Blueberries are nature’s perfect little superfood and thanks to growers in Chile, these little blue dynamos* are available in grocery stores during the winter.
Fresh blueberries are natural cancer-fighters. Heart-healthy, full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber, blueberries are the perfect go-to fruit to pack great nutrition into every meal. But not everyone understands how to select, store and use fresh blueberries. Here are a few pointers to ensure that every fresh blueberry that finds its way onto a plate, in a bowl or in a snacking handful is perfect.
In the store, look for firm, plump, dry berries with smooth skins with a silvery sheen. The blueberry’s size isn’t important but, rather, its color. Look for a deep purple-blue berry; a reddish hue indicates an unripe berry that’s better for cooking.
Don’t wash blueberries until just before using them. Store fresh blueberries in either the pack they came in or a covered plastic container. Fresh, ripe blueberries will keep up to ten days in the fridge.
Blueberries are easy to freeze. Make sure they’re dry and unwashed; if they look bruised or shriveled, toss them. Freeze the blueberries in their original plastic pack inside a resealable plastic bag, or transfer them to a resealable freezer bag. Wash them just before use.
This simple recipe calls for either fresh or frozen blueberries and tastes just as good as it looks. For more recipe ideas or information about Blueberries from Chile, visit www.fruitsfromchile.com/blueberryrecipes.
Blueberry-Poppyseed Honey Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 ripe well-mashed bananas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly whisked together
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 pint (6 ounces) Chilean blueberries
Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl, mix together the bananas, oil, milk, honey, eggs, and poppy seeds. Combine both bowls together, mixing until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean (about 1 hour and 10 minutes). Let the bread cool in the pan, then remove from the pan and slice.
Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf.
Recipe Courtesy: The Porch Restaurant, Sacramento | Chef Jon Clemens