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Easy Meals

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
Easy Meals

Nutrition Benefits of Blueberries & 11 Delicious Blueberry Recipes

Learn more about all the ways you can enjoy blueberries and why they are a great addition to the diet. From baked goods to salads, to popping them in your mouth one-by-one, there’s no wrong way to eat them and all year long! 

I’m proud to partner with the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council for the creation of this blog post and the development of these recipes! 

If you follow me on Instagram then you know this week is blueberry week where I’m celebrating all things blueberries with recipes and information about their nutrition! 

I love them in baked goods and am always pleasantly surprised at how much I like when they’re in more savory things like a salad. They end up adding so much texture and a touch of natural sweetness! 

I’m such a fan of blueberries because they’re an easy addition to the diet in many different, delicious ways —  A handful of blueberries a day packs a punch that is delicious and nutritious! 

One of my fondest memories growing up was when my family would go blueberry picking in the summer. We’d pack up the van for the day, drive over to Michigan and spend the whole day in the rows of high bushes, looking for the juiciest, plumpest ones. It was a game of pick one, eat five and by the end of the day, our buckets and our stomachs were filled. 

The next day my mom would make blueberry muffins or her famous blueberry cake and freeze the rest of the blueberries for us to use later in the year for blueberry pierogi. Don’t even get me started on how good those are at Christmastime! 

Nutrition Benefits of Blueberries

blueberries are a good source of fiber.

Fiber aids in digestion and contributes to feelings of satiety. Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, and some types of cancer (a disease associated with many factors).

Blueberries are a good source of fiber, containing 3.6 grams of fiber per serving (a handful or a cup). And since most of us are not getting enough fiber, adding blueberries to your diet in a variety of ways is one small way we can work to increase our fiber consumption.  

blueberries are a good source of vitamin C.

One serving of blueberries (a handful or a cup) provides 16% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the immune system work properly and is an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also helps the body absorb iron from plant-based foods. The body needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal.

blueberries are rich in vitamins and minerals.

One serving (a handful or a cup) of blueberries contains 80 calories and naturally occurring sugars, and essential nutrients, like vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber and phytonutrients called polyphenols. This group includes anthocyanins (163.3 mg/100 g), which are compounds that give blueberries their beautiful blue color.

how to enjoy blueberries – buy ‘em, eat ‘em and love ‘em 

The really cool thing about blueberries is that there are countless ways to enjoy them! All you really have to do is buy ‘em, eat ‘em, and love ‘em! Blueberries are a convenient food that can be eaten on the go or as part of your favorite sweet and savory dishes! I must also say that they are a great complement to pumpkin treats, like pumpkin blueberry muffins! 

Besides washing, they require zero preparation, which makes them an ideal snack. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about quick and convenient snacks and ways to add more nutrition to your diet.

I also recommend frozen blueberries as a freezer staple because of how cost-effective, versatile and nutritious they are too. Adding a cup or a handful of frozen blueberries to your morning smoothie adds taste, texture and nutrition. 

What are your favorite ways to enjoy blueberries? Check out one of the many blueberry recipes below if you need some inspiration! 

blueberry week recipes

blueberry watermelon feta salad

BLUEBERRY WATERMELON FETA SALAD 

Grab the recipe for this salad here

BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE

Blueberry Pumpkin Seed Crisp

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
This blueberry pumpkin seed crisp is a delicious and fun way to enjoy blueberries! It’s easy to make and lower in sugar than your typical crisp recipe. Blueberries and pumpkin seeds give it extra nutrition!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour substitute quinoa flour for a gluten free version
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar⁣
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp. baking powder⁣
  • 1/4 cup regular butter melted⁣
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. sea salt⁣

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350. Toss the blueberries with the lemon juice, and corn starch or arrow root powder.
  • In another bowl, add the oats, flour, coconut sugar, pumpkin seeds, baking powder, melted butter, lemon zest, and sea salt. Mix together until clumps form. Add spoonfuls on top of the blueberries.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes. Remove, let cool, add ice cream on top if desired and enjoy!

NO BAKE BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKES

 

mini no bake blueberry cheesecakes made gluten and dairy free

Grab this recipe here!

BLUEBERRY CHIA JAM

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and maple syrup to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, just until blueberries begin to burst, about 5 minutes. Use a spoon to lightly mash about half of the berries to release their juices. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until juices are reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove jam from heat; taste and add a bit more maple syrup if you prefer it to be sweeter. Return to a boil, then stir in chia seeds; cook 1 minute for the seeds to soften. Let jam cool slightly, then transfer to heatproof jars or containers. Cover and let cool completely. Chill until ready to use. Jam can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover and chill, or freeze up to 2 months.

BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST PLATE

Making a blueberry breakfast plate is easy! My favorite way is to simply add a handful of blueberries to a plate with 2 scrambled eggs and a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter.

BLUEBERRY SALMON 

salmon with blueberry topping

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 wild-caught salmon filets
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Season the salmon with olive oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds, garlic and salt and pepper.
  3. Add the blueberries to small bowl and mash up slightly. Most of the blueberries should remain in tact.
  4. Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the salmon and bake for 15 minutes. Broil for an addition 2 minutes if desired. This salmon would be delicious on top of a salad or grain bowl or paired with veggies like roasted sweet potatoes or zucchini.

BLUEBERRY PEACH QUINOA SALAD 

blueberry quinoa peach salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 fresh peach, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. crumbled feta
  • 2 tbsp. almonds, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. In the meantime. combine salad ingredients and top with chopped almonds and feta.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy!

BLUEBERRY SHORTBREAD BARS

Grab the recipe for blueberry shortbread bars here

BLUEBERRY PUMPKIN MUFFINS

You can find the recipe for the blueberry pumpkin muffins I posted in my upcoming cookbook, The Great Big Pumpkin Cookbook hitting shelves (and Amazon!) on July 28th! Pre-order a copy today here! 

More blueberry recipes you are sure to love: