Currently viewing the tag: "blueberries"

by Buck Reed

A Berry Summer

As I have written before, the summer brings an abundance of wonderful things to our table. We have grilled foods from our backyard, seafood from the oceans, and flowers for our centerpieces. But we should not overlook the wonderful fruits that we find in abundance at this time of year, not the least of which are the berries we are provided.

According to botanists, berries are the fruits produced by the ovary of a single flower of a plant. They are small, pulpy, and, most times, edible without a stone or a pit. Yet, they do contain more than a few seeds that are edible. Berries are full of nutritional value, including vitamin C, antioxidants, other vitamins and minerals, and are high in fiber—all packed in a low-calorie vessel. The best part is that they are plentiful this time of year; when you go to the market, it is well worth your time to look through the produce aisle for anything on sale.

It is best to keep berries unwashed in the container you bought them in and place in the refrigerator. When ready to use, give them a quick rinse and use as needed. If you want to freeze them, give them a rinse and Individually Quick Freeze (IQF) them by spreading the berries out on a sheet pan in a single layer, then place in the freezer until frozen. Remove to a plastic bag and return to freezer until ready to use. Once purchased, plan on using or freezing them as soon as possible, as they can spoil quickly.

In terms of berries, I am talking about the Big 4: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. These are the ones available this time of year, and the ones that come to mind when we think of berries. Of course, we have the standby uses that everyone knows like pies, crisps, and cobblers, which we all know and enjoy this time of year. And we can always serve them with our morning cereal or add them to pancake batter to add a bit of decadence to our breakfast. But let’s look at a few more ideas the culinary world might offer us.

Salads are a great way to add berries to our plate. Sliced strawberries garnished on our salad greens with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette is refreshing and delicious at any barbeque as a side dish. A quick Google search of most any berries and salad will give you more than a few options. Pureed raspberries are a great addition to a vinaigrette and could easily become a family favorite.

Need a refreshing drink for a barbeque? Try sangria! I am not a doctor or scientist, but I can make an argument that with enough fruit, this alcoholic beverage might actually help you stay more hydrated than most others. I am pretty sure I would lose that argument, but, perhaps, you can take some comfort over the idea you are getting nutritional value as you enjoy your drink.

Finding good berries at a reasonable price this time of year is almost as easy as finding something to do with them. This is the time to enjoy the fruits of summer!

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Happy April! Today’s recipe makes an elegant (but delicious) accompaniment to your Easter feast: Blueberry Strudel.

Sweet and savory, the blueberry strudel is a great way to invite spring to your table. Blueberries bring bright and sweet notes of flavor, while the delicate layers of phyllo dough wrapping up the sweet filling provide an element of delicious savoriness (and makes the pastry an easy handheld).

Today’s strudel isn’t rolled like a traditional strudel. Instead, it is folded into triangles for elegance and to ensure the filling is well wrapped within the phyllo. Phyllo dough is very delicate. Rips are bound to happen (and that’s okay!). If it rips, sandwich the broken sheet between two unbroken sheets. The triangle will still fold just as well. Too many ripped sheets? All good! Make crackers by brushing the sheet with butter, placing another piece on top, and repeat until the desired thickness is reached. Sprinkle seasonings between layers and on top, bake until golden brown, let cool, and serve. Your mistakes will make a delicious snack! Enjoy the delicious flavors of this pastry, and may it help you have a sweet Easter!

Blueberry Strudel


3 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 pinch of salt

5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

½ lb. phyllo dough, thawed

cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling


Make the filling: Start a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. In the saucepan, mix together the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

Once done, pour into a bowl and let cool until room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 4000. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Melt the butter in a small bowl.

Fold the strudel: On a clean workspace, unroll phyllo dough gently. Cut into 3-by-11-inch strips and stack. Cover the stack with a wet paper towel to ensure that it doesn’t dry out (the wet paper towels may need replacing as you work the phyllo dough).

Gently peel a sheet from the stack and place it with the long side nearest to you. Evenly brush butter on the entire surface.

Add another layer of phyllo dough on top of the first, so it covers the first sheet, and brush with butter.

Lay a final sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first two sheets.

Spoon a small amount of blueberry filling 1 inch away from the left edge of the pastry.

Fold the top left corner of the rectangle to the bottom over the filling so that it creates a triangle. Brush the rest of the sheet with butter and continue folding so that the strudel resembles a triangle.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a wet paper towel. Repeat until filling runs out.

Take wet paper towels off the folded triangles and brush with butter. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the tops of the strudels. Cut a small vent into the tops of the strudel with a knife. Place the sheet in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Take out of the oven and place strudels on a cooling rack. Let cool for 20 minutes and serve.

Tools Needed

Medium saucepan, dry measuring utensils, medium bowl, small bowl and pastry brush (for brushing butter), wet paper towels (to cover phyllo dough), medium baking sheet, parchment paper, cooling rack.

*With credit to Claire Robison’s Blueberry Strudels recipe on

jEanne Angleberger

Welcome to the fresh fruit and vegetable season. So, get your taste buds ready! One of my favorites is fresh blueberries. I consider them a star among fruits!

Research shows that blueberries have been associated with several health benefits, including improved weight management and cognitive protection. Research on the relationship between blueberries and cognitive performance shows that the fruit protects delayed memory, executive function, and psychomotor function in older healthy adults, as well as adults with mild cognitive impairment.

One cup of blueberries has 84 calories. Nutrients include vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and dietary fiber. The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to control inflammation and reduce oxidative stress. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blueberries protect against artery hardening, a condition that increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Blueberries are plump, sweet, and nutritious. Choose firm and dark purple to blue-black berries. They can be easily frozen. Add fresh ones to salads, cereals, yogurts, or smoothies. Try them today for a satisfying snack instead of a high carbohydrate snack.

So, go get yourself some blueberries! Remember, there are many fresh fruits and vegetables awaiting your consumption. Check out the local orchards for your supply. It’s the best time of the year to enjoy these fresh vegetables and fruits.

Also, I have a new recipe using blueberries. It is “Blueberry and Watermelon Salad with Marinated Feta.” Email your recipe request to [email protected] for a copy. It sounds delicious!