Even though it’s been cool and rainy here in Colorado, I’m reminded it’s spring every time I walk into the supermarket. Right out in front my grocer has set up a large produce table packed with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
I’m lucky that we grow our own berries in our backyard – mostly raspberries and blackberries, but some strawberries and blueberries, too. Our wild blueberry bushes don’t produce much, so I buy wild blueberries either fresh or frozen at Costco or Sam’s Club.
Health benefits of wild blueberries
Wild blueberries have been named one of nature's super fruits and have the highest antioxidant capacity per serving, compared to more than 20 other fruits. The many potential health benefits of wild blueberries include:
- Brain health: blueberries may improve motor skills and actually reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging.
- Cancer prevention: research shows that blueberry compounds may inhibit cancer.
- Heart health: blueberries may protect against heart disease and damage from stroke.
- Urinary tract health: like cranberries, blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections.
- Vision health: blueberries may improve night vision and prevent tired eyes.
Cooking with wild blueberries
While eating wild blueberries plain in a bowl is one of life’s better treats. Having them in pancakes, salads and drinks is pretty good, too! And since frozen blueberries are just as healthy and delicious as fresh ones, you can use frozen wild blueberries right out of the package for most cooking — no thawing needed
Here’s their healthy recipe for blueberry muffins. Make them up the night before for a quick and convenient breakfast treat. Or freeze a batch and thaw as needed.
Wild Blueberry Bran Muffins
Yields approximately 36 muffins
- 3 cups bran cereal
- 2 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups non-fat plain yogurt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup wheat germ
- 3/4 cup (6 oz) egg substitute
- 3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3 cups wild blueberries
- Preheat oven to 400°F conventional oven or 375°F convection.
- In large bowl combine bran, buttermilk and yogurt; let stand 15 minutes. Reserve.
- In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in wheat germ; reserve.
- In another bowl blend egg substitute, molasses, syrup, sugar and oil; stir into bran mixture and mix well. Add to flour-wheat germ mixture and mix just to moisten.
- Fold in wild blueberries.
- Scoop 1/4-cup batter into each greased 1/3-cup muffin tin and bake in 400°F conventional oven or 375°F convection oven 20 to 25 minutes or until firm to the touch.
- Serve warm. Yields approximately 36 muffins.
- Calories 148
- Calories from Fat 28
- Total Fat 3.1g
- Trans Fat 0.0g
- Cholesterol 1mg
- Sodium 118mg
- Total Carbohydrates 28.2g
- Dietary Fiber 2.6g
- Sugars 13.6g
- Protein 4.2g
- Vitamin A 2%
- Vitamin C 4%
- Calcium 13%
- Iron 12%
Nutrition Grade A from CalorieCount
Weight Watchers POINTS = 2
Picture courtesy of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America.