Bursting with flavor and boasting the highest antioxidant level of any fruit or vegetable, the simple blueberry abounds with flavor and good nutrition. Blueberries are naturally sweet, low in calories, easy to eat, cook or bake with and exceptionally nutritious.
It is also thought blueberries can help you sharpen your memory as well as your taste buds. The pigment that gives blueberries their deep blue color is called anthocyanin and is a powerful antioxidant. It protects the body against the damage of free radicals and plays an important role in the health of the heart and skin.
Eating 1/2 cup of blueberries a day may improve balance, coordination and short-term memory.
Blueberries are traditionally a summer treat, but you can find them fresh in stores almost year round. The intense taste and the deep color of blueberry freezes extremely well making it easy to store extra blueberries in the freezer for use at any time.
Following are some suggestions for using blueberries:
- Use fresh blueberries to top off cereal, yogurt, ice cream or rice pudding.
- Combine fresh blueberries with a dusting of cinnamon or one tablespoon of your favorite liqueur, such as creme de cassis or amaretto.
- For a special treat, top off fresh berries with a dollop of fat-free or light ice cream.
- Let fresh blueberries add color, taste, and texture to fruit salads or cold chicken salad.
- Make a blueberry parfait by layering blueberries with your favorite sorbet or frozen yogurt. Save the biggest, firmest berries for the top!
- Use frozen blueberries to add great taste to muffins and quick breads. Simple corn or bran muffins get pizzazz from berries as well as an extra nutritional boost.
- Keep some frozen blueberries in your freezer and use your imagination. You'll be amazed at how many recipes they can brighten up.