Go wild for blueberries in these summer dishes

Blueberries can add a little something special to your favorite summer salads and desserts. The result is not only delicious, but healthy for you too. Accomplished chef Kathleen Daelemans, author of "Getting Thin and Loving Food," shares these fresh and slimming dishes using yummy blueberries. Here are the recipes.

Peach, Blueberry and Fennel Salad
Especially during the summer, when it’s too hot to fire up the indoor oven, I look for delicious salads that I can easily pair a piece of outdoor grilled chicken or fish with. This salad is the perfect accompaniment to a lovely piece of grilled white fish such as sea bass or halibut, and it’s especially nice with shrimp and scallops.

Thai Chicken and Mango Blueberry Salad
When you’re in the mood for Thai takeout, this is the perfect dish to satisfy your cravings. It’s super simple to prepare, especially if you have leftover chicken on hand. The basil, mint and cilantro are cool and refreshing, making this dish the right choice for hot summer nights and easy entertaining.



Blueberry Polka Dot Popsicles
These whimsical, easy-to-make popsicles are perfect for summer birthday parties, beach picnics and days you need an in-a-hurry dessert. They take a few hours to freeze but only a minute to make.

Blueberry Blast-sicles
These creamy sorbet-like popsicles are a great way to sneak in extra servings of fruit. They’re perfect for nights you feel like bingeing on ice cream but know you shouldn’t.

Mom’s Best Blueberry Gelato
This is as close as I've come to the gelato in Italy. Its pure and clean, maximum fruity flavor has none of the fat found in rich ice creams. A vacation to Rome in a bowl!

Mom’s Best Blueberry Gelato

Ingredients

    • 2-1/2 cups fruit puree
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 3/4 sugar
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • Pinch of salt, optional

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Put fruit in blender with lemon juice and puree until smooth, or chunky if you like chunks of frozen fruit in your gelato. Taste and decide if you want to add the pinch of salt.  If it tastes a little flat, add the salt. Store in the refrigerator in the blender container. Chill for a few hours or overnight.  Meanwhile, put milk and sugar in a small saucepan.  Heat just until the sugar melts.  Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.  Pour fruit and milk/sugar mixture into the ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.  The gelato tastes best just out of the ice cream freezer, but the leftovers can be put in the freezer and eaten another day.

Tips:

To revive leftover frozen gelato, remove from freezer, microwave on high for 30 seconds, then mush it up with a spoon like you did as a kid, when your mother wasn't looking.  It should be a melty ice cream consistency but still pretty much frozen. Microwave a little longer if needed.  It's just as good as fresh made.

Blueberry Kuchen
One of my favorite dieting tricks is to stick to my diet rules. For instance, only eat sourdough bread in San Francisco. Only eat cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery in New York City. Only Eat German Chocolate cake on my birthday. My blueberry kuchen rule: Only eat blueberry kuchen in the summer when the berries are best and you make it from scratch.

Blueberry Kuchen

Ingredients

  • For the crust

    • 1 cup flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • For the filling

    • 5 cups blueberries
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons of flour

Preparation

Baking Directions:

For the crustPreheat oven to 400°F.  To prepare the crust, combine flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbly and starts to form a dough. With floured fingers, press the mix into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan. For the fillingTo prepare the filling, spread 3 cups of blueberries over the pressed mix. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the blueberries. Bake on the lowest rack for 50 to 60 minutes. Place on rack to cool. When cooled, sprinkle with the 2 remaining cups of blueberries.

Microwave Blueberry Sauce
This is hardly a recipe but it’s so cool you need to know about it because it’s an out-of-this-world-delicious super easy sugar-free blueberry sauce. I promise you no one will know the difference.

Lemon Loaf
I highly recommend eating this warm from the oven. However, my Mom prefers it the next day. I must agree that it’s delicious the next day but there’s nothing like just from the oven baked goods, especially when the house is filled with heavenly scents.

The original recipe called for cream instead of milk and twice the amount of nuts. We don’t think you’ll miss the fat. My father thought cranberries would make a great addition to the bread, but then he puts cranberry sauce on anything he can get away with. I happen to agree that cranberries — or blueberries for that matter — added to the batter would be nice, and cranberry sauce spooned over the bread would be delicious too.

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