Feeling a little sluggish today after a whopping Cinco de Mayo celebration? If you went overboard yesterday, don't fret! Like I always say, every meal is a Monday morning – a new and unique opportunity to eat well. Use today to get back on track by incorporating blueberries in your meals. This refreshing fruit is one of my favorites, and I'm not alone.
Alison Sweeney, who you may know from "The Biggest Loser," is a fan of blueberries, too. In fact, she's the spokesperson for the The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. I spoke with Alison recently and learned that she tops her oatmeal with blueberries each morning to snag energy for her busy days. And she uses blueberries in her home-cooked dinners, too – in turkey burgers! If you're as intrigued by this burger as I was, check out the recipe below.
This versatile little fruit can be a sweet kick in a green salad, an easy on-the-go snack or the perfect addition to your oats, smoothies and yogurt. Blueberries are super nutritious, too, with loads of fiber and antioxidants. Plus, they're lower in sugar than most fruits, so don't hold back if you need to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Here are three ways to enjoy blueberries:
Blueberry Quinoa Salad (Serves 6)
This refreshing salad is the perfect appetizer or side dish in the spring and summer months.
● 1 cup cooked quinoa
● 1 1/2 cups blueberries
● 1 1/2 cups strawberries
● 6 cups spinach
● 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
● Freshly squeezed lime juice from 1-2 limes
● Cracked pepper to taste
Drizzle cooked quinoa with olive oil and lime juice, toss with fork to separate grains and season with pepper to your liking. Add blueberries and strawberries to quinoa, and toss lightly.
Serve quinoa mixture on top of spinach.
Blueberry Facial Mask
We know blueberries are a nutritious component of a healthy, balanced diet. But blueberries can be a part of your beauty regimen, too. This mask is great for all skin types and can be made in your own kitchen. Here's how:
2 teaspoons fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons Greek plain yogurt
2 teaspoons oats
freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a blender until creamy and smooth. Apply the mask with clean hands, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water, and pat your face dry.
The antioxidants in the blueberries help keep your face wrinkle free; the yogurt gently exfoliates and stimulates collagen to help firm your skin; and the oats give a natural glow and softness
Blueberry Turkey Burgers with Blueberry Ketchup (Serves 4)
This recipe is courtesy of the Blueberry Council. You can check out morehere.
● 1 pound ground turkey
● 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
● 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
● 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass* (optional)
● 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
● 2 tablespoons soy sauce
● 4 poppy seed hamburger buns
● Lettuce and sliced red onion (optional)
● Blueberry Ketchup (recipe follows)
* Peel away woody outer layer from the bottom portion of the lemongrass stalk; mince inner flesh.
In a large bowl, combine turkey, blueberries, ginger, lemongrass and black pepper; mix well. Form mixture into four patties, and brush soy sauce on both sides.
In an oiled skillet over medium-high heat, grill patties until cooked thoroughly – about four minutes each side.
Serve on buns with lettuce, sliced red onion and blueberry ketchup.
For the blueberry ketchup:
● 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
● 1/2 cup minced onion
● 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
● 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
● 1/2 teaspoon salt
● 1 tablespoon pickled ginger (gari) or minced fresh ginger
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine blueberries, onion, vinegar, sugar, ginger and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Transfer to blender or food processor; Whirl until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.