Another thrill from blueberry hill: The tiny fruit packs one of the highest antioxidant levels among all foods, says Ronald Prior, PhD, a researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Antioxidants are crucial for those with HIV because they protect blood cells and help defend against cancer and heart disease, common among positive people. The berries aren’t a cure-all, but they can play a juicy role in nutrition. Prior found that they retain their antioxidants even when frozen or cooked.
Blueberry season varies by region but generally peaks between May and October. You can find them at the grocery store, down on the farm or even growing wild.
Here are two of my own low-cal, low-fat recipes—deliciously out of the blue:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
4 cups washed fresh blueberries (or unsweetened frozen berries)
3 packets Splenda (optional)
1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup rolled (not quick) oats
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil (sunflower or canola)
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix berries with 2 packets Splenda, and place in 9-inch-square baking pan.
- Mix all the dry ingredients (except remaining Splenda) with oil until crumbly.
- Sprinkle crumbly mix evenly over the top, and bake for 40 minutes.
- Prepare topping by mixing yogurt, sour cream, remaining packet of Splenda, and vanilla.
Serve warm with topping.
Lemon Blueberry Parfait
3 cups low-fat yogurt
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbs lemon juice
2 packets Splenda or 4 tsps honey
3 cups blueberries
2 tbs honey or no-sugar berry jam (optional)
1/4 cup low-fat granola
1/4 cup slivered almonds
- Mix yogurt with grated lemon rind, juice and your choice of sweetener.
- Mix jam or honey with an equal amount of boiling water to thin; combine with berries.
- Mix granola and almonds together.
In tall, clear glasses, alternate layers of berries, yogurt and granola-nut mix.
Makes 4 large parfaits—the French word for “perfect.” Oui.