July is National Blueberry Month, and what better way to celebrate than learning how to freeze this nutrient-packed fruit so you can enjoy all the benefits it has to offer year-round.
• Antioxidant-rich: Blueberries rank among the highest foods for antioxidant content per serving. Antioxidants help fight cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related diseases.
• Vitamin C: Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. This vitamin is needed for growth and repair within the body and promotes a healthy immune system.
• Brain health: Studies have shown blueberries improve learning capacity and help heal damaged brain cells.
• Fiber: Blueberries rank as a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber aids in heart health, digestion and lowering cholesterol.
• Low-calorie: One cup of blueberries is only 80 calories!
How to freeze:
• Fresh is best: Use berries from home gardens, buy locally or select from supermarkets for the best quality. Discard bruised berries and freeze unwashed and completely dry.
• An easy freeze: Unlike other fruits, berries will freeze with ease several different ways. Lay berries flat on a tray, or place in freezer containers or resealable freezer bags. If using a tray, transfer to freezer containers once frozen.
• Learn to label: Always label frozen foods with the date processed and content of container. Properly frozen and stored products should be used within one year.
• Enjoy your efforts: Easily remove the portion you need, as you need it; remember to wash before consuming.
FROZEN BLUEBERRY BITES
Frozen yogurt blueberry bites. A refreshing summer treat!
Time: 60 minutes or more
Prep Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 136 kcal
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup vanilla or fruit flavored yogurt or dairy-free alternative
A few toothpicks
Place a berry on a toothpick and dip in yogurt.
Place single-layered on a parchment or wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
Freeze for about an hour (they should freeze fast).
Eat immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer.
-- Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at email@example.com.