The Richmond Register

February 13, 2014

What’s blue about blueberries?

By Arritta Morris
Extension Agent

RICHMOND —

Recently Gina Noe taught a class on how to feed your brain at the Madison County Extension Office. I attended this much-needed class to find out how I really could help my brain and memory.

One of the items she talked about was nutrition for the brain. Blueberries were high on the list of  nutritious brain food. I have enclosed two recipes that were given out by Kentucky Proud.



Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Ingredients:

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese    

1/2 cup oil

1 (18 oz) package yellow butter cake mix

1 (5oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix    

2 large egg whites

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extracts

2 cups fresh blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour. Combine the cream cheese and oil in a medium bowl; beat with mixer at high speed until smooth and creamy. Add cake mix, pudding mix, egg whites, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed until blended. Fold in berries. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until wooden tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.



What makes blueberries so special? It’s not just one nutrient in blueberries that packs a punch, but a mix of several. Behind blueberries’ antioxidant activity are pigments that turn vegetables and fruits red or blue. Antioxidants fight damage by free radicals, oxygen-containing molecules that attack our cells. They boost the power of vitamin C and strengthen our tissues and blood vessels. After I attended Ms. Noe’s class, of course I had to go and buy some berries. One thing I did find out about them is that after one eats a pint at one sitting, one’s lower body pipes get a good cleaning out, if you get my drift!



Blueberry Coffeecake

Ingredients:

1 cup of lemon low-fat yogurt        

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 egg        

1/2 cup sugar        

1 and 1/2 cups of flour

1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel    

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt        

1 and1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed out)

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-by-2-inch baking pan with spray. Beat yogurt, oil, egg and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except the blueberries. Carefully stir in blueberries. Spread all ingredients in the pan. Bake about 35 to 45 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or cool.

This next recipe was one of the strangest ones I have ever fixed, but it surprised me.



Blueberry Corn Bread

Ingredients:

2 large eggs        

1 cup of buttermilk    

1/4 cup melted butter

2/3 cup all-purpose flour        

2/3 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup masa flour - you find this in the Mexican foods section

1/4 cup sugar            

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt    

1 cup fresh blueberries



Directions:

Beat eggs, buttermilk and butter to blend. In another bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, masa, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture just till moisten. Gently stir in berries. Spread level in a buttered 8-inch square pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, and then cut into squares.



I hope you try these recipes as well as just a good snack of blueberries for a break from the junk foods we sometimes consume. Just remember what happens when you eat the whole carton at one sitting.

Arritta Morris is a graduate of EKU with a degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in counseling. She is a certified Food Service Specialist with the School and Nutrition Association.