Welcome back to Eating in Color! We have a really fun theme this week: blue fruits and vegetables. Now, this one is a little tricky, because there is very little in the food world that is naturally blue and not, say, deep purple instead. So we're getting as close as we can, and today that means starting with...
According to the paper Recent Research on the Health Benefits of Blueberries and Their Anthocyanins, "Blueberries contain a large number of phytochemicals, including abundant anthocyanin pigments. [...] Epidemiological studies associate regular, moderate intake of blueberries [...] with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, death, and type 2 diabetes, and with improved weight maintenance and neuroprotection."
That's great news, right?
Blueberries are also great sources of fiber, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. These are key to weight control, a strong immune system, cell division, eye health, proper blood clotting, and bone health.
When you shop for blueberries, you may be surprised at the sheer variety of options. Fresh blueberries are available, along with frozen and dried versions. If you're buying dried blueberries, look for ones that are made without added sugars. Store them in a cool, dry place. Frozen blueberries belong in the freezer, while fresh blueberries should be stored in their containers and washed just before eating. When selecting fresh blueberries, look for ones that are dry, firm, and plump. They should be a dusky blue.
Blueberries are great eaten as a snack or with a dollop for cream for dessert. But that's only the beginning. Check out these other ways you can eat blueberries.
- Blueberry Flax Pancakes
- Blueberries with Vanilla Custard Sauce
- Blueberry Smoothie
- Blueberry Kale Salad
- Blueberry Bread Pudding
Now there actually aren't a lot of other blue fruits, but check back next week when we round up the rest in our final installments about purple fruits and vegetables. In the meantime, catch up on the rest of the Eating in Color series at the links below...
- Red Strawberries
- Red Bell Peppers
- Orange Oranges
- Orange Carrots
- Yellow Bananas
- Yellow Corn
- Green Kiwi
- Green Kale
And of course there are tons of materials to help your clients in the Nutrition Education Store...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.