Chasing the Winter Blues

          Even the dreariest of winter days can get a shot of blue skies and sunshine when you enjoy fresh fruit. Now through early spring, fresh blueberries of the highest quality arrive from South America every day, bringing the colors and flavors of summer to North American homes.
          At this time of year, blueberries are packaged in 4.4-ounce containers, giving you one whole cup of blueberries to enjoy. How can you maximize those fresh blueberries when you get them home?
          Blueberry Polenta Cake (pictured) is a splendid baked dessert for family or guests. You’ll love the flavors of fresh blueberries baked in a sweet, lemon-scented cornmeal batter. The cake is dense and moist, so even a small slice delivers a big finish to a meal! And it keeps, well wrapped, for up to a week. If you like, stir up warm Blueberry Compote to serve with the cake. The compote is also a tasty topper for ice cream or custard.
          When you’re in a hurry, try Blueberry Ricotta Parfaits for a dessert that tastes sinful but has only 229 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving. And you get the bonus of half a cup of fruit in each serving! They’re great for dessert or you can make these tasty parfaits in the morning for the kids to enjoy after school.

          Fresh blueberries bring a ray of warmth to breakfast or brunch – especially in winter! Take a big, fragrant Blueberry-Filled Dutch Pancake out of the oven to please kids and adults alike. The pancake ingredients are whirled in a blender then baked in the oven and covered with a juicy fresh blueberry sauce. One pancake serves six – and it’s easy!
Blueberries are renowned not only for their flavor but for their impact on health. The USDA recommends adults enjoy two cups of fruit a day – all year round. Fresh blueberries can help you fulfill that recommendation. A half-cup of blueberries has just 40 calories and contributes to our daily intake of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Also, scientific studies show that blueberries contain antioxidants that may be beneficial to good health. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals, which are linked to the development of a number of diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
For a wealth of information and more recipes visit www.blueberry.org.