Plump and juicy blueberries are one of nature's best treats. The blueish purple fruit is grown on bushes and typically in season all summer long from April to late September but peaking in June and July.
Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of dietary fiber. They've repeatedly been ranked as having one of the highest amounts of antioxidants, natural substances aimed at protecting against heart disease, cancer and other diseases. This small but mighty fruit packs in just 80 calories and zero grams of fat per one cup serving.
Store blueberries loosely in a shallow container covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for one to two weeks. Wash them just before you're about to use them, as excess moisture will speed up decay. Freeze washed and patted dry blueberries in a single layer on a cookie sheet until frozen. Then, transfer to airtight containers or freezer bags for up to one year.
Blueberries are famous for their use in pancakes and muffins, but they go beyond the typical breakfast. Blueberries pair well with lemon and mint, ideal for any fruit salad or yummy dessert, such as pie or cobbler. Try transforming the fruit into a savory dish by cooking down the blueberries and making a sauce or glaze to moisten beef, pork, chicken or fish. Toss them into chicken salad or a wrap, such as the recipe below, or add them to your next smoothie. Plus, it can't get any easier to add a handful of blueberries to your lettuce salad, yogurt, oatmeal, or whole grain bagel with cream cheese.
California Avocado Super Summer Wrap (Printable PDF)
1 ripe avocado, seeded, peeled, and cut into chunks
½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon lime juice
½ cup blueberries
½ cup grated carrots
¼ cup red onion, chopped
2 cups fresh arugula, chopped
12 oz. cooked chicken breast, cubed
4 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
In a medium bowl, mash half the avocado chunks with a fork. Stir in yogurt and lime juice. Add remaining ingredients, including the rest of the avocado, except the tortillas; mix gently. Wrap each tortilla by folding the bottom up over the lower edge of the filling. Fold one side of the tortilla in toward the center, followed by the other side. Roll the tortilla from bottom up, covering the seams. Slice in half diagonally, securing with toothpicks if needed.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 389 calories, 13 grams fat, 370 milligrams sodium, 32 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fiber, 35 grams protein
Source: What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl