Changing eating and exercise habits isn’t easy, but eating good-for-you foods that are delicious and satisfying can help you stick to your plan and achieve your goals. Blueberries are a great example of a tasty, versatile food that you can enjoy often.

Blueberries, both fresh and frozen, are available in markets now. When you have them on hand, you can take them straight from the fridge or freezer to use in many ways. For example, blueberries give a shot of fruity flavor sprinkled over cereal in the morning or tossed into a green salad for lunch. Or, take out a handful and pop them like candy! With only 80 calories per one-cup serving, blueberries fit right into your eating plan.

Blueberries also make a delicious ingredient in cooked dishes. Savory Apple-Blueberry Compote, for example, adds a kick of flavor and color to pork or poultry. Apples and fresh or frozen blueberries give the sauce a slightly sweet, slightly tart flavor making it a refreshing and lighter alternative to gravy.

Savory Apple-Blueberry Compote

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add apples and onion; cover and cook, stirring frequently, until apples are almost tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, salt and pepper; stir in 2/3 cup water. Stir water mixture and 1/2 cup of the blueberries into the apples; cook, stirring gently, until thickened and sauce begins to color, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries.

Serve with sliced pork or ham, chicken, turkey or game.

Makes 4 servings (about 1/2 cup each).

Nutritional information per serving: 101 calories, 19 g carbohydrate, 3 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat

For lunch or as a side dish, toss together a Blueberry Waldorf Salad. Blueberries, crisp green apple wedges, celery, pecans and baby spinach are drizzled with a colorful blueberry vinaigrette. The vinaigrette can also be served on lettuce salads or as a dip for fresh fruit.

Blueberry Waldorf Salad

  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries, divided
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (about 4 ounces) baby spinach
  • 1 tart apple (e.g. Granny Smith), cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1-1/2-inch matchsticks (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup pecan or walnut halves, toasted

To prepare dressing: In a blender container, combine1/2 cup of the blueberries, oil, marmalade, lemon juice, mustard and salt; blend until a smooth, thick dressing forms.

In a bowl, toss spinach with apple slices, celery, pecans and remaining 1/2 cup blueberries. Arrange equally on four serving plates. Just before serving, blend dressing again until smooth; drizzle over the salads. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 255 calories, 19 g carbohydrate, 20 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat

Even if you’re dieting, you can swing dessert when it’s low-calorie, high-flavor Blueberry Poached Pears, which is just as delicious served at room temperature or chilled. If there’s any left over, top it with yogurt the next morning!

Blueberry Poached Pears

  • 4 ripe, firm, pears, halved, cored and peeled
  • 1 cup dry white wine or white grape juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 strips lemon rind (each 3-by-1/2-inch)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a small skillet, arrange pears flat side down. In a small bowl, stir wine and sugar until sugar dissolves; add to skillet along with lemon rind; bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium; cover and simmer until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pears to a medium bowl.

Discard lemon strips. Stir blueberries and lemon juice into hot poaching liquid. Pour over pears. Cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, divide into 4 dessert dishes or wine glasses; garnish with fresh mint sprigs, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 121 calories, 31 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat

Recipes developed by: Lewis & Neale

for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

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