Brilliant Blueberries

Bursting with Benefits

Blueberries0719 Header

July 2019 Issue
Photography and recipes provided by U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

America’s beloved little indigo-colored berry has been around for ages. 13,000 years to be precise. Who can resist that burst of blueberry flavor whether it’s picked fresh or in a muffin or a pie? Taste alone makes these violet-tinged poppers desirable; but now they’ve been anointed as a health food—full of antioxidants and part of a healthy brain diet. This month we invite you to include these delicious blueberry recipes as part of your entertaining agenda or everyday plans. The only thing better than serving delectable, healthy food is eating it!

Blueberry Sangria
Yields: About 1 quart liquid  |  Pictured above.

1½ cups ready-to-serve Blueberry juice
1½ cups chilled White wine or apple juice
¼ cup Orange-flavored liqueur, optional
1 Orange, sliced
1 Lemon, sliced
1 cup Fresh blueberries
1½ cups chilled Lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite

Into a 2-quart pitcher, combine blueberry juice, wine and liqueur, if used. Add orange and lemon slices and fresh blueberries. Chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir in soda. Serve in tall glasses over ice cubes, if desired.

Blueberry, Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad 
with Warm Bacon Dressing

Yields: 4 servingsBlueberries0719 Salad

4 slices Bacon
2 Tbsps Olive oil
1 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
1½ tsps Honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp Garlic, minced
pinch Salt and pepper
5 cups Baby spinach
½ cup Red onion, thin sliced
1½ cups Cooked chicken, sliced or cubed
2 cups Fresh blueberries
½ cup Crumbled feta or blue cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.

In a small bowl, stir the reserved bacon fat, the olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard and garlic. Whisk to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place spinach in a bowl and toss with half the dressing; spread on a platter. Top with onion, chicken, blueberries, cheese and crumbled bacon; drizzle remaining dressing over salad.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 340 calories, 18.7g carbohydrates, 21g fat

Blueberry Sorbet

Yields: 6 servingsBlueberries0719 Sorbet

With frozen blueberries and juice on hand, you can create this icy and refreshing treat in a matter of minutes and serve it over cakes, cookies, bars, fresh fruit or all on its own. 

4 cups fresh or thawed, frozen Blueberries
1 can (6 ounces) frozen Apple juice concentrate

In the container of a food processor or blender, combine blueberries and apple juice concentrate. Whirl until liquefied. Pour into a 11 X 7-inch baking pan. Cover and freeze until firm around the edges, about 2 hours. With a heavy spoon, break frozen mixture into pieces. Place mixture in a processor or blender container. Whirl until smooth but not completely melted. Spoon into a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan. Cover and freeze until firm. Serve within a few days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 112 calories, 1 g protein, ½ g fat, 28 g carbohydrate, 15 mg sodium, 244 mg potassium, 0 mg cholesterol

Blueberry & Butternut Squash Couscous Salad

Yields: 6 servings

1 lb. Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
5 Tbsps Olive oil, divided
1¼ cups Chicken broth
1 cup raw Couscous*
3 Tbsps Lemon juice
¾ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Pepper
4 Scallions, thinly sliced
1½ cups Blueberries
¾ cup Crumbled feta cheese
3 cups Baby arugula

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, toss squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until tender, about 22 minutes; let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring broth to a boil. Stir in couscous, remove from heat and cover; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; cool.

In a small bowl whisk together remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; set aside. In a large bowl combine squash, scallions, blueberries, cheese and couscous. Spread arugula on a serving platter. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Add remaining dressing to couscous mixture; toss to combine. Serve over arugula

*Note: You can substitute any grain in place of the couscous, such as quinoa, farro, barley, wheatberries, rice, etc. Simply prepare your grain of choice according to the instructions on the back of the packaging. Follow the rest of the recipe as is.

Pink Blueberry Lemonade

Yields: 4 servingsBlueberries0719 Lemonade

⅓ cup Sugar
1¼ cups Fresh blueberries, divided
⅓ cup Lemon juice
Blueberry ice cubes (see below)

In 1 quart glass measuring cup, combine sugar, 2 tablespoons of the blueberries and ½ cup water. Microwave on high until hot, about 1 minute. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and enough water to make 1 quart. Chill. 

Fill tall glasses with ice cubes, add chilled blueberry mixture and remaining berries, dividing equally. Garnish with lemon slices if desired

To make Blueberry ice cubes:

Place 3 berries in each of 12 ice cube cups. Fill with water and freeze. 36 berries equals about ¼ cup.


