Naturally sweet, tart and nutritious, I like to eat plump blueberries as a healthy snack. I do enjoy a burst of juice in my mouth as it pops when I bite the blueberries.
Do you know that the United States produces more blueberries than any country in the world? And… Washington is the largest blueberry producing state in the U.S. 😉
Known as a superfood, Washington Blueberries have phytonutrients called polyphenols. This group includes anthocyanins, which are compounds that give blueberries their blue color. The Malaysian Ministry of Health recommends us to include all the various colours of fruit and veggies to get the most of phytonutrients. Blueberries are the perfect choice to get your blue purple colour choice in your diet.
You can get a good source of Vitamin C from Washington Blueberries, which is necessary for growth and development of tissues and promotes wound healing. Washington Blueberries are high in Manganese too. It helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein.
Blueberries are also a good source of dietary fiber, with 1 cup of blueberries providing 3.6 grams of fiber. Dietary fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease and adds bulk to your diet, which may help you feel full faster.
While Washington fresh blueberries are only in season during summer months, do not worry, you still can enjoy Washington frozen blueberries as they are available year-round. You can store up in your fridge and thaw these frozen blueberries when you feel like eating them anytime.
The nutritional quality of the blueberry is well preserved when frozen. Research shows that you may get an extra antioxidant boost if frozen blueberries are eaten within 3 months of freezing. A research in South Dakota State University show that freezing blueberries makes their powerful antioxidants more available to the human body.
This is because anthocyanins, the antioxidant compounds that make blueberries blue are found in the skin of the berry. When frozen, tiny ice crystals disrupt the structure of the cells which in turn makes it easier for our system to access the anthocyanins contained within the skins.
Do not have much time to prepare your meal? There are actually a lot of quick and easy ways to include the goodness of Washington Blueberries into your dish. It is low in fat and sodium as well because one cupful of Washington Blueberries has only 80 calories per serving :
* Add Washington Blueberries to your cereal, oat, smoothie, salad, or quick breads such as muffin, pancake, and bread.
* Washington Blueberries make really nice unsuspecting ingredients in homemade meatball and burger patty. This helps you to reduce on using so much meat in your recipe.
* Grab a handful of fresh Washington Blueberries for an easy snack that can help to keep you satisfied between meals.
* Use Washington Blueberries to cook sauce for your dishes or as a dip. It goes well with lean meat and mashed potatoes, surely much better than bottle condiments that are high in sodium and low in nutrients.
* Sprinkle a handful of Washington Blueberries over chilled Greek or frozen yogurt for a delightful healthy dessert treat.
Washington Blueberry Rehydrator
(portion : 1 person serving)
* ½ cup frozen Washington Blueberries
* 250 ml coconut water
* 1 small frozen banana or ½ large frozen banana
* Place all the ingredients into a smoothie blender.
* Blend till smooth.
* Serve chilled.
Washington Blueberries Wholewheat Waffles
(portion : 6 standard-size rectangular waffles)
* 1 cup frozen Washington Blueberries
* 1 ½ cups atta flour (whole wheat flour)
* 3 teaspoons baking powder
* ½ teaspoon salt
* 340 ml low fat milk
* 2 eggs (beaten well)
* 3 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
* 2 tablespoons ground almonds
* Put the beaten eggs, low fat milk and vegetable oil into a large bowl and mix well.
* In another bowl, mix the atta flour, baking powder and salt.
* Fold the atta flour mixture into the egg mixture until well combined into a smooth batter.
* Mix in the ground almond.
* Gently stir in 1 cup frozen blueberries. Remember, do not over stir the blueberries into the batter otherwise the blueberries will mash up.
* Follow the heating instructions on your waffles maker.
* Pour enough batter into the pre-heated waffle iron to cook till golden brown.
More photos at FOOD Malaysia facebook page, a Malaysian food and lifestyle blogger since 2010