Tahlequah Daily Press

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May 28, 2014

Blueberry facts and recipe

TAHLEQUAH — Blueberries are perfect fresh, just savor their juicy flavor.

Penny-size generally, the indigo blue, pumpkin-shaped fruit is sweet or tart, depending on ripeness.

Blueberries are a popular ingredient added to cobblers, salads, dressings, drinks, oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, breads, and desserts like homemade ice cream. Or the refreshing smoothie - a fourth of a cup for  those who measure and a handful for the rest- of blueberries, one frozen banana, four cups of water or milk, a dash of cinnamon and honey to taste, add ice for desired thickness. Add any other fruits and vegetables that are on hand or sound like a good blend.

Blueberries are only 80 calories per cup, a fact available at the online site http://www.blueberrycouncil.org/health-benefits-of-blueberries/blueberry-nutrition, along with the health benefits like being a source of manganese and Vitamin C and phytonutrients known as polyphenols which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that lesson the inflammatory process related to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The blueberry website also has an excellent collection of recipes, activities for kids, chef and school recipes, a blog, history, tips for planting to cooking and other facts.

One of the site's recipes is for Blueberry Maple Bake:

Ingredients:

1 loaf/14 oz. - egg challah or other white bread    

4 oz. - reduced-fat cream cheese    

2 C. - fresh or frozen blueberries, divided    

8  - eggs, beaten    

1/4 C Milk    

Maple syrup    

Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-x-9-2-inch baking dish. Remove crusts from bread, cut in 1-inch cubes, and cut cream cheese in small cubes.  Place half of the bread cubes in the dish, scatter cream cheese cubes and 1 cup of blueberries over the bread. Top with remaining bread cubes and blueberries. In a bowl combine eggs, milk, maple syrup and butter, then carefully pour over bread mixture. Cover with aluminum foil if edges brown too much. Bake about 1 hour - until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. To serve, cut in squares. Accompany with additional maple syrup, if desired.

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