Summer is my favorite time of the year. And by favorite, I mean FAVORITE. I love everything about summer – bring on the sun, the long days and the heat. As a child, I spent my summers on Brant Lake, often with my cousins who would visit from Concord, New Hampshire. We would be up before anyone on the lake swimming, fishing, tubing, waterskiing and if we were lucky, out on the Sunfish. We wouldn’t get out for anything. In fact, I can remember many times a bar of Ivory soap being thrown down with instructions of washing up before we got out. Ahhh, those were the days, many things have changed since the 70’s.
What hasn’t changed is my love for summer and BERRIES. It doesn’t matter, I love them all – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, dewberries and huckleberries just to name a few. Berries are an anytime-favorite-snack that we can go on and on and on with. The sweet-tart flavor that this juicy fruit renders, attracts everyone. July is National Blueberry Month, so let’s end the month with some fun facts:
1. There are 2 types of blueberries grown in the USA – highbush and wild (lowbush). The highbush berries are big and pretty and served mostly fresh. Wild blueberries are smaller and mostly used in food preparation (blueberry muffin, anyone?)
2. Blueberry consumption (and production) has tripled since 1995. Back then, the average American ate 1 pound of blueberries a year. This year, we will surpass 3 pounds per capita.
3. Blueberries are a native plant to North America.
4. It’s peak season here, and prices for fresh domestic blueberries are very affordable. The season begins in May and lasts until early Fall.
5. Blueberries are only blue on the outside, the flesh is actually green. The blue color of the berries’ skin comes from anthocyanins, a set of powerful antioxidants that may hep reduce the risk of cancer.
6. Blueberries are an amazing snack. Not only do they taste great, they are very low in calories – just 80 calories for a 1-cup serving.
7. Blueberries are nutrition powerhouses. A serving has 25% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C and manganese, as well as 4 grams of fiber (15% of the daily recommendation).
8. Blueberries have a low glycemic index, which is good news for people with diabetes who are afraid to eat fruit. In a human study, blueberries have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in people with pre-diabetes.
Start your mornings off right with these light and fluffy, healthy pancakes chockfull of juicy blueberries!
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup blueberries
Maple syrup, for serving
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and a nonstick griddle to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, butter and eggs. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Add blueberries and gently toss to combine.
Lightly coat a griddle or nonstick skillet with nonstick spray. Scoop 1/3 cup batter for each pancake and cook until bubbles appear on top and underside is nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook pancakes on the other side, about 1-2 minutes longer; keep warm in oven.
Serve immediately with maple syrup.
Recipe from: www.damndelicious.net