Blueberries, which grow in abundance in Maine, are among the world’s healthiest fruits, and it’s easy to incorporate them into your meals.
A cup of blueberries contains 14 percent of the recommended daily allowance of fiber and 24 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Among all fruits, blueberries provide the highest dose of antioxidants, chemicals that neutralize the free radicals that can damage cells and lead to cancer, heart disease and premature aging.
You don’t have to wait for the summer harvest to add blueberries to your meals. When they are frozen right after they’re picked, blueberries retain all their nutritional power.
Here are three heart healthy recipes to get the most out of blueberries:
Wild Blueberry Smoothie
6 ounces frozen wild blueberries
6 ounces vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1⁄2 cup milk
Blend all ingredients well at high speed. Serve and enjoy immediately.
(Courtesy of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America, via Wyman’s of Maine)
Downeast Wild Blueberry Pancakes
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
15-oz. package of frozen wild blueberries
In a bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat egg with milk and melted butter. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring only enough to dampen the flour. If the batter seems too thick, thin it with a little more milk. Gently fold in blueberries.
Pour the batter from a ladle onto a lightly buttered griddle. Cook pancakes until the underside of each begins to brown and bubbles appear on the surface. Turn the pancakes and brown on the other side.
Helpful hint: To minimize color bleeding, coat the blueberries with flour before mixing them into the batter.
(Recipe from Wyman’s of Maine)
Peach & Blueberry Cobbler
This is a healthier version of a traditional cobbler, with canola oil in place of some of the butter and whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Unlike more classic biscuit-topped cobblers, the peaches and blueberries are nestled into a tender batter that swells around the fruit as it bakes. Other fruits may be substituted. It’s especially beautiful when baked in and served right from a cast-iron skillet.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe but firm fresh peaches (about 1 pound), pitted and sliced into eighths, or 3 1/2 cups frozen
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place butter and oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Heat in the oven until melted and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add milk, sugar and vanilla; stir to combine.
Add the melted butter mixture to the batter and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the hot pan. Spoon peaches and blueberries evenly over the batter.
Return the pan to the oven and bake until the top of the cobbler is browned and the batter around the fruit is completely set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm.
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