Have A Deliciously Healthy Holiday Season

Blueberries can add a burst of flavor and a lot of nutrition to your day, during the holidays and at any time. (NAPS)

(NAPSI)—A delicious holiday season can be healthy, too. One key: Find small, simple ways to incorporate more nutritious foods, without losing the flavors you love. Blueberries can help.

“Blueberries are a small, tasty package with big health benefits,” advised registered dietitian and spokesperson for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council Patricia Bannan. “They’re sweet, tart and delicious but, at only 80 calories per cup, they make a nutritious addition to a holiday dish or an easy, on-the-go snack. Just rinse and go. Blueberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C, which can give the immune system a boost.”

Blueberries are low in sodium with virtually no fat. They’re a good source of dietary fiber (3.6 grams per serving), which aids digestion, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help you resist some of those tempting seasonal treats.

Blueberries complement different flavors and cuisines and add depth to sweet and savory dishes alike. For a festive twist, add them to favorite holiday recipes such as this:

Blueberry Ginger Jam−Filled Scones

Makes 16, 3-inch scones

Blueberry Ginger Jam:

3½ cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries

¼ cup maple syrup

3-inch piece fresh ginger (about 2 tablespoons finely grated)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Scones:

¾ cup toasted pecans, ground into flour

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-grain spelt flour

2 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for topping

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup cold low-fat buttermilk

¼ cup cold unsweetened applesauce

⅓ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 egg, for egg wash

To a medium saucepan, add 2 cups of blueberries and maple syrup and cook over medium-high heat. Grate the ginger into the mixture. Cook for 8 minutes, letting the mixture come to a light boil. Once the fruit has cooked down and the jam has thickened, add the remaining 1½ cups blueberries and stir in the lemon juice. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Chill covered in refrigerator until ready to use.

In a large bowl, whisk the ground pecans, flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and applesauce and whisk until smooth. Set aside. Add the cubed butter to the dry mixture. Using your hands, gently rub the butter into the flour until pea-sized pieces form. Pour half of the wet mixture over the dry mixture and gently combine, incorporating more of the wet mixture with the second addition. Pat the dough to quickly flatten and then gather it back into a mound and repeat. After two or three repetitions, the dough should be well formed. Form each scone by packing 4 tablespoons of dough, spoonful by spoonful, to form 16 balls. Transfer to two large plates. Dip the back of a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon in flour and press into each ball to form a well for the jam. Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of the jam into each well. Freeze the prepared scones for at least two hours before baking to let the pastries set.

Preheat the oven to 375° F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. For the egg wash, beat an egg with a splash of water in a small bowl and set aside. Remove the scones from the freezer and evenly space them over the sheet pans, at least 2-inches apart. Brush the outer rims of the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake from frozen until cooked and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Learn More

Find other great recipes at www.blueberrycouncil.org.

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