On May 8, 1999, Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America proclaimed the month of July as "National Blueberry Month".
Spotlight on Blueberries
Blueberry Facts. Blueberries are a native North American fruit produced in 35 States. Fresh blueberries are available for about eight months of the year from producers across the United States and Canada. North America is the world's leading blueberry producer. The North American harvest runs from mid-April through early October, with peak harvest in mid-May through August. Blueberries can be found in the market all year round, along with frozen, canned and dried blueberries. Blueberries are low in calories and sodium and are a good source of fiber. Blueberries rank high in antioxidants that help protect against cancer, heart disease and other age-related diseases. Researchers have found compounds in blueberries that may help prevent urinary tract infection.
Purchasing Blueberries When purchasing fresh blueberries, look for firm, plump, dry berries with smooth skins and a silvery sheen. Check the color - reddish berries aren’t ripe but can be used in cooking. Avoid soft or shriveled fruit or any signs of mold. Containers with juice stains indicate that the fruit may be bruised. Storing Blueberries Refrigerate fresh blueberries as soon as you get them home, in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or storage container. Wash berries just before use. Use within 10 days of purchase. Freezing Blueberries Freeze unwashed and completely dry. Discard berries that are bruised or shriveled. Blueberries can be frozen in their original plastic pack or in resealable plastic or frozen bag or transferred to a freezer container. Remember to rinse them before using. Serving Suggestions *Add blueberries to your favorite muffin or pancake recipe. *Combine blueberries with yogurt and granola cereal.*Sprinkle blueberries over mixed greens. *Serve blueberries with sour cream, yogurt or cottage cheese.
Celebrating Blueberries During the month of July, we enjoyed the sweet flavor of blueberries in various recipes. Below are some of the photographs taken to capture their versatility and beauty.
Recipe: Blueberry Smoothie
Recipe. Frozen Blueberry Yogurt (low fat) with Fresh Blueberries
Recipe. Blueberry Ices with Kiwi and Blueberries
Recipe. Orange Sections and Fresh Blueberries
Recipe. Blueberries with Vanilla Ice Cream (light), Blueberry Ices and Frozen Blueberry Yogurt (low fat)
Recipe. Blueberry Crumb Ice Cream with Fresh Blueberries
Summer Grilling - Food Safety Tips with Chef Michael
Top 14 Healthy Summer Grilling Recipes Recipe Compilations | Allrecipes.com
Grilling is a form of cooking involving dry heat applied to the surface of food, usually from above or below. Grilling involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly.
Grilling is often performed outdoors, using charcoal, real wood, preformed briquettes, or propane gas. Mesquite or hickory wood chips (damp) may be added on top of the coals to allow a smoldering effect that provides additional flavor to the food. Other hardwoods such as pecan, apple, maple, and oak may also be used.
Gridironing is the cooking of meats or other foods using a grill suspended above a heat source. This cover can be used for smokers for grilling, roasting, or barbecuing.
Risks of Grilling
Studies show cooking beef, pork, poultry, and fish at high temperatures can lead to the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCA), benzopyