Berries are often referred to as a “superfood” because they are bursting with antioxidants and phytochemicals that are thought to help boost our immune systems.
Did you know that strawberries have more vitamin C per serving that one orange?
Or that anthocyanins — flavonoids that are thought to help protect our brains — are what give blackberries their dark, glossy color?
Blueberries are as good for you as they are plump and delicious. They are packed with phytonutrients — the nutrients that give fruits and vegetables their intense colors and valuable nutritive properties, and that provide health benefits such as cancer prevention. Blueberries are only 80 calories per cup, are a good source of fiber, have virtually no fat and are low in sodium.
Blueberries can liven up any meal or snack and they complement both sweet and savory dishes. While they can be enjoyed fresh year-round, the peak North American season is April through September.
Try this recipe for Citrus Crunch Blueberries for another delicious way to enjoy one of nature’s many superfoods. It’s perfect for a quick yet elegant dessert.
Citrus Crunch Blueberries
- 2 6-ounce packages fresh blueberries
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (2-4 medium oranges)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Rinse blueberries and divide into four small bowls. Combine orange juice and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat; cook and stir until thickened. Remove saucepan from heat; add almond extract.
Drizzle warm syrup over berries. Sprinkle berries with toasted sliced almonds and top with orange zest.
Toasting sliced almonds: Heat sliced almonds in dry, heavy skillet over medium heat 1-2 minutes (until golden brown). Stir or toss sliced almonds frequently for even toasting.
Orange zest: Wash oranges before zesting. Grate the outermost layer of the orange peel (zest) using a vegetable grater. Try to get as little of the white inner layer of the peel (pith), as it is bitter tasting.
Orange juice: After zesting the oranges, cut the fruit in half crosswise and squeeze out the juice by hand or use a juicer.
Berries: To keep your berries their freshest, keep them dry and only wash them right before serving or cooking with them.
Nutrition information per serving: 147 calories, 1.8 grams fat, 6 mg sodium