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Queens Chronicle

Have a Very Berry Picnic

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Posted: Monday, March 10, 2014 1:00 am | Updated: 4:32 am, Tue Mar 11, 2014.

(Family Features) Boasting a wealth of nutritional benefits and a sweet, delectable taste, blueberries are a top choice among fruit eaters. Whether eaten raw or added to batters, smoothies and milkshakes, these tasty little berries add a burst of color and flavor to many dishes or snacks.

“Sweet and tart, blueberries are one of my favorite treats,” said Justin Timineri, Executive Chef and Culinary Ambassador, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “Try visiting a blueberry farm and picking a bucket yourself!”

These recipes show you some of the great ways to enjoy Florida blueberries. For more healthy and delicious recipes, visit http://bit.ly/flblueberries.

Sign-up to receive a FREE copy of the “Kids in the Kitchen” cookbook at: http://bit.ly/flfffkids

Health Benefits

Blueberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants among fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants fight off organisms, like cell damaging free radicals, making them great for your health.

(chef photo caption)

Chef Justin Timineri

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Recipe: Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup minced Florida onion
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups fresh Florida blueberries
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Heat oil in non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, stirring until almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Add ketchup, vinegar, sugar and mustard. Bring ingredients to a simmer. Add blueberries. Continue to simmer over low heat, stirring until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Purée sauce in blender or food processor until smooth. Pass through strainer if smoother consistency is desired. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Keep refrigerated and serve at room temperature.
  4. Kids Can: Help strain sauce after pureed.

4 to 6 servings

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Recipe: Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Preparation:

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Trim chicken breasts of excess fat. Season both sides with salt and pepper and coat lightly with oil. Place on preheated grill. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. When done, remove from grill and let rest before serving. Serve with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce.
  2. Chef's Tip: Always add sauce last. The sugars in BBQ sauce can burn and become bitter if added to food while still on the grill.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Blueberry Cobbler

Recipe: Blueberry Cobbler

Ingredients:

  • For filling:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 cups fresh Florida blueberries, rinsed and dried
  • 1 cup sugar

  • For topping:
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 1/2 cup of milk

Preparation:

  1. To make filling, preheat oven to 375°F. Place butter in 8 x 8-inch square glass baking dish and melt in oven or microwave. In mixing bowl, combine lemon juice and blueberries. Add sugar and mix well. Add blueberry mixture to baking dish with melted butter. Do not stir.
  2. To make topping, combine all topping ingredients in small bowl. Pour mixture over blueberries and bake 45 minutes, or until brown.
  3. Kids Can: Help mix the filling.

6 servings

Blueberry-Lemon Corn Muffins

Recipe: Blueberry-Lemon Corn Muffins

Ingredients:

  • Paper muffin cup liners
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup fresh Florida blueberries, divided

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line six muffin cups with liners.
  2. In large bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Whisk in cornmeal, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest and generous pinch of salt. In separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, milk and yolks. Add to flour mixture with half of blueberries, gently stirring until just combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly among cups. Press remaining blueberries into tops of muffins. Sprinkle tops evenly with remaining sugar. Bake muffins on middle rack for about 15 minutes, or until tops are golden and tester comes out clean. Remove muffins from cups and cool on rack. Muffins keep in airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.
  4. Kids Can: Pour batter into pans and press blueberries into tops of muffins.

6 servings

Blueberry Smoothie

Recipe: Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh Florida blueberries
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 cups vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt
  • 8 ice cubes

Preparation:

  1. Rinse blueberries under cool water. Place blueberries in blender with half of milk. Make sure lid is tight. Blend on high speed until smooth. Add frozen yogurt, remaining milk and ice cubes; continue to blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Pour any leftovers into ice cube tray and freeze for later use.
  2. Kids Can: Help blend smoothies with adult supervision.

2 servings

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