Happy Blueberry Month!

It’s July, and that means it’s national blueberry month!Blueberry-Free-Photo-I

 

This post is all about the wonderful thing that is the blueberry.  I really hope that you eat these little beauties, because they are packed with nutrition and they are delicious!  Here are a few things that blueberries are good for:

They’re good for your eyes.  Blueberries contain a compound called anthocyanin which gives them their dark blue color.  Anthocyanin is a very powerful antioxidant, which studies suggest may slow down vision loss as well as protect against cataracts, macular degeneration, and other age related eye problems.

They’re good for your brain.  Vitamins A, C, E, and B complex, as well as minerals like zinc, potassium, copper, selenium, and magnesium as well as anthocyanin make blueberries powerful brain boosters.  These nutrients may prevent degeneration of brain cells and possibly even heal damaged neurons and keep your brain healthy and your memory sharp.

They’re good for your heart.  Blueberries are high in fiber, folate, and of course that colorful anthocyanin and all of these things combined keep your arteries in good shape.

They’re good for your skin.  Vitamin C is instrumental for building collagen, which is what keeps your skin smooth, supple, and wrinkle free.  One cup of blueberries has almost 25% of your daily need for this important vitamin, so eat up!

They’re good for your digestive system.  The fiber, vitamins, minerals, and beneficial acids in blueberries help to keep you regular.  In addition, they are from the same family of plants as cranberries and like their tart cousins are helpful in preventing urinary tract infections.

Now for the good stuff….my favorite ways to eat them!

Of course I love to just eat blueberries straight from the bowl.  Unadorned, unadulterated, and uncomplicated….just pop those little nuggets like candy!  But they are so versatile that you can incorporate them into just about any meal, sweet or savory.  Here are a few suggestions:

Include fresh or frozen blueberries in a smoothie with yogurt or milk kefir, cinnamon, and a tiny bit of honey

Add blueberries to a spinach salad with red onion, crisp bacon, and feta cheese

Mix dried blueberries into granola

Combine blueberries with chunks of fresh melon and pineapple with grated lime zest and chopped fresh mint

For something really different, try this recipe for dinner this month.

Pork tenderloin with quick blueberry pan sauce

One pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2 pounds

Unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon

One small shallot, finely diced

One clove garlic, finely diced

Fresh blueberries, one cup

Balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon

Homemade or low sodium canned chicken broth, 1/2 cup

Fresh rosemary, chopped, 2 teaspoons

Salt and pepper to taste

Trim the tough silver membrane from the pork tenderloin and season it lightly with salt and pepper.  Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium high heat and brown the pork well on all sides.  If the tenderloin is too long to fit in the pan simply cut it in half.  Remove the pork to a separate pan and pop it in a 350 degree oven for about ten minutes to finish cooking.  Take the meat out of the oven and let it rest a few minutes.  While the pork is in the oven, add the shallots and garlic to the juices in the saute pan.  Cook them for about a minute till they begin to soften.  Add the blueberries to the pan and cook for another minute.  Now add the balsamic vinegar and the chicken broth.  Crush the berries with a fork and cook the sauce till it thickens; about three more minutes.  Stir in the rosemary. Taste the sauce and add a bit of salt and pepper till it tastes good to you.  Slice the tenderloin about 1/2 an inch thick and serve it with the blueberry sauce.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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