Centsable Health: Blueberries

We’ve all heard blueberries are high in antioxidants—those mighty molecules that help slow the aging process and reduce inflammation. In case you need even more reasons to pick up a pack of blueberries next time you pass through the produce section, here are eight more.

 

  1. High in vitamin C, blueberries aid in wound healing and collagen production, an important part of skin, cartilage and blood vessels.
  2. Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese, which is key for bone development and converting food to energy.
  3. A handful of blueberries helps meet your daily fiber needs with about 3 grams per cup.
  4. Blueberries may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and urinary tract infections.
  5. Research is showing blueberries are food for your brain—they may increase cognitive function, including memory.
  6. One cup delivers around 100 calories, making blueberries a must for any weight loss or weight management plan.
  7. Blueberries have a shelf life of 10 – 14 days in the refrigerator. Want them to last even longer? Pop them in the freezer.
  8. They taste great!

 

 

 

Blueberry Zucchini Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Total time: 45 minutes

  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ cups zucchini, shredded
  • 1 ½ cups blueberries

 

Directions

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt and vanilla until smooth. Add the lemon zest and sugar and stir until smooth.  Slowly stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the zucchini and blueberries.

Scoop ¼ cup batter into muffin tins sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with muffin cups.

Bake at 350°F for 25 – 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and store in an airtight container.

 

Nutrition information per muffin: 148 calories; 1.2 g fat; 0.4 g saturated fat; 27.8 mg cholesterol; 169.2 mg sodium; 31.4 g carbohydrate; 2.4 g fiber; 19.3 g sugar; 4.2 g protein

 

Blueberry Chia Seed Jam
Makes about 1 cup
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

 

Directions

In a medium saucepan, bring blueberries and maple syrup to a low boil. Stir frequently and simmer for about 5 minutes, lightly mashing the blueberries.

Add chia seeds and cook the mixture until it thickens to your desired consistency, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove the pan from heat and add vanilla. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator.

 

Nutrition information per serving (2 tablespoons): 69 calories; 1.3 g fat; 0.2 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.7 mg sodium; 14.5 g carbohydrate; 2.7 g fiber; 5.4 g sugar; 1 g protein

 

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce
Makes about 3 cups
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. light molasses
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ cup water

 

Directions

Combine blueberries, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, chili powder, black pepper and water in a medium saucepan.

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened.

Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Nutrition information per serving (2 tablespoons): 36 calories; 0.1 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 87.4 mg sodium; 8.9 g carbohydrate; 0.4 g fiber; 7.9 g sugar; 0.3 g protein

 

Blueberry Mug Cake
Makes 1 serving
Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. blueberries

 

Directions

In a 12 – 14 ounce microwave-safe mug, melt butter. Stir in flour, sugar, egg, milk, vanilla and baking powder until well combined. Fold in blueberries.

Microwave for 90 seconds or until cake pulls away from the sides. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

 

Nutrition information per serving: 385 calories; 16.1 g fat; 8.7 g saturated fat; 194.2 mg cholesterol; 255.8 mg sodium; 51.2 g carbohydrate; 1.3 g fiber; 26.1 g sugar; 9 g protein