Savory Blueberry Pizza

Yields: 6 servingsBlueberries0719 Pizza

1 lb. Pizza dough
1½ cups grated Mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup fresh blueberries
4 ounces diced Pancetta (can also use bacon or ham if pancetta is not available), cooked and drained
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly flour a work surface. Pat and stretch dough into a 10 x 14-inch oval; place on a large baking sheet. With a fork, pierce dough in several places. Leaving a 1-inch border, sprinkle dough with half the mozzarella, the gorgonzola, pancetta and red onion. Bake until crust is golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

Sprinkle blueberries and remaining mozzarella over pizza; bake until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from oven; top with basil and pepper.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Yields: 24 servingsBlueberries0719 CheesecakeBars

½ cup plus 6 Tbsps Butter
¾ cup Granulated sugar
2¾ cups All purpose flour
1 tsp Baking powder
¾ tsp Salt
12 ounces Cream cheese (1-½ pkgs), softened
2-½ tsps Lemon zest
3 Tbsps Lemon juice
1 tsp Almond extract
2 Large eggs
¾ cup Packed light brown sugar
¾ tsp Ground cinnamon
½ cup Blanched almonds, sliced
1 cup Fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13-by 9-inch baking pan. Soften ½ cup of the butter and combine it with ½ cup granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy. Add 2 cups flour, the baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Beat until crumbly. Transfer crumbs to the baking pan and pat to make an even layer.

Bake 10 minutes until the surface is dry but not browned. Meanwhile, in the same mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice and almond extract until fluffy. Beat in the eggs until combined. When the crust has baked, spread the cheesecake mixture evenly over the top and bake 20 minutes until the cheesecake has set.

In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, remaining ¾ cup flour, the cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cut the remaining ¾ cup flour, cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cut the remaining 6 tablespoons butter into ½-inch pieces and add to the brown sugar mixture. Work the butter into the mixture with a pastry blender or your fingers until uniform crumbs have formed. Stir in the almonds.

When the cheesecake layer has baked, sprinkle the blueberries and above crumb mixture over it and bake 20 minutes until the crumbs have browned. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least 2 hours until the cheesecake is firm before cutting into 24 bars.

Grilled Salmon Flatbreads

Yields: 4 servingsBlueberries0719 Flatbreads

Spice blend (recipe below) 
1 Garlic clove, minced
2 Skinless salmon fillets (8 ounces each)
4 Pita breads
1 cup Fresh blueberries
½ Avocado, diced
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup diced red onion
1 Tbsp minced jalapeño
1 tsp Lime zest
3 Tbsps Lime juice
2 Tbsps Olive oil, divided
1 bunch Watercress, trimmed (about 2 cups)

Spice Blend: In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon each ground spices: coriander, cumin, fennel seed, cardamom and mustard seed; ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.

Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Sprinkle 4 teaspoons of the spice blend and the garlic on both sides of salmon; grill just until opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side. With 2 forks, flake the salmon.

Grill the pita until toasted, about 30 seconds per side; place on 4 plates. In a medium bowl, toss the blueberries, avocado, cilantro, onion, jalapeño, lime zest and 1 teaspoon of the remaining spice blend with the lime juice and oil. Top pitas with watercress, salmon and blueberry salsa, dividing evenly.

Blueberry Turkey Burgers with Blueberry Ketchup

Yields: 4 servingsBlueberries0719 TurkeyBurgers

1 pound Ground turkey
¾ cup Fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries
1 Tbsp minced Fresh ginger
1 Tbsp Lemongrass, minced (optional)*
1 tsp Coarse black pepper
2 Tbsps soy sauce
4 Poppy seed hamburger buns
Lettuce and sliced red onion, optional
Blueberry ketchup (see right)

In a large bowl, combine turkey, blueberries, ginger, lemongrass and black pepper; mix well. Form mixture into 4 patties. Brush soy sauce on both sides of burgers. In an oiled skillet over medium-high heat, grill patties until cooked thoroughly, about 4 minutes each side. Serve on buns with lettuce, sliced red onion and blueberry ketchup.

*Peel away woody outer layer from the bottom portion of the lemongrass stalk; mince inner flesh.

Blueberry Ketchup

1½ cups Fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries
½ cup Onion, minced
¼ cup Rice wine vinegar
¼ cup Dark brown sugar
½ tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Pickled ginger (gari) or minced fresh ginger

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine blueberries, onion, vinegar, sugar, ginger and salt. Bring to a simmer; cook about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove to blender or food processor; whirl until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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