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Fresh Blueberry Recipes to Make All Summer Long

Fun and nutritious blueberry recipes that are perfect for any summer occasion. From breakfast to snacks and healthier desserts that just scream summer, there are so many ways to use blueberries all season long!

To me, summer is synonymous with blueberries! They’re bursting with juicy flavor this time of year and are definitely my favorite berry to use in sweet and savory summer recipes. My parents and I would always drive to Michigan when I was a kid to go blueberry picking every July. We’d come home with tons of blueberries and always baked a batch of blueberry muffins right away!

Most of these recipes use fresh and or frozen blueberries (frozen are just as nutritious!) and one uses dried blueberries.

Blueberry Nutrition

I always have blueberries in my fridge or freezer because they’re fun, versatile and nutritious. One serving, or a cup of blueberries contains essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and phytonutrients called polyphenols.

They’re also a good source of fiber and vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps the immune system work properly and helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. And most of us are not getting enough fiber, so adding more blueberries to your diet is a fun and easy way to do so.

How to Freeze Fresh Blueberries

If you’re planning to go blueberry picking this summer, and come home with a surplus of blueberries, it might be a good idea to freeze some and it’s really easy to do. Add about 1 1/2 cups blueberries to a reusable bag or a gallon-sized plastic blag, squeezing all of the air out so that it’s completely flat. Try not to overfill the bag with blueberries.

When you’re ready to use, simply pull a bag of your freezer and let thaw or use frozen. Partially thawed blueberries are great for smoothies, and on top of oatmeal and yogurt bowls.

Tips for Baking With Blueberries

When you’re making something like blueberry muffins or a blueberry quick bread it’s best to toss the blueberries in about 1-2 tbsp of flour to ensure they don’t sink to the bottom of your baked good. This will not impact the baked good negatively.

 how-to-make-blueberry-brioche-french-toast-

Breakfast & Brunch

best-pumpkin-blueberry-muffins

Muffins and Bread

how to build a balanced charcuterie board
frozen-blueberry-chocolate-nut-clusters

Apps & Snacks

blueberry-peach-burrata-salad-with-farro-and-arugula

Salads & Mains

no bake mini blueberry cheesecake

Desserts

If you make any of these blueberry recipes, I’d love to see it on Instagram! Tag @onceuponapumpkin and as always I appreciate your support! XOXO

Appetizers

Balanced Blueberry Charcuterie Board for the Holiday Season

Add color and nutrition to your charcuterie boards this holiday season with these diabetes friendly pairings featuring blueberries.

blueberry charcuterie board

Charcuterie board season is in full swing as the holidays approach. It’s truly not a get together without a snack board on the island for people to gather around and munch on! It’s no surprise that in recent years these boards have exploded in popularity because they’re super fun to make, beautiful to look at and the possibilities for building them is endless. 

November is American Diabetes Month and I’m excited to partner with the U.S Highbush Blueberry Council to chat about why blueberries should be a part of your holiday boards this season and your diet year-round. 

During this festive time of year, I challenge you to create not just a charcuterie board, but a balanced charcuterie board that contains a variety of fruit, like blueberries, sources of protein, healthy fat and fun finger foods you enjoy most. 

Blueberries are a fridge staple for me and an ingredient I recommend everyone has on hand because they’re versatile and easy to incorporate into your diet in different ways, especially if you have diabetes. From simply grabbing a handful, to adding them to smoothies, salads, or on top of oatmeal, there’s no wrong way to enjoy a boost of blue. Fresh or frozen, you can’t go wrong! 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34.2 million Americans (10.5% of the U.S. population) have diabetes and 88 million people aged 18+ years have prediabetes.1

Approximately 90-95% of those with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body’s cells do not respond to insulin, the hormone produced in the pancreas which helps blood sugar enter the cells. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing in the U.S. population. As a result of aging, risk factors such as physical inactivity and a high prevalence of overweight and obesity, increase.2

how to build a balanced charcuterie board

Blueberries & Diabetes Management 

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) notes that fruit can fit into a diabetes friendly meal plan, help to satisfy a sweet tooth and provide extra nutrition. Blueberries are just that – a great way to add natural sweetness to your favorite foods! Not only can they help satisfy your sweet tooth, but they provide the added benefit of essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin K.3 In fact, including blueberries in your diet may offer health benefits and help manage diabetes.

Scientific evidence supports the role blueberries play in diabetes management, from helping to improve metabolic syndrome risk factors like cholesterol and blood pressure to helping to modestly lower hemoglobin A1C (average blood sugar level over three months) as a good source of fiber. Importantly, the science to date suggests dietary changes are an effective and low-cost way to improve blood sugar levels, manage weight, and reduce cardiovascular risk factors for people with diabetes.4-6

what to put on a charcuterie board

Balanced Pairings with Blueberries

One serving or a cup of blueberries is considered a serving of fruit, and contributes essential nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and phytonutrients called polyphenols to your diet. They also contain anthocyanins, which are compounds that give blueberries their blue color.

Pairing blueberries with a source of healthy fat and/or protein is the formula for a satisfying snack and ensures that your blood sugar stays balanced. Here are a couple ideas for blueberry combos this holiday season — whether on a charcuterie board or a fun snack plate! 

  • Blueberries & Cheese – Blueberries go wonderfully with brie, goat cheese, and gouda. Enjoy them on a cracker or make blueberry ricotta bruschetta. 
  • Blueberries & Nuts — The healthy fat found in nuts make them especially great to pair with a handful of blueberries to help support balanced blood sugar. 
  • Blueberries & Olives — If sweet and salty is your thing,  blueberries paired with olives will be your new go-to. Olives contain healthy monounsaturated fats that, when combined with blueberries, may help keep blood sugar in check. 
  • Blueberries & Lean Meats — Think sliced turkey or chicken breast for a filling combination of protein and fiber from blueberries. You could even mash them up (whether fresh or frozen) and use as a dipping sauce!

Dried blueberries also make a great addition to a charcuterie board – just another way to grab a boost of blue! 

More Blueberry Recipes You’re Sure to Love

References

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020.
  2. U.S Department of Health and Human Services & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017

  1. American Diabetes Association. 2021. What Superstar foods are good for diabetes?
  2. Stote K, et al. Effect of Blueberry Consumption on Cardiometabolic Heath Parameters in Men with Type 2 Diabetes: An 8-Week, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Curr Dev. Nutr. 2020;4(4): nzaa030. Funded by USHBC.
  3. Carvalho MF, Lucca ABA, Ribeiro e Silva VR, Macedo LRD, Silva M. Blueberry intervention improves metabolic syndrome risk factors: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Res. 2021;91. Doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2021.04.006
  4. Early K, Stanley K. Position of the academy of nutrition and dietetics: the role of medical nutrition therapy and registered dietitian nutritionists in the prevention and treatment of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018;118(2):343-353. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2017.11.021
Nutritious Treats

Frozen Blueberry Chocolate Nut Clusters

Frozen blueberry chocolate nut clusters are a no-bake treat made with fresh blueberries, walnuts, almonds, cashews, chocolate, coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds. Fun to make, nutritious, and a great treat for warm weather! 

Frozen Blueberry Chocolate Nut Clusters

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month , and I’m excited to partner with the U.S Highbush Blueberry Council to create this perfect summer recipe. Plus, I’ll be sharing more information on blueberries and brain health.
I always have a carton of blueberries in my fridge or a bag in my freezer because they’re so versatile, nutritious, and not to mention, easy to reach for and snack on! Both fresh and frozen blueberries contain beneficial vitamins and minerals.

What’s cool about these no bake blueberry nut clusters is that they satisfy your cravings for something sweet, salty, and crunchy all in one! Easy to make and the perfect thing to reach for when you’re trying to beat the summer heat.

