Benefits of Blueberries

Who else loves blueberries??

blueberries

When I think summer, I think “summer harvest” including squash, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, and even okra…but, blueberries definitely steal the show for me when it comes to summer produce.  Why, you may ask?  How could such a simple berry they have all year long be my favorite?  Well, I grew up on a small-scale farm with over 20 blueberry bushes, so I spend every summer picking gallons upon gallons of blueberries.  Today, I am going to share the nutrition benefits of blueberries with you and give you some FUN ways to enjoy these beauties.

bush

Blueberries have been a huge part of America’s agriculture from the beginning days when Native Americans cropped the land.  They used blueberries not only because they tasted good, but also for medicinal purposes as well as fabric dyes.  Interestingly enough, North Carolina (my home state) is one of the prime locations for blueberry cultivation.  This explains why my father has so many bushes!

blueberrys

 Health Benefits of Blueberries

First off, blueberries are rich with vitamin C, vitamin K, and the mineral manganese.  Vitamin C is great for immunity and skin while vitamin K promotes healthy gut bacteria flora.  My personal favorite nutrient in blueberries is fiber.  Fiber not only promotes satiety (the feeling of fullness after consumption), but also helps ya poo!  There is also a lot of research that shows blueberries as having anti-aging affects and antioxidants to help with cancer prevention.

FUN Ways to Enjoy Blueberries

Blueberries are super versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways.

Ø  Add ½ cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen) into your oatmeal

Ø Blend 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries in smoothies

Ø  Sprinkle on top of salads

Ø  Bake with them! See recipe below

Blueberry-licous Muffins

muffins

Recipe yields 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, preferably room temperature
  • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup of canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or more if you like the flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour (you could use AP flour, I just like the added nutrients of WW flour)
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup of roughly chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  You can line muffin tin with cupcake liners or use baking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In your mixer (or large bowl), add eggs, salt, vanilla, baking powder, and baking soda ensuring that everything has dissolved.  Once all is dissolved, add in your flour and gently fold.  Once flour is gently folded, fold in the blueberries, cinnamon, and walnuts. Do not over mix! *Cooking fact: If you over mix the muffin batter, the muffins could present tunneling, which is small tunnels in the cooked product.
  1. Scoop your batter into the greased muffin tins with a large ice cream scoop.  Bake for 22-25 minutes, checking with a toothpick to ensure they have been cooked all the way through.  Once out of oven, let the muffins rest for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Recipe yields 12 muffins.  Enjoy!

Jumpstart your mindful eating journey by downloading my 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here – it’s free!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
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References
USDA Harvard Study:
https://www.ars.usda.gov/plains-area/gfnd/gfhnrc/docs/news-2014/blueberries-and-health/