green salad.
Blueberries aren’t just a delicious snack – they’re a brain food too. They have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruit, and they have vitamin c, vitamin e, vitamin a, and are high in iron. They’ll boost your immune system, keep your brain sharp, and I’ve even heard they’ll reduce belly fat. That’s a pretty powerful punch from one little blue berry.
Whether you’re going to freeze up a few bag of them for snacks during back to school or you want to make delicious blueberry treats right now, here are a few great blueberry recipes.
Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
It’s not as sweet as ice cream, and if you sweeten with agave it contains very little sugar, but this Blueberry frozen yogurt is all flavour.
|Ingredients: 3 cups plain, vanilla, or flavored yogurt
Sweetener to taste, such as stevia or agave or sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
Stir all ingredients together.
If you have an ice cream maker, pour the mix into the machine and process according to your machine’s directions.
Scoop it out of the machine with a spoon. If it’s not thick enough for you, you can put the finished mixture in the freezer for 30-40 minutes to set.
You can store it for up to a month in the freezer.
Blueberry Chia Seed Bars
From Ohsheglows.com, another healthy bar and this one is full of blueberries. The chia seeds give it a bit of crunch, but other than that they remind me of my grandma’s blueberry bars.
|Ingredients: 2 cups regular rolled oats
1 & 1/4 cup oat flour (process rolled oats until flour forms)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp chia seeds (ground flax probably works)
1/2 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)
1 tbsp nut butter (I used almond butter)
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/3 cup chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a square pan (I used 8” x 8”) with two pieces of parchment paper (this is recommended as the blueberries explode!!)
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (rolled oats, oat flour, cinnamon, chia, salt, and Sucanat). In another small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (nut butter, applesauce, brown rice syrup, extracts). Add wet to dry and stir well until throughly combined.
Fold in the blueberries and almonds and pour into pan. Spread batter with wet hands and press firmly so it packs together. This will help them stick together.
Bake for about 30 minutes at 350F. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes 12 squares or however many you want!
Blueberry-Peach Breakfast Crisps
Fussy morning eaters? Not when you have these blueberry-peach breakfast crisps ready to serve. These are the perfect back to school breakfast, and are backed with healthy blueberries and granola.
|Ingredients: 2 cups Blueberries, plus more for garnish
1 (16 ounces) frozen sliced peaches, thawed
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 cups low-fat granola (without raisins)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat four 8-ounce ramekins with cooking spray.Combine blueberries, peaches, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and ginger in a medium bowl; mix well. Divide evenly between prepared ramekins. Drizzle granola with butter and mix well. Sprinkle over fruit.
Set ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake 33 to 35 minutes or until fruit is bubbly. Uncover and bake 2 to 3 minutes longer or until topping is lightly browned.
If serving warm, cool 10 minutes then top each with 1/4 cup yogurt. If serving cold, cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 days. Top with yogurt just before serving.
Berry season is passing too quickly, so be sure to load up on your boxes of blueberries and get creative in your kitchen. And if you need a gadget or two for your recipes, remember everything you need to stock your kitchen is available in small kitchen appliances right now.
Bake up your back to school snacks with versatile bakeware
Mornings are magical with pancakes and crepes
|Use up your blueberries in your summer salads|