Blueberry Nutrition

One serving, or a cup of blueberries contributes essential nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and phytonutrients called polyphenols.

Good source of vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps the immune system work properly and helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Good source of dietary fiber: Blueberries contain 3.6 grams of fiber per serving. Fiber aids in digestion and makes you feel fuller faster. Most of us are not getting enough fiber, so adding more blueberries to you diet in fun ways is an easy way to boost your fiber intake, too.

no bake blueberry nut clusters

Blueberries & Brain Health

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month and while it’s great to eat blueberries year-round for their health benefits, this month is the perfect time to emphasize adding them to your breakfast, snacks, and meals in a variety of different ways.

We continue to learn so much about the health benefits of blueberries, and a growing body of scientific evidence is currently examining how blueberries can be a part of eating patterns to support brain health, especially as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.1-4

I know, we as millennials, don’t often think about our brain health, but it is important to think about it not only in terms of setting a solid foundation for our own health, but the health of our older relatives, friends, and parents. Diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia are common in adults 65 and older and the risk increases with age. Sharing a blueberry treat with those older and wiser than us or simply encouraging them to add blueberries to their grocery list is a no brainer, and something I plan to do with my parents!

This treat packs double the goodness with the help of blueberries and walnuts.

Ingredients for Frozen Blueberry Chocolate Nut Clusters

  • Fresh blueberries both fresh and frozen blueberries contain beneficial vitamins and minerals.
  • Walnuts – research suggests that walnut consumption may be associated with cognitive function. And, substantial research supports the inclusion of walnuts in healthy eating patterns that support cardiovascular health. In fact, supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces per day of walnuts, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet and not resulting in increased caloric intake, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Dark chocolate / milk chocolate / white chocolate chipschoose dairy-free chocolate to keep this recipe dairy free, if desired.
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • Pumpkin seeds pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium, fiber and plant-based protein.
  • Sea salt
frozen blueberry nut clusters

How to Make Blueberry Nut Freezer Clusters

Making no-bake blueberry nut clusters is super easy. Simply combine fresh blueberries with your nuts of choice in a bowl and gently mix together until combined. I suggest walnuts, almonds and cashews but you can use whichever you have on hand.

Line a plate that will fit into your freezer with parchment paper and scoop a cluster of a few blueberries and a couple of nuts on to the parchment paper. Smoosh it together so that everything is touching or slightly on top of each other.

Melt the chocolate of your choice in a microwave safe bowl. I recommend melting in increments of 20 seconds, mixing after each time. Use a fork to drizzle the chocolate on top of the blueberry nut cluster making sure to cover each berry and nut so that everything sticks together.

While the chocolate is still melted on top of the cluster, sprinkle shredded coconut flakes and add a couple of pumpkin seeds, along with a pinch of salt. Place clusters in the freezer for at least two hours or overnight to harden

When you’re ready to enjoy, simply pull a cluster out of the freezer and eat! Store clusters in a covered container or bag in the freezer for up to three months.

Easy Ways to Add a Boost of Blue to your Day

  • Add blueberries to your breakfast: Think smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes or on top of toast.
  • Snack on a handful of blueberries: Make your own trail mix with dried blueberries, nuts and chocolate chips
  • Bake with blueberries: Whip up a batch of pumpkin blueberry muffins to share with a friend.
frozen-blueberry-chocolate-nut-clusters

Blueberry Chocolate Frozen Nut Clusters

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup cashews
  • ½ cup dark milk or white chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds pepitas
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • Line a plate (or something that fits into your freezer) with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl combine blueberries, almonds, walnuts, and cashews. Gently mix together to combine and scoop out about a 2 tbsp. sized cluster of berries and nuts on the parchment paper. Make sure each blueberry and nut is touching the other so that the cluster stays together once frozen.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate. Heat in increments of 20 seconds and stir between each time period until melted.
  • Use a fork to drizzle the melted chocolate over the entire cluster and sprinkle with shredded coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and a pinch of salt.
  • Repeat with remaining blueberries and nuts. Freeze for at least two hours.
  • Store covered in the freezer for up to three months.
Keyword blueberry nut clusters

More blueberry recipes you’re sure to love!

References

1Travica N, D’Cunha NM, Naumovski N, Kent K, Mellor DD, Firth J, Georgousopoulou EN, Dean OM, Loughman A, Jacka F, Marx W. The effect of blueberry interventions on cognitive performance and mood: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Brain Behav Immun. 2020; 85:96-105. 

2Bowtell JL, Aboo-Bakkar Z, Conway ME, Adlam AR, Fulford J. Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2017; 42(7):773-779. 

3Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA, Kalt W, Vinqvist-Tymchuk MR, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. J Agric Food Chem. 2010, 58:3996-4000. 

4Wilhelmina Kalt, Aedin Cassidy, Luke R Howard, Robert Krikorian, April J Stull, Francois Tremblay, Raul Zamora-Ros, Recent Research on the Health Benefits of Blueberries and Their Anthocyanins, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2020, Pages 224–236

5Poulose SM, Miller MG, Shukitt-Hale B. Role of walnuts in maintaining brain health with age. J Nutr. 2014 Apr;144(4 Suppl):561S-566S.

6U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2004, March 9). Qualified Health Claims: Letter of Enforcement Discretion – Walnuts and Coronary Heart Disease (Docket No 02P-0292). http://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20171114183725/https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm072910.htm 

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blueberry chocolate frozen nut clusters
Appetizers

Blueberry Ricotta Bruschetta

Blueberry ricotta bruschetta is the perfect simple, yet fancy appetizer for any occasion! Made with on french bread with blueberries, ricotta, honey, and lemon zest, each bite is delicious!

When it comes to appetizers, I love making something that looks a little fancy but it actually super simple to make like this blueberry ricotta bruschetta! They come together quickly and would be the perfect addition to your Christmas or New Years Eve line up.

Honey and lemon zest perfectly complement the flavors of blueberry and ricotta and I love that they’re bite sized!

Blueberries are a fridge and freezer staple of mine. I always have them on hand for snacking, adding to things like smoothie and oatmeal or using in a main dish or appetizer like this one! If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I love to add more nutrition to baked goods and meals and snacks in a variety of ways that is fun and easy. Blueberries definitely help me do just that!

Blueberries are a good source of 4 essential nutrients — fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese, plus phytonutrients called polyphenols. Frozen contains just as much nutrition as fresh!

blueberry ricotta bruschetta

blueberry ricotta bruschetta ingredients

here’s everything you’ll need to make this simple appetizer!

  • a french or Italian baguette
  • fresh blueberries
  • whole-milk or part-skim ricotta cheese – whole-milk ricotta will give you a smoother texture as seen in the pictures!
  • maple syrup
  • honey
  • lemon
blueberry-ricotta-bruschetta

Blueberry Ricotta Bruschetta

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Blueberry ricotta bruschetta makes for a simple and delicious holiday appetizer! Made with just a few simple ingredients, you’ll love how easy they are to make! 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings 18 – 20 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 French bread baguette
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup whole milk or part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • zest of a lemon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven 300 degrees F. Slice the bread, drizzle slices with a little olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until lightly toasted. 
  • While the bread is baking, add the blueberries and maple syrup to a small saucepan over medium to low heat. Stir occasionally as blueberries begin to bubble and you start to see juices. No need to mash any of the blueberries while cooking because you want them to stay intact. Remove from heat.
  • Use a small spatula to spread ricotta on the toasted bread. Spoon 3-4 blueberries on top of each.
  • Drizzle honey and sprinkle lemon zest over the top of all of the bruschetta bites and enjoy! 
Keyword Blueberry Ricotta Bruschetta

more blueberry recipes you’re sure to love

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blueberry ricotta appetizer bites

Nutritious Treats

Blueberry Shortbread Bars

These blueberry shortbread bars are a delicious paleo treat, and the perfect way to use up big, juicy, blueberries in the summer!

This post is sponsored by the US Highbush Blueberry Council. All opinions are my own and as always, I appreciate your support!

low sugar blueberry shortbread bars

When I think of blueberries, I’m taken back to hot summer days spent in between bushes twice the size of my 9-year-old self and my parents packing up the van with essentials for a day spent at our favorite blueberry farm in Michigan.

No matter how hot it was, we picked and ate blueberries right off the branches all day long, enough to make sure we would have our freezer stocked all winter long. My mom also uses the summer bounty to make pierogi (Polish dumplings typically filled with sauerkraut or cheese and potato) that are truly one of a kind and such a hit at Christmas time. When I start to see the first big juicy and fresh blueberries appear of the season, I’m taken back to these fun family moments and immediately put more blueberries than I know what to do with in my grocery cart!

Plopped into pumpkin pancakes (trust me, it’s awesome!), on top of my yogurt, or simply by the handful, you can’t go wrong no matter which way you add more fresh (or frozen!) blueberries to your diet. These blueberry shortbread bars included! 

blueberry shortbread bars

 Did you know these little blue gems of nutrition are a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C and fiber?! No matter fresh or frozen, one serving (a handful or a cup) is 80 calories and contains vitamin C, fiber, manganese and vitamin K.  

In my opinion they are one of the most versatile fruits out there and I love getting creative with them in the kitchen in seasonal recipes. I recently threw together this summer fruit pizza combination of figs and blueberries on a flatbread with a drizzle of balsamic on top, which was absolutely delicious! Another way I like using blueberries is by putting them into a kale smoothie. It may sound like an odd combination but trust me when I say the blueberries perfectly mask the taste of kale and the best part is you’re getting more vitamin C per sip!

Chances are there’s a blueberry recipe from your childhood whether that’s your grandmother’s warm blueberry cobbler, or a blueberry pie that’s always at your family parties. For me, that’s my mother’s blueberry cake which is a recipe adopted from one that her mother used to make for her. This year I created my very own rendition of her cake in this recipe for gluten-free blueberry shortbread bars. Not only are they simple to make, but the fresh, juicy blueberries complement the cookie crust in a way that will keep you coming back for more!

Plus, it’s a treat that you can feel good about knowing you’re getting extra nutrition from the little blue dynamos! Blueberries get their blue color from anthocyanins, which are part of a group of phytonutrients called polyphenols, and these bars are sure to stand out if you bring them to a late summer get together! They are only sweetened with maple syrup and the natural sweetness of the blueberries and made with almond flour and coconut oil. Make sure you get your hands on a package (or two) of blueberries while they are in season to bake them up like this of enjoy by the handful!

healthy blueberry bars

If you like these bars, I know you will love this recipe for gluten free pumpkin chickpea blondies and this recipe for blueberry lemon oatmeal cups!

paleo blueberry shortbread bars

Blueberry Shortbread Bars

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Enjoy the taste of delicious summer blueberries with these easy to make paleo blueberry shortbread bars!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 28 mins
Servings 12 squares

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • couple pinches of sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cup blueberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt in a large bowl.
  • Put about ⅔ of the crumble into a square baking pan lined with parchment paper and press it into the corners to make an even layer.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes until the edges begin to get golden brown.
  • Add the blueberries to a saucepan on low heat. Use a spoon to break some apart. Gently heat, leaving some berries still in tact. 
  • Spread blueberries on top of the baked bottom layer.
  • Crumble the remaining crumble on top of the blueberries
  • Bake for another 14 minutes until the top crumbles are golden brown.
  • Allow the bars to come to room temperature before cutting into small squares! Enjoy!

XOXO

MAGGIE 

Pin these paleo blueberry shortbread bars!

blueberry shortbread bars