Picking fat, sweet blueberries with my mom is one of my most vivid childhood memories. Each summer we would fill up buckets at the pick-your-own farm, and then bring them home. After having our fill of fresh ones, we would freeze the rest to enjoy during the long and brutal Western New York winter. I loved adding some to my morning cereal and watching the milk freeze around the berries — fun!
I haven’t taken my three kids blueberry picking yet, but luckily they still have a fondness for these antioxidant-packed treats. Blueberries are loaded with anthocyanins and research shows it’s this plant compound that makes the berry so good for us. Plenty of studies have found blueberries to be promising in reversing age-related declines in cognitive and motor function, and they may also help women cut their risk of having a heart attack by a third. Did I mention they’re high in fiber and have only 84 calories per cup?
You’ll only be able to get your hands on fresh blueberries until early fall, so stock up while you can! Freeze some, and use some to make these delicious and low sugar bars. They’re great for an afternoon snack at work, home or school, and are the perfect thing to bring for a late summer picnic. I cut way back on the sugar in this recipe because ripe berries don’t need much, but you can increase the sugar in the berry mixture (up to 1/4 cup) if your batch is a bit on the sour side.
Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, is a nutrition expert, writer and best selling author. Her books include Feed the Belly, The CarbLovers Diet and Eating in Color.