It’s my favorite time of year: peak blueberry season! If you’re anything like me, you can’t get enough of these little balls of deliciousness. Farmers markets, U-Pick berry fields, or from the local produce store, I can’t gobble them up fast enough.
Peak season is anytime from late June through early September, so I’m even known to buy extra large amounts in bulk and freeze* for the rest of the year. Then I add them to smoothies, pancakes (my favorite recipe is this one), oatmeal, you name it! I even found a way to add these little guys to a savory salad. Don’t believe me? We’ll let you try the recipe for yourself!
Why the love affair with blueberries? These little blue dynamos…
- are packed with antioxidants!
- loaded with vitamins A and C, beta-earotene, and important trace minerals
- slow the aging process
- help manage memory loss, and certain cancers
- improve vision
- clear your arteries
- strengthen blood vessels
- remedy urinary tract infections
- promote weight control
- …Should I go on?
With these recognized health benefits, and many more unknown, it’s no wonder blueberries receive so many accolades from the media and nutrition experts. So go ahead and enjoy the delightful experience of eating blueberries as a snack or in and on just about anything. We’ve even made a blueberry reduction for turkey burgers! Your heart, brain, soul, and especially tongue will thank you.
Now, this blueberry-cucumber salad recipe. This is so aromatic it filled our kitchen with a mouthwatering scent. From the fresh blueberries, crisp cucumbers, and of course the cilantro, it was hard not to just eat the air!
We even tested this on the most cilantro-averse person we know, and she went back for seconds! And you betcha it’s right for the whole family; our four-year-old kept sneaking extra bites after dinner.
If you can find a simpler summer recipe that has this much flavor and this much nutrition, we dare you to find it! This salad tosses together so quickly, it ought to become the go-to side for the season.
1 cucumber, sliced
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 tbsp. green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled feta cheese, optional
1. In a large bowl, toss cucumber, blueberries, scallions and cilantro
2. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the cucumber mixture.
3. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with feta cheese, if desired, and enjoy!
*NOTE: The key to freezing blueberries is to use unwashed, completely dry berries. Discard shilled or smashed berries, and place the rest in a freezer bag. Lay them flat to squeeze out the extra air before sealing the bag. This way, the berries will freeze individually instead of one giant clump, so you can remove the berries as needed.
Enjoy 7 More Ways to Savor a Blueberry!
Recipe by Katie McGrath; Photos by Kacy Meinecke and Shutterstock