Cary, NC – It’s blueberry season in Cary and across the North Carolina Piedmont. Here are a few unique recipes to enjoy the bounty including Blueberry Breakfast Bake, Blueberry-Peach Iced Tea and Lemon Cream with Blueberries.
Blueberries: The Amazing Fruit
There is more to dig about blueberries than just their amazing flavor. Each year researchers learn more about the many health benefits and healing potential of this beautiful blue fruit.
The antioxidants found in blueberries keep your mind fresh, which can help with age related diseases and also improve your memory. According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, blueberries’ antioxidants improve brain cell communication for better memory and coordination.
Only 80 fat-free calories per cup, blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. They also help protect against cancer, heart disease and other age-related diseases.
Recipes from Elizabeth Taylor, marketing manager at Whole Foods in Cary.
Blueberry Breakfast Bake
1 (12-ounce) day-old baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pint blueberries, divided
12 ounces of cream cheese or (we use Neufchâtel cheese, softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup milk
Maple syrup (optional)
- Place half of the bread cubes in a greased 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with blueberries, reserving a few for garnish.
- In a mixing bowl, beat cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Gradually add milk until blended.
- Pour half over bread. Top with remaining bread, then remaining cheese mixture.
- Cover and chill overnight or up to 24 hours.
- Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350ºF about 30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake about 25 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with reserved blueberries. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve with maple syrup, if desired.
Recipe: Blueberry-Peach Iced Tea
8 tea bags ( we like Allegro® Organic Rooibos Vibrations)
2 peaches or nectarines, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries (or sliced strawberries)
3 tablespoons light agave nectar
- Put 6 cups water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add tea bags, cover and steep 6 to 7 minutes; discard tea bags.
- Meanwhile, purée half of the peaches and blueberries with agave nectar in a food processor or blender until smooth; transfer to a large pitcher with remaining fruit. (Alternately, muddle fruit in pitcher with a wooden spoon.)
- Add 3 cups ice cubes to pot with hot tea and stir until melted; pour tea into pitcher with fruit. Serve immediately over ice, or chill until ready to serve.
Recipe: Lemon Cream with Blueberries
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, divided
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 (12-ounce) package silken tofu, drained
2 cups fresh blueberries
- Combine 1 tablespoon lemon zest, lemon juice, dates, vanilla, cardamom and tofu in a blender. Puree ingredients until smooth.
- Divide lemon cream evenly among four bowls, ramekins or serving glasses.
- Garnish each portion with blueberries and reserved lemon zest. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
Organic Blueberries $1.99/Pint This Friday
This Friday, June 17th, pints of organic blueberries are only $1.99 at Whole Foods in Cary.