Pardon the pun, but we’ve gone bananas for blueberries. In the March/April issue of The Saturday Evening Post, Corey Michael Dalton writes about picking these antioxidant-rich fruits in Canada as a child. His story made us crave the sweet treats, so we asked the U.S. Highbrush Blueberry Council for inventive, healthy ways to mix these berries into our diets. The result? An entire day’s worth of meals (and snacks)! Start your day with the blueberry oatmeal breakfast cake, and then give one of the salads a try. And don’t forget to try the blueberry-topped rice cake featuring ricotta or cottage cheese. It’s a perfect afternoon pick-me-up that won’t have you crashing from a sugar high.
Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cake
(Makes 8 servings)
- 1-1⁄3 cups flour
- ¾ cup quick-cooking oats
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoons salt
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup frozen blueberries*
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-inch round baking pan. Set aside.
In medium mixing bowl combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a 1-cup measure stir milk, oil, and egg. Pour all at once into flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake until cake is golden and pulls away from sides of pan 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool on a rack, 5 to 10 minutes.
*Blueberries should be firmly frozen when used in baking.
Salmon and Blueberry Salad with Red Onion Vinaigrette
(Makes 4 servings)
- 1 medium-sized red onion, thinly sliced in half rings
- 1/4 cup Regina red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1-1/2 pounds salmon fillet, cut crosswise in 4 portions
- 6 cups lettuce leaves in bite-sized pieces
- 1cup fresh blueberries
In microwaveable cup, combine onion, red wine vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper; cover loosely with plastic wrap; microwave on high power for 1 minute. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until onions turn pink, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat grill or broiler. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil on both sides of salmon fillets; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Grill or broil salmon, skin side down, until just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Divide lettuce leaves among 4 dinner plates; place salmon in the center. With slotted spoon, remove onions from vinegar; scatter onions, along with blueberries, over and around the fish. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into vinegar mixture; drizzle vinaigrette over salmon.
Berry Blue Smoothie
(Makes 3 servings)
- 2 cups fresh or slightly thawed frozen blueberries
- 1 6-ounce container low-fat vanilla or other flavored yogurt
- 1 cup fruit juice, such as orange, pineapple or apple
- 1 tablespoon honey or sugar, more or less to taste
In the container of an electric blender, place blueberries, yogurt, juice, and honey. Whirl until smooth. Serve immediately.
Blueberry-Topped Rice Cakes
(Makes 4 servings)
- ½ cup ricotta or cottage cheese
- 2 teaspoons apricot preserves
- 4 apple-cinnamon flavored rice cakes
- 1 cup thinly-sliced fresh fruit (such as apple, pear, nectarine or peach)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
In a small bowl, stir together ricotta and preserves.
Spoon an equal amount on each of the rice cakes almost to the edge.
Arrange fruit slices in circles, on top of the ricotta mixture.
Top each with ¼ cup of the blueberries.
Blueberry Shrimp Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
(Makes 4 servings)
- Medium-size shrimp, boiled or grilled: ¾ pound (about 20)
- Fresh blueberries: 1 cup
- Walnut pieces, toasted: ½ cup
- Edamame or green peas, cooked: ½ cup
- Mixed salad greens: 5 ounces (about 4 cups)
- Lemon Vinaigrette: (recipe follows)
- Firm white cheese, such as feta, crumbled: 2 ounces (about ½ cup)
In a large salad bowl, toss shrimp, blueberries, walnut pieces, edamame (or peas), and salad greens
Evenly divide salad onto six plates. Drizzle with Lemon Vinaigrette (below). Sprinkle cheese around edges of salads
In a small mixing bowl, whisk ¼ cup vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon sugar, 1⁄8 teaspoon salt and 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper.
Recipes/Photos Courtesy: The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.
Whole Wheat Sausage Stuffing
(Makes 4 1/2 cups of stuffing)
- 1/2 pound lean bulk sausage
- 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups whole-wheat bread crumbs
Place sausage in large skillet, cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently until browned. Careful not to overcook.
Add green pepper and onion, continue cooking, stirring frequently until vegetables are just tender. Stir in chicken broth and seasonings, bring to boil. Remove from heat.
Add bread crumbs to hot liquid, stir just until all moisture is absorbed. Cover, let stand 5 minutes.
Serve in with baked acorn squash or use as stuffing for poultry (turkey, capon or roasting chicken).
Recipe from The Saturday Evening Post Fiber & Bran Better Health Cookbook, © The Saturday Evening Post Society. All rights reserved.
As farmers’ markets gear up and home gardens start sprouting, it’s time to think “fresh” in the kitchen. Find one near you at localharvest.org and enjoy these healthy recipes.
California Asparagus Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella, Pancetta, and Lemon Aiola
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 squares (5-by-5-inch) foccacia bread
- 1 1/2 cups baby arugula leaves or baby lettuces (lightly packed)
- 1 cup roasted red pepper, well drained and julienned
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1/4-inch thick 16 asparagus spears, cooked fork-tender
- 4 slices pancetta (1/8-inch thick), cooked almost crisp, break into 2-inch pieces or 8 slices bacon
All ingredients should be at room temperature before proceeding. To make Lemon Aioli, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and salt; whisk in mayonnaise and oil. Spread smooth side of each focaccia square with ½ tablespoon aioli. Divide remaining ingredients among 4 squares focaccia, layered in the order listed. Top with remaining focaccia squares. Cut each sandwich in half into 2 triangles. Sandwiches can be served at room temperature or warmed for a few minutes in the oven at 450° F. Sandwiches should not be hot.
Fresh Pea Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 shallots or three small leeks (white only), finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups fresh peas (or thawed frozen peas)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon mint, minced
- Plain yogurt or sour cream
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add shallots and garlic and sweat until translucent. Stir in peas, broth, and salt and pepper. Simmer about 5 minutes. Place half of the soup at a time in blender, cover and process until pureed. Return pureed peas to saucepan, stir in yogurt or sour cream and mint.
New Potato Salad
- 2/3 pound new potatoes
- 2/3 cup broccoli florets
- 2/3 cup cauliflower
- 1 small carrot, peeled
- 1/2 small cucumber
- 1/4 cup radishes, sliced
- 5 tablespoons red onion
- 5 tablespoons green onions
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Steam potatoes until tender; drain and set aside. Steam broccoli and cauliflower, about 3 to 4 minutes until tender. Cut carrots into thin slivers and slice cucumber. Slice potatoes into chunks or slices according to preference. Combine all vegetables in large bowl. In another bowl, combine yogurt, mustard, and black pepper. Whisk until blended. Pour over vegetables and gently toss until all vegetables are coated. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Souffle Omelet with Balsamic Strawberries
- 1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) fresh
- strawberries, stemmed and quartered
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons butter
Confectioners’ sugar, as needed In bowl, combine strawberries, mint, vinegar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of granulated sugar; set aside. In small bowl, whisk egg yolks with vanilla and remaining 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
In another bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer until they form soft peaks. With rubber spatula, fold yolks into whites until no streaks remain. In 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. (To make 2 individual omelets, use 6-inch nonstick skillet.) When butter is sizzling, add egg mixture, spreading it into an even layer with spatula. Cover pan; reduce heat to low. Cook omelet 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown on bottom and barely set on top. Spoon strawberries down center of omelet; with spatula, fold omelet in half over filling. Slide omelet onto plate; dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Vegetables and fruits are at their peak of freshness and nutrition at the time of picking. They gradually lose nutritional value (particularly the fragile, water-soluble vitamins B and C) the longer they linger uneaten in the refrigerator. For the best nutrient value, harvest from your garden only the amount you need for that day or the next day. When buying from a farmers’ market, make sure to ask whether the produce is locally grown. Frozen vegetables packaged at their peak of freshness may retain more nutrient value than fresh ones shipped from out of state.