Dress up your salad with blueberries

Today’s post comes from Food Action Committee volunteer and blueberry lover, Shara Vickers.

When we think of the blueberry, we often think of muffins, pies, bagels and a topper for breakfast cereals and the like.  But blueberries also make an amazing and flavourful vinaigrette for salads.  This vinaigrette can be used on any tossed salad, but goes especially well with mixed greens or spinach.  Adding mozzarella, cheddar or parmesan cheese to the salad also serves as a nice complement.

Blueberries are a good source of fibre, vitamin C, manganese and other nutrients.  They have high antioxidant power and their phytonutrients have been studied in relation to many degenerative diseases.  Blueberries have been shown to be health-supportive in regards to cardiovascular, cognitive and optical health, in particular.  So, enjoy while in season and stock up!  Studies have also shown that fresh-frozen berries maintain their nutritional properties so you can reap the benefits of health and flavour year-round.

Blueberry Vinaigrette

1½ Cups Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 Cup Vinegar (Balsamic or Cider)
1 clove Garlic
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Dash of Salt
Sprinkle of Pepper
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Grape seed oil also works).

Puree in blender or food processor everything except  the olive oil until well mixed.  Add in oil slowly, as you continue to blend to an even consistency.  Can be used as is, or strained for a finer dressing.  Also, if you prefer a sweeter dressing, you can add in local honey, to taste. The dressing will keep about 5 days when refrigerated.

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We have a great opportunity for all of you to stock up on wild Nova Scotia blueberries!  Angus Bonnyman, a no-spray blueberry farmer near Tatamagouche, is holding a Wild Blueberry U-Pick on August 18-21.  On Saturday, August 20 there will also be a blueberry raking contest and a wild blueberry baking contest!  You can call Angus at 657-2010 or check out his Facebook page for more details: www.facebook.com/NSWildblueberries

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