Stock up on a superfood that’s a no-brainer: Wild blueberries have superior antioxidant capacity compared with other fruits and veggies. Best of all, these little blue powerhouses from Maine and Canada are also incredibly convenient, thanks to their year-round availability in your grocer’s frozen fruit section. They’re just as healthy as fresh and may retain their nutritional value longer.
Here are two quick tips to help you pack a powerful nutritious punch into your diet:
Make sure they say wild. Check the bag to ensure you’re getting authentic, frozen-fresh wild blueberries. If the word wild isn’t on the front of the package, scan the list of ingredients on the back.
Check the size. Be sure to select the little wild ones. When in doubt, feel the berries in the bag – if they’re pea-sized, you’ve got the wild ones.
With twice the antioxidant capacity of larger, cultivated blueberries, wild blueberries freeze perfectly, retaining their superior quality, color and sweet, tangy flavor.
Quinoa Salad with Wild Blueberries
1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pink peppercorns
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium zucchini
3 ounces havarti cheese
1 cup 2-percent milk fat cottage cheese
Mix wild blueberries with vinegar and pink pepper; set mixture aside. Cook quinoa as instructed in salt water. Let cool. Wash zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly slice into half-moons. Cut havarti into cubes; set aside. Mix cooked quinoa with zucchini, havarti and cottage cheese. Gently stir in wild blueberries and mint leaves. Serve with baguette if desired.
Wild Blueberry and Elderflower Mint Soda
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
2 limes, squeezed
4 ounces wild blueberry juice
2 ounces elderflower syrup
2 1/2 cups club soda
Make a tray of wild blueberry ice cubes (optional). Place about 1 teaspoon of berries per cube in ice cube tray. Reserve 4 tablespoons of berries for the drink.
Squeeze lime and carefully mix juice with wild blueberries, wild blueberry juice and elderflower syrup.
Pour the mixture evenly among four glasses, add club soda, stir and add washed mint leaves and wild blueberry ice cubes. Makes 4 servings.
Spicy Tortilla with Wild Blueberries
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
4 small flour tortillas
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 small red chili pepper, seeded and chopped
4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
Salt to taste
1 1/4 cups wild blueberries
2 ounces goat cheese
In large non-stick skillet, heat half the oil over medium high heat. Fry each tortilla on both sides until golden. Set aside.
Return skillet to medium heat and add remaining oil. Cook apples and pepper for about 4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add sugar and salt and stir to combine. Add wild blueberries and stir until cooked through. Divide mixture among tortillas and sprinkle with goat cheese. Garnish with mint before serving. Makes 4 servings.
Old-Fashioned Wild Blueberry Muffins
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) egg substitute
1/2 cup canola oil
6 cups wild blueberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; reserve. In separate bowl, whisk together sugars, buttermilk, egg substitute and oil. Add to flour mixture and mix just to blend. Fold in wild blueberries. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Scoop 1/4 cup batter into each lined or greased 1/3 -cup muffin tin and sprinkle each muffin with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Bake in 400 degrees conventional oven or 375 degrees convection oven 18 to 22 minutes or until firm to the touch. Serve warm. Makes 36 muffins.