Each year, Swiss company Firmenich, which develops flavors and fragrances for brands worldwide, declares a flavor of the year. For 2020, the company chose Classic Blueberry as the planet’s top food and beverage flavor. Why? Because of its “long-standing association with well-being and its role in helping usher in a new wave of food and beverage options for consumers around the world,” its website explains.
Abundant research affirms blueberries’ health benefits. For example, “Blue Versus Gray,” a 2019 collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology, shows that blueberries can slow or prevent cognitive decline. Also, a 2019 research review in Advances in Nutrition concluded that phytochemicals in this nutrient-packed superfood—especially anthocyanins—help your body fight inflammation and oxidation and improve your gut microflora, all of which fends off cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, degenerative diseases and more.
You likely already use blueberries in pancakes, baked goods and smoothies—and on top of yogurt or cereal—but read on for more ways to use blueberries in your cooking.
Sprinkle atop salad.
Place blueberries over greens, along with toppings such as cucumbers, diced apples or sliced strawberries, feta or goat cheese, pecans or walnuts, and red onion. Tip: Try some of these same toppings on a savory pizza.
Puree in dressing.
Combine 1 cup fresh blueberries, ¼ cup chopped basil, ¼ cup olive or avocado oil, 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, salt and ground pepper to taste, in a food processor until well-blended.
Cook in savory sauce.
Dice 2 shallots, and sauté in olive oil. Add 1 cup red wine and ½ cup water; simmer for two minutes. Add 1 cup blueberries. When skins begin to burst, stir in zest and juice of 1 lemon. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, and serve atop salmon, pork or chicken.
Freeze in ice.
Place two or three berries in each section of an ice-cube tray. Fill cubes with water or lemonade. Freeze; then use to chill drinks.
Mix into grains.
If you make a quinoa or brown-rice bowl or salad, stir in a handful of blueberries.
Add to salsa.
Mix blueberries with ingredients such as onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lemon or lime juice, corn, strawberries, or salt and pepper for a sweet-spicy salsa.
Just the Facts
For every 50 raw blueberries you eat, you’ll get*:
- 16 percent daily value (DV) of vitamin K
- 11 percent DV of vitamin C
- 11 percent DV of manganese
- 7 percent DV of fiber
Note: Cooked blueberries likely lose some of their nutritional value, but the research is inconclusive.
*Source: Self NutritionData Database