Mary R. Ehret
Blueberries are now in season. You can find fresh blueberries in farmers markets as well as grocery stores. Fresh blueberries are fun to pick and reach their peak in early August. They are ready to be picked now, as well.
Today is the time to buy fresh blueberries. We can find them in our stores year-round, but fresh blueberries are much more expensive out of season. Frozen blueberries are available year-round, as well and are found in the grocer’s freezer aisle. If you pick blueberries, freeze them in easy to use quart freezer bags. Pour out what you need to spruce up your winter oatmeal.
Blueberries are one of my favorite foods. They come packed with many nutrients and phytochemicals for such limited calories. Here is the average breakdown.
One cup of unsweetened blueberries (so delicious, no need to add sugar) contain: 82 calories, 4.4 grams of fiber, no sodium, 129 milligrams of fiber and 30 percent of our daily need for Vitamin C. They also have antioxidants, bacterial inhibitors and phytochemicals like carotenoids and anthocyanosides.
Blueberries are used in lots of different types of recipes. They can be found in baked goods, salads, sauces and even blueberry vinegar. They are most famously found in blueberry muffins. Most commercially-made blueberry muffins contain more fat, calories and sodium than homemade muffins. Good news: they are easy to make and only require two bowls and a spoon to mix. Here is a recipe which uses a healthy fat, canola oil, low-fat milk, whole wheat flour and no salt.
Enjoy fresh blueberries this summer and try this easy to make baked recipe.
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk, low-fat
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour (white whole wheat or whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray the muffin pans with nonfat cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, stir the oil and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix until blended. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add the flour mix to the oil and sugar in the large bowl. Stir together. Stir the blueberries into the batter. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins. Per 1 muffins serving: 250 calories, 11 grams fat, 4 grams, protein, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 104 mg sodium.
Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at firstname.lastname@example.org