Straight off the bush, the juicy goodness of a ripe blueberry is a sure way to please your tastebuds and your sweet cravings. And while they may be small, these berries pack a nutritional punch that includes antioxidant properties and high fiber content. We found five creative ways to add berries to your diet – not because they’re difficult to consume on their own, but because the natural flavor and vivid color of a blueberry can help take anything from bland to berry delicious!
1. Frozen Refreshers
We all do our best to gulp down eight glasses of water a day, but sometimes we need to play a trick on our tastebuds to make staying hydrated a bit more interesting. Grab an empty ice tray and throw in a few blueberries in each cup along with a fresh herb of your choice, such as mint or even basil. Then fill each compartment with water and pop it into the freezer, just as you would to prepare regular ice cubes. Once completely frozen, add these jazzed up ice cubes to your glass of water to elevate it from plain to cool blue.
2. Homemade Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we all scream for blue ice cream! Homemade treats are typically healthier than their prepared versions sold in supermarkets, and are no doubt more satisfying. Freeze a ripe banana (or better yet, a few, so that you can always have them on the ready). In a blender, add a few handfuls of fresh blueberries, a splash of your preferred milk (even almond or any variety of vegetable milk would taste great) and the frozen banana sliced up. Blend, adding more milk little by little until the mixture has reached a thick creaminess that will satisfy all your ice cream cravings without any guilt!
3. Dark Blues
Is there anything tastier than a navy blue berry? Perhaps dark chocolate, which is why we suggest teaming up the zingy flavor of a blueberry with the bitter notes from your favorite chocolate bar. Melt a few squares (about 40-50 grams) of dark chocolate in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until you can stir without any clumps. Before the chocolate begins to harden, add in half a cup of fresh blueberries. Make sure the berries are completely coated in the dark brown goodness, but be gentle enough so that they don’t burst! Scoop clumps of the blueberry mixture onto a plate lined with parchment paper until all of it has been portioned out, then place into refrigerator to set. Enjoy chilled.
4. Blueberry and Red Pepper Salsa
Add a little spice to your love of summer’s finest produce! This gourmet salsa is sure to steal the attention at any barbecue or potluck this season with the unexpected addition of sweet blueberries. Dice up a few red bell peppers, half of a red onion, two jalapeños (seeded). Combine in a large bowl with two to three cups of fresh blueberries, a squeeze of lemon and a handful of chopped cilantro. If you prefer your salsa to be smoother, gently chop the blueberries before adding them in.
5. Blueberry Pie
Last but not least, a treat as classic as the color blue. The warm, berry-filled center and tart flavor of this baked pastry has been the inspiration for numerous songs for both children and hungry adults. And while there may not be room for improvement, there’s always a little wiggle room for creativity. Try adding in other seasonal produce such as slices of a fuzzy peach or chopped up rhubarb for an unexpected texture. You can impress your dinner guests or picnic friends before they even dig into dessert by creating a lattice pie crust which allow a sneak peek at the thick juice that oozes from a baked blueberry.