For the month of June, let’s learn about Blueberries

  • Did you know that blueberries are primarily found in North America and weren’t introduced to Europe until the 1930s? Blueberries are perennial flowering plants that produce indigo-colored berries and are in the same family as cranberries, bilberries, and huckleberries. They have a sweet taste with variable acidity. Blueberry bushes typically bear fruit during the summer months.
  • Blueberries are packed full of nutrients. One cup of raw blueberries contains about 84 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and 24% of the daily recommendation for vitamin C, and 36% of the daily recommendation for vitamin K. Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin which gives them their blue color and also provides many of their health benefits. Flavonoids are plant compounds that often have a powerful antioxidant effect. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods such as blueberries decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • The United States is by far the largest producer of blueberries in the world, producing about 56% of the world’s blueberries. Canada is the number two producer with about 30%. Within the United States, the top two blueberry-producing states are Michigan and Maine, with about 37% of the US’s blueberry production. The blueberry harvest in North America usually starts in May and ends in late summer.
  • Blueberries are sold fresh or are processed as individually quick frozen fruit, puree, juice, or dried infused berries. These may then be used in a variety of goods, such as jellies, jams, blueberry pies, muffins, snack foods, or as an additive to breakfast cereals.

Recipes of the Month

Blueberry Quinoa Saladblueberry salad

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa (red or white)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 5 ounces mixed salad greens
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Dressing

  • 1 Tbsp grape seed oil
  • 2 shallots, minced (or sub 1/2 cup sweet yellow onion)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil (or sub more grape seed oil)
  • Pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup blueberries

Directions

  1. Prepare quinoa by rinsing thoroughly with cool water in a fine mesh strainer. Then add to a small saucepan with vegetable stock (or water) and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy like rice. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In the meantime, prepare dressing by heating a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp grape seed oil, shallot, and sauté until tender and slightly caramelized - about 5 minutes - stirring often. Remove from heat to cool.

https://minimalistbaker.com/blueberry-quinoa-salad/

Dark Chocolate Covered Blueberries with Almond Dustdark chocolate blueberries

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blueberries washed and dried
  • 40 grams dark chocolate about 4-5 squares
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped almonds

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate squares in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until chocolate is completely melted and spoons out easily. Heat and check at 15 second intervals after that, if necessary.
  2. Add blueberries to the melted chocolate and gently stir.
  3. Use a spoon to lift out 4-5 blueberries at a time in a cluster, allowing excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.
  4. Place blueberry cluster on a plate or small baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.
  5. Repeat until all blueberries are used.
  6. Sprinkle almond dust on top of the blueberry clusters.
  7. Place blueberry clusters in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.
  8. Remove from refrigerator when ready to enjoy!
  9. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days depending upon the freshness of the berries.

https://www.dinner-mom.com/dark-chocolate-covered-blueberries-with-almond-dust/