Dried blueberries may have been one of the more under-the-radar dried fruits. But no longer! The peppy little dried super-fruit is about to have it’s day in the sun… (pun intended!).
According to the recent HTF Market Report published in part on Digital Journal, demand for dried blueberries is set to “witness huge growth” by 2015. Major players involved in the study include powerhouses such as Costco, Walmart and other supermarkets and online retailers.
So what’s the big deal about these little fruits? Dried blueberries have loads of health benefits packed into each little berry, plus they are low in calories (just more than 125 calories per 1/4 cup) and sodium, unlike some of their dried fruit counterparts.
Dried blueberries are loaded with vitamin K, which is about a quarter of the recommended daily value. Vitamin K is essential for helping blood clot property and also is essential for bone health — helping to keep bones strong, particularly for women who are at risk of osteoporosis.
One-quarter cup of dried blueberries also contains about 9.5 milligrams of vitamin C, which meets up to 13 percent of the daily recommended intake. Vitamin C helps bone growth, aids in the body’s ability to repair tissue, and builds collagen. Due to its antioxidant properties, collagen assists the body in limiting the damaging effects of free radicals on the body’s DNA, risk or heart disease and cancer. One serving of dried blueberries contains about three grams of fiber, which helps the body feel fuller longer, regulates the digestive system and may even prevent type 2 diabetes.
With all the health benefits of dried blueberries, the Traina Foods family invites people to get their fill daily. To help, Traina Foods shares two easy recipes for incorporating this superfood superstar into any meal.
These tasty little bites are healthy enough to have for breakfast, but sweet enough to serve as dessert, too:
Dried Blueberry “Muffin” Energy Bites
- 2 3/4 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup white sesame seeds or sunflower seeds
- 1/4 coconut oil
- 3/4 cup almond butter or sunflower butter
- 1/4 -1/2 cup honey, agave or 100 percent maple syrup, to taste
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- Pinch of salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix oats and sesame or sunflower seeds with oil, then spread onto baking sheet.
- Bake just until oats turn light brown in color.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, melt the almond or sunflower butter with sweetener or choice (honey, agave or maple syrup) in a small saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a gentle bubble. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Combine mixture with oats and seeds, and then fold in dried blueberries.
- Form balls about 1-inch (about golf-ball size or slightly smaller).
- Enjoy immediately and refrigerate remaining in airtight container.
For a twist on traditional chicken salad with dried cranberries, grapes and walnuts, Traina Foods suggests this blueberry version that makes a perfect easy lunch or dinner:
Apple-Blueberry-Pecan Chicken Salad
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 apple, cored and diced
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 1/4 pecans, chopped
- Dash of white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, and seasonings with the shredded chicken.
- Gently fold in remaining ingredients.
- Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
- Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a croissant or bread of choice.
For more recipe inspiration, visit www.trainafoods.com.