Summer party and barbeque season is going strong, and there’s no better way to enjoy the bounty of summer than by preparing fast-but-healthy dishes made with Nature’s Candy, blueberries.
Blueberry Yogurt Ice Pops
Yields 6 – 8 popsicles
1½ cups (225 g)B.C. blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup (240 ml) Greek yogurt or full fat yogurt
¾ cup (175 ml) pineapple juice
3 Tbsp (45 ml) maple syrup
Mix all the ingredients in a blender on high speed until smooth. Pour into popsicle moulds and freeze.
Blueberry, Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad
Yields 4 servings as side dish
1 Tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
1 Tbsp (15 ml) lime juice, freshly squeezed
¼ tsp (1.25 ml) fresh ground pepper
⅛ tsp (0.5 ml) salt
1 cup (150 g) B.C. blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup (150 g) watermelon, diced
1 cup (125 g) cucumber, seeds removed and sliced
½ cup (75 g) feta cheese, diced or crumbled
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh mint, finely chopped
In a large bowl whisk together the oil, lime juice, pepper and salt. Add the salad ingredients to the vinaigrette, toss and serve chilled.
Iced Blueberry Green Tea
Yields 4 cups
2 cups (300 g) B.C blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided
¼ cup (60 ml) honey
3 bags (10 g) green tea bags or loose leaf tea
In a saucepan bring 3 cups of water, 1½ cups of blueberries and the honey to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add the tea bags and steep for 6 – 7 minutes. Strain through a sieve and add 1 cup of cold water. Serve on ice with remaining blueberries as garnish. For a cocktail version, add vodka or amaretto to taste.
British Columbia’s 800 blueberry farmers started hand-picking the first berries of the season in spring. Available at supermarkets, produce stores and farmers’ markets, B.C. blueberries can also be hand-picked by consumers at the many “u-pick” farms throughout BC. Lists of blueberry farms offering both “u-pick” options and farm gate sales are included on B.C. Blueberry Council’s website.
The best way to enjoy B.C. blueberries is by the handful but for those who are handy in the kitchen, the BCblueberry.com website has more than 100 recipes with creative and healthy ideas on how to use the berries – from nutritious breakfasts and traditional baking, through to salads, cocktails and ideas for the grill. Finish dinner with a decadent slice of Blueberry Lemon Pudding Pie, or let the kids devour healthy Blueberry Yogurt Ice Pops (recipe below).
B.C. blueberry fans can keep informed about local restaurants, cafes and bakeries featuring baby blues on their summer menus via the BC Blueberries Facebook page. The page is also great resource for swapping recipes and photos, and learning about featured chefs’ favourites, fun facts and other news.
Photos: BC Blueberry Council, Tracey Kusiewicz.