One of the bounties from Northwestern Ontario are the blueberries

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blueberry saladTHUNDER BAY – One of the bounties from Northwestern Ontario are the blueberries our region produces annually. You may have heard the saying that if you take good care of your body, it will take good care of you. Well, taking care of your body is a lot easier when you can enjoy delicious and healthy fresh fruits, such as blueberries.

Blueberries are considered a superfood by leading nutrition and medical experts, and are a recommended diet staple for health, skin care and longevity. Here are just a few of the benefits of this little blue dynamo: A half-cup of blueberries packs plenty of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants into only 40 sweet calories.

Blueberries contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than red wine or green tea. Half a cup of blueberries a day may help improve brain function.

Some scientific evidence suggests that blueberries may be beneficial for the skin. New skin care treatments include blueberry extracts to help revitalize the skin and hasten healing.

Blueberries provide the same bacteria fighters as cranberries to help guard against urinary tract infections.

This tasty fruit can be easily frozen, and mixed into many recipies.

Here are just a few to get you started:

Fresh Blueberry Chicken Salad with Almonds
Serves: 6
2 whole cooked chicken breasts
1/2 cup red onion chopped
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 cup minced green onion
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/4 cup sweet mustard
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Dice chicken breasts and place in mixing bowl. Sprinkle red onion with rice vinegar; toss into bowl.

Add green onion, parsley, cranberries and blueberries; fold gently to mix.

In small mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, yogurt and sweet mustard. Blend well; fold dressing into salad. Garnish with toasted almonds.

Nutrients per serving: 322 calories, 13 g fat, 114 calories from fat, 3 g saturated fat, 66 mg cholesterol, 255 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber and 22 g protein – Recipe may be doubled for 8 to 12 servings.

Blueberry Green Tea Fusion
2 cups water
1 cup blueberries
2 green tea bags
Honey or agave to taste

Bring water to a boil. Add fresh blueberries. Boil 5 minutes; strain. Add 2 green tea bags and steep 3 to 5 minutes. Add honey or agave to sweeten. Drink hot or pour over ice.

Nutrients per serving: 8 servings each, 11 calories, 0.5 grams dietary fiber

Fresh Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie

1 banana
1 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup blueberries
Zest of one orange
4 ice cubes
1 cup Blueberry Green Tea Fusion

Blend well and top with a twist of orange peel or a sprig of mint.

Nutrients per serving: 80 calories, 2g dietary fiber, 42mg sodium, 4g protein

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