Blueberry, Watermelon and Walnut Salad makes a perfect summer di - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Blueberry, Watermelon and Walnut Salad makes a perfect summer dish

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Blueberries are nature's little blue dynamos! With just 80 calories per cup, they are loaded with vitamin C (for growth and development of tissues and promotes wound healing), fiber, anthocyanins, an antioxidant that gives blueberries their deep blue color, and manganese which helps convert fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy.

Meijer Dietitian/Healthy Living Advisor Janine Faber, MEd, RD, LD says July is blueberry month.  The peak season for fresh blueberries runs from mid-June to mid-August. But they are available all-yearlong in frozen and dried forms.

-When purchasing fresh blueberries, look for firm, plump, dry berries with smooth skins and a silvery sheen.
-Refrigerate fresh blueberries as soon as you get them home, in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or storage container. Wash berries just before use.
-Use blueberries within 10 days of purchase (a long time compared to other berries!)
-Freeze blueberries if you won't be able to use them. Place unwashed berries in an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months.
    Tip: Rub your hands with lemon juice to help remove blueberry stains.
-Blueberries pair well with cinnamon, ginger, lemon, thyme, shallots, almonds, yogurts and soft cheeses.

Try blueberries in:
Smoothies, green salads, whole grain salads, muffins, pancakes, fruit kabobs, fruit salsa, yogurt, savory sauce for meats

Health benefits of blueberries:
-Cancer prevention, including prostate cancer
-Heart health (cardiovascular/heart disease)
-Memory and cognitive function (brain health) - may help improve balance, coordination and memory, even in those challenged with Alzheimer's disease
-Antibacterial - like cranberries, blueberries contain compounds that prevent the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections from attaching to the bladder wall.

Blueberry, Watermelon and Walnut Salad

Number of servings (yield): 4

1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup California walnuts, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, cut in bite-size pieces
6 cups mixed baby greens
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz. each), grilled or sautéed until cooked through (see note, below)

Directions:
1.    Preheat oven to 350°F and spread walnuts in one layer on baking sheet. Bake until just toasted and aromatic, about 8 minutes; remove and let cool.
2.    To prepare vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, oil, honey, salt and pepper.
3.    For the salad, in a medium bowl, combine watermelon, blueberries, walnuts and bell pepper; add half of the vinaigrette; toss to coat.
4.    In a large bowl, toss greens with remaining vinaigrette.
5.    Divide greens among 4 plates; top with fruit and walnut mixture.
6.    Slice each chicken breast diagonally and serve with the salad.

Note: If desired, make a double recipe of the vinaigrette, and use half of it for marinating the chicken before cooking. Discard any vinaigrette used for marinating.

Calories: 570, Fat: 34g, Protein: 40g

Source: U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Blueberry Party Mix

Yield: 4 cups

1 cup dried blueberries
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup thin pretzels, broken
1 cup granola or other cereal

Instructions
1.    In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, walnuts, pretzels and granola.
2.    Store in an airtight container.
3.    Best if used within a week.
Source: U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Meijer Local Program: Last year, working with 110 growers in 5 states, Meijer helped make an estimated $83 million annual economic impact to local communities. Meijer purchased 75 fruits and vegetables from local growers, including 3.5 million pints of Michigan blueberries.

For more information, visit www.meijerhealthyliving.com .

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