The entire month of July is dedicated to celebrating the humble blueberry and why not? Just think about what the blueberry has done for muffins, pancakes and, of course, there’s nothing better than blueberry pie – right? And by now, we’re all aware of the health benefits packed into those plump, versatile berries. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Center, blueberries rank #1 in anti-oxidant benefits when compared to 40 other fruits and vegetables. The blueberry is indeed a superfood making it not-so-humble after all. How can something that tastes so good be so good for you?
High on the list of health benefits from eating blueberries is LDL cholesterol reduction due to the high concentrations of the nutrient Pterostilbene. Now that may sound like a dinosaur species but it is a phytochemical that naturally helps to reduce the bad cholesterol without the drugs that can cause nausea and muscle fatigue. And the Resveratrol in blueberries helps combat the signs of aging, improve life extension, fight disease, prevent free radical damage and increase cardiovascular function.
Take a stroll through your local Santa Clara County farmers market and pick up a basket of fresh blueberries to keep on hand in the fridge. Always look for blueberries that are deep purple-blue in color and do not have shriveled skins. Don’t rinse them with water until ready to eat or use as this will cause them to spoil quickly. Grab a handful and top off your morning cereal, toss them into a salad at lunchtime or just eat them by the handful!
For a deliciously different summer BBQ, here’s Grilled Chicken with Fresh Blueberry BBQ Sauce:
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 bone-in chicken breasts
salt and pepper
- Combine the blueberries, balsamic vinegar, honey, ketchup, garlic powder, ground ginger, salt and black pepper in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 – 12 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool.
- Rinse the chicken pieces under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle all sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Brush the grill grate with a little oil to prevent sticking. Heat coals to medium high heat or pre-heat the gas grill to medium high heat
- Grill the marinated chicken breasts on one side for 12 – 15 minutes, then turn and cook on the other side for another 12 – 15 minutes. At this point, check for doneness by making a small cut to the bone in the thickest part of one piece. If the juices that run out are clear and there is no pink chicken, they are done. If not, continue to grill, turning every few minutes until the juice run clear and the chicken is no longer pink inside. How long it takes to grill your chicken will depend upon how big the breast pieces are.
- Brush a little of the blueberry BBQ sauce onto the tops of each piece of chicken and grill for another minute or two.
- Remove chicken from the grill and serve with the remaining blueberry BBQ sauce.
Grilled Chicken with Fresh Blueberry BBQ Sauce makes a great meal served with Red Potato Salad, Balsamic Pasta Salad or Easy Cheesy Rice Casserole, Chili-Lime Corn on the Cob and Homemade Spicy Pickles or Dilly Beans. And don’t forget dessert! For some tempting blueberry after-dinner goodness, try:
- Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies
- Blueberry Gingerbread with Lemon Curd Sauce
- Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Popsicles
- Dark Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies
- Dutch Blueberry Pie
Like this article? Get a spam-free e-mail notice every time I post a new one by clicking on the Subscribe button above. Be sure to check out the San Jose Easy Meals Examiner for great recipes, weekly meals plans with corresponding grocery lists and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions designed to help people with little or no cooking experience. Also, check out the Sustainable Seafood Examiner (me!) for articles on the seafood industry and recipes focusing on fresh, sustainable seafood.