I checked the grocery store sale flier and was excited to see that I could score PINTS of blueberries for $0.99/pint! How cool is that?!?! The cheapest I personally, will ever purchase blueberries is $2/pint, so this sale was fabulous We never really had fresh blueberries (or really any blueberries growing up, that I can remember).
I love blueberries because they are so filling and are such a sweet, natural treat. Blueberries really are a lot more versatile than most people think. However, I am one that just likes to eat them "naked". And as a person that doesn't really care too much for the "dirty dozen" label they often get, I guess you could say that I like them a bit "dirty", too.
I do a lot of fresh produce preparation after I get home from the store; washing and portioning servings so they are ready to grab. However, even though the packaging on the blueberries tells me to wash before eating, I NEVER do. I don't even wash them right before eating. It just doesn't make sense to me.
First, blueberries grow on a bush; not under ground or in an environment that inherently exposes them to high levels of dirt. Secondly, I don't like the water that stays on the blueberries after they are washed. It leaves them literally "watery" which means cereal, yogurt, or anything else I put them with will be soggy or runny. Thirdly, I think washing them actually alters the taste and the experience of just enjoying them as they were meant to be enjoyed. Lastly, when any chemicals touch the these plants, it's at very low dose and as often as possible, the plant is sprayed low (under the actual fruit). Some applications do require an aerial application over the top of the plant depending on the pest that is trying to be controlled. I guess in my mind, I feel like there is going to be some type of rain or dew that is going to provide a bit of a "rinse" before the blueberry ever gets to my mouth. As far as I know, I haven't gotten sick and I will continue to eat the berries in their "dirty and naked" state. I love them too much to take the extra time.
Blueberries are pretty amazing, tiny little fruits. A 1 cup serving (which is usually the amount I limit myself to in one setting) is only 80 calories of goodness! This one, 1 cup serving offers up 25% of our daily allowance of Vitamin C which aids in the formation of collagen, the maintenance of healthy gums and capillaries and helps to boost our immune system. One of my favorite reasons for loving blueberries is that they are super high in fiber. I mean, who wants to drink a fiber powder drink when one can load up on these tiny packages of tastiness? Blueberries are also a great source of Manganese which is significant for bone development, and helps in converting proteins, carbohydrates and fats into useable energy.
QUICK SNACK RECIPE (OR BREAKFAST):
1/2 - 3/4 cup plain or vanilla flavored yogurt, divided
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
4-6 whole strawberries (fresh or frozen), can be sliced or kept whole
2 T unsweetened coconut
Mint or Cinnamon Basil for garnish
1 pint Mason/Ball jar or equivalent sized tall, clear glass
I started with a fruit layer, then a layer of coconut, and a layer of yogurt. Repeat until ingredients are gone.
* This Mason jar is one that my mom uses to can garden green beans into. She shares a few jars with my family and me each fall.
This recipe covers a protein serving, a fruit serving, and a healthy fat serving for your daily dietary needs.