July is National Blueberry Month

Little but mighty, blueberries are bursting with nutrition. Since July is National Blueberry Month, it is a great time to take a look at how you can enjoy more blueberries!

Blueberries are a source of fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrients. These nutrients, especially the fiber, promotes heart health and gut health. Blueberries also support brain health and are part most diets!

Celebrate Blueberry Month by adding blueberries to your smoothies, cereals, entrees, and desserts! Adding blueberries to smoothies, cereals, and desserts is easy, but what about entrees? Blueberries pair well with many flavors and can be incorporated into savory dishes. Try pureeing blueberries and mixing with BBQ sauce, add blueberries to quinoa pilaf, place blueberries in a grilled cheese, and top a flatbread/pizza. Blueberries are great with cheese, Dijon mustard, lemon, and even prosciutto!  For a variety of recipes using blueberries visit the Blueberry Council

During the summer when fresh blueberries are in season, they are an excellent choice! However, during the winter months, when we do not have an abundance of fresh blueberries locally, don't forget to enjoy frozen, dried, canned, and 100% blueberry juice. Always look for options with no added sugar. The sugar that is naturally occurring in the fruit is healthy since it is balanced with other nutrients. We want to avoid added sugar since it does not have health benefits, add calories, and may even negatively impact health when consumed in excess. While the blueberry juice does not have the fiber whole fruit has, four ounces, or 1/2 cup, still counts as a serving of fruit. Blueberry juice can also be used in a variety of meals and snacks, such as the liquid when cooking grains or the base of popsicles!

Cool off this summer with a refreshing Blueberry Swirl Pop! This recipe uses both fresh blueberries and blueberry juice, providing a mix of nutrients to fuel your body on a summer day. This recipe is also great for kids. Older kids can help with measuring and blending the ingredients whereas younger kids can help with placing the fresh blueberries in the popsicles.

Blueberry Swirl Pops
Recipe source: Old Orchard

Ingredients

1/2 cup Old Orchard brand 100% Frozen Blueberry Pomegranate Juice concentrate
1/2 cup Our Family brand 100% Frozen Apple Juice concentrate
4 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp. honey

Directions

  1. Mix blueberry pomegranate juice concentrate and 1/4 cup apple juice concentrate together with 3 1/2 cups of water until well blended.
  2. Mix remaining apple juice concentrate, remaining cup of water, yogurt, vanilla and honey together until well blended and smooth.
  3. Spoon in alternating spoonfuls of each mixture into popsicle molds, stirring or tilting slightly so that they swirl together. Place fresh blueberries in the popsicles.
  4. Freeze popsicles for two hours or until solid and enjoy!
  5. Note:If you do not have popsicle molds, no worries. Simply use disposable cups and popsicle/wooden sticks or paper straws instead.

"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."