I'm a huge fan of berries, especially blueberries! Did you know blueberries are known as the KING of antioxidants as they have the highest antioxidant levels than all common fruits? Not only delicious, blueberries are extremely nutritious and loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. Naturally sweet and tart, Washington blueberries are a superfood which is grown abundantly in Washington State, U.S. Owing to its ideal growing conditions, the United States produces more blueberries than any country in the world, and Washington is the largest blueberry producing state in the U.S.
While Washington fresh blueberries are only in season during summer months, you can get Washington frozen blueberries all year-round. Stock them up in the fridge and thaw them whenever you feel like eating, snacking or serving them in your dishes.
Whether fresh or frozen, they're so tasty and pack a nutritional punch! In fact, frozen blueberries deliver a higher dose of antioxidant if eaten within 3 months of freezing. A research in South Dakota State University show that freezing blueberries makes their powerful antioxidants more available to the human body. This is due to the fact that anthocyanins, the antioxidant compounds that make blueberries blue are found in the skin of the berry. When frozen, tiny ice crystals disrupt the structure of the cells which in turn makes it easier for our system to access the anthocyanins contained within the skins.
Dietitian, Ms Indra Balaratnam also shared that one cupful of Washington blueberries has 80 calories per serving. They are low in fat and sodium. Washington blueberries have phytonutrients called polyphenols. This group includes anthocyanins which are compounds that give blueberries their blue colour. The Malaysian Ministry of Health recommends that you include all the various colours of fruit of veggies to get the most of their phytonutrients. Blueberries are perfect choice to get your blue purple colour choice in your diet. Washington blueberries are a good source of Vitamin C and are high in manganese. Vitamin C is necessary for growth and development of tissues and promotes wound healing. Meanwhile, manganese helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein.
Blueberries are also a good source of dietary fiber with 1 cup of blueberries providing 3.6 grams of fiber. Dietary fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease and adds bulk to your diet which may help you feel full faster. The Malaysian Ministry of Health recommends "Suku Suku Separuh" as a guide when you are fixing yourself a plate of food. Fill at least half of your plate with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, 1/4 with a grain and 1/4 of your plate with a lean protein.
You can find Washington blueberries fresh, frozen or dried in the supermarkets. Washington frozen blueberries are a great way to get blueberries here in Malaysia, even when they aren't in season. The nutritional quality of the blueberry is well preserved even when frozen.
Some quick and easy way to include the goodness of Washington blueberries into your meals include :
- Adding them to your cereal, oats or smoothies or salads
- Incorporate them into your baking such as breads, muffins, pancakes, etc.
- Combine blueberry and minced meats for delish burger patties/meatballs
- Grab a handful of fresh Washington blueberries for a quick snack
- Add them into your homemade sauces. They go well with lean meats, mashed potatoes or as a dip (much better than bottle condiments/ketchup that are high in sodium and low in nutrients)
- Sprinkle a handul over chilled Greek or frozen yogurt for a delightful healthy dessert treat
Here are two delish snack recipes shared by Ms Indra Balaratnam.
Washington Blueberry Rehydrator (serves 1 person)
1/2 cup of frozen Washington blueberries
250ml coconut water
1 small frozen banana or 1/2 large frozen banana
- Place all the ingredients into a smoothie blender.
- Blend till smooth.
- Serve chilled.
Nutrient analysis (per serving) :
Total fat 1g
Saturated fat 0g
Dietary fiber 7g
Vitamin C 20mg
Vitamin A 92IU
Washington Blueberries Wholewheat Waffles (6 standard-size rectangular waffles)
1 cup of frozen Washington blueberries
1 1/2 cups atta flour (whole wheat flour)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
340ml low fat milk
2 eggs (beaten well)
3 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
2 tablespoons ground almonds
- Put the beaten eggs, low fat milk and vegetable oil into a large bowl and mix well.
- In another bowl, mix the atta flour, baking powder and salt.
- Fold the atta flour mixture into the egg mixture until well combined into a smooth batter.
- Mix in the ground almond.
- Gently stir in 1 cup of frozen blueberries. (Tip : Do not over stir the blueberries into the batter otherwise the blueberries will mash up)
- Follow the hearing instructions on your waffle maker.
- Pour enough batter into the pre-heated waffle iron to cook till golden brown.
Nutrient analysis (per rectangular waffle) :
Total fat 11g
Saturated fat 2g
Dietary fiber 4g
Vitamin C 1mg
Vitamin A 200IU
Incredibly healthy and nutritious, blueberries can help boost your heart health, brain function, bone strength, blood pressure and many other aspects of your body. Wait no more! Be sure to stock up on these delicious Washington blueberries, perfect for the whole family.
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