Recipe of the Week: Summer is Here!!

12 07 2013
Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

Summer is finally in full swing, which means delicious summer fruits are, or will be readily available in our local markets. Some of the best fruits available are, of course, berries. Power- packed with nutrition, they are naturally sweet and easy to prepare. Wash. Eat. How simple is that?

1 Cup of strawberries contains >100mg of vitamin C, almost equivalent to 1 cup of orange juice. Strawberries also contain some Calcium, Magnesium, Folate and Potassium for only a mere 53 calories.

1 cup of blueberries offers some vitamin C and is a great source of antioxidants for only 83 calories. Cranberries are similar, but 1 cup of raspberries offers vitamin C and potassium for only 64 calories.

Choose a rainbow of colors, as with any fruits or vegetables. The pigments that give berries their deep blue and red colors are also good for you!  Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and strawberries provide us with phytochemicals and flavonoids that can help prevent some forms of cancer. Cranberries and blueberries have properties that can help prevent bladder infections. Blueberries and raspberries contain lutein which is important for healthy vision.

When choosing berries, look for ripe, colorful and firm berries with no signs of mold or mushy spots. The sweet smell of strawberries is a dead giveaway for ripeness. You can also find berries in the frozen food section. These are great for toppings and recipes (muffins, pancakes, smoothies, etc.). Be sure to purchase frozen fruits without added sugar. For the freshest berries, try farmers’ stands, or take an outing to a berry farm that allows you to pick your own.  Locally we have several “you- pick-em” farms- some even provide certified organic berries that you can taste test while you pick! This is a great activity to do with your kids or grandkids!

Some “Berry” sweet ideas:

Top a bowl of berries with a spoonful of light cool whip and a sprinkle of chopped pecans.

Add fresh or unsweetened dried strawberries to a bowl of whole grain cereal.

Sprinkle blueberries or cranberries on a salad.

Stir fresh raspberries into vanilla yogurt.

Combine frozen berries with bananas and low fat milk or yogurt to make a smoothie.

Blueberry-Coconut-Macadamia Muffins Recipe

Makes: 12 muffins           Active time: 20 min         Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided

5 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts, divided

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Source) or whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 large egg

1 large egg white

3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon coconut or vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberry

Preparation

1.Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

2.Combine coconut, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons macadamia nuts in a small bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; stir to combine. Set aside.

3.Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, egg, egg white, buttermilk, butter and coconut (or vanilla) extract in a medium bowl until well combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; stir until just combined. Add blueberries and the remaining 3 tablespoons nuts; stir just to combine. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with the reserved coconut topping and gently press into the batter.

4.Bake the muffins until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack at least 5 minutes more before serving.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Store, individually wrapped, at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. To reheat, remove plastic wrap, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30-45 seconds.

Source: Look for whole-wheat pastry flour in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Sources include King Arthur Flour, (800) 827-6836, http://www.bakerscatalogue.com, and Bob’s Red Mill, (800) 349-2173, http://www.bobsredmill.com.

Tip: No buttermilk? Mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice into 1 cup milk.

Nutrition info per muffin:    202 calories;  9 g fat (  3 g sat fat ,  4 g mono fat);  28 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber; 122 mg sodium

From EatingWell:  August/September 2006

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