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Blueberry recipes: Turkey burgers, marinated broccoli salad, smoothie

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The beauty of blueberries — both cultivated and wild — is that they can be used in sweet or savoury foods.

“People think of muffins and smoothies, but they can be used in entrees, in salads, in sauces and of course desserts. Even in a barbecue sauce,” says Debbie Etsell, executive director for the British Columbia Blueberry Council.

Fresh Canadian blueberries are available now and they can be found in the grocery store freezer section year-round.

A 125-millilitre (1/2-cup) serving of blueberries has only 44 calories. That amount contains 10 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and two grams of fibre.

Here are some recipes featuring the sweet colourful berry.

BLUEBERRY TURKEY BURGERS

This burger is a favourite of Etsell’s, with its mix of sweet and savoury.

“If you’re using a lot of dark meat it tends to be a little loose, but I use half white and half dark and put it together and it’s a really nice balance of some of the spices with healthy turkey meat and then the blueberries. Put that on a whole-wheat bun and it’s delicious,” she says.

10 ml (2 tsp) vegetable oil

45 ml (3 tbsp) barbecue sauce

4 whole-grain burger buns

Burgers

500 g (1 lb) lean ground turkey

175 ml (3/4 cup) blueberries, fresh or frozen, roughly chopped

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped green onion

1 large egg

15 ml (1 tbsp) whole-grain mustard

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley or 10 ml (2 tsp) dry

10 ml (2 tsp) chopped fresh thyme or 5 ml (1 tsp) dry

5 ml (1 tsp) finely minced garlic

5 ml (1 tsp) paprika, mild or hot

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

2 ml (1/2 tsp) black pepper

45 ml (3 tbsp) breadcrumbs or ground flax seeds (if needed)

In a bowl, mix burger ingredients and form into four 2-cm (3/4-inch) thick patties. If mixture appears too wet, add breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan or barbecue to 180 C (350 F). Grease grill with an oiled paper towel or heat oil in pan.

Sear patties on medium-high heat, cooking for 5 to 7 minutes until browned. Carefully flip over, reduce heat to medium-low and finish cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes until internal temperature reaches 75 C (165 F).

Brush with barbecue sauce and serve on buns with condiments of your choice.

Makes 4 burgers.

Source: British Columbia Blueberry Council.

MARINATED BROCCOLI SALAD WITH WILD BLUEBERRIES

Here’s a salad you can make ahead, then quickly finish off with the fried pancetta.

2 heads broccoli, cut in florets and blanched in salted water

250 ml (1 cup) wild blueberries (defrosted and strained if frozen)

4 slices pancetta

Dressing

1 small red onion, diced

50 ml (1/4 cup) sunflower seeds

125 ml (1/2 cup) mayonnaise

250 ml (1 cup) yogurt

30 ml (2 tbsp) balsamic vinegar

Pinch sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a bowl, place dressing ingredients; mix to combine.

Add blanched broccoli and blueberries; marinate for a minimum of two hours, maximum 24 hours.

Just before serving, fry pancetta until crisp. Roughly chop and sprinkle over salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Wild Blueberry Association of North America, www.wildblueberries.com.

WILD BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE

This protein-packed smoothie is an ideal pick-me-up after a session at the gym or as a quick nutritious breakfast.

175 ml (3/4 cup) frozen wild blueberries

125 ml (1/2 cup) frozen chopped mango

125 ml (1/2 cup) frozen pineapple chunks

1/2 small banana

125 ml (1/2 cup) milk

150 ml (2/3 cup) cottage cheese

15 ml (1 tbsp) hemp seeds

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Makes 1 large smoothie (500 ml/2 cups).

Source: Wild Blueberry Association of North America, www.wildblueberries.com.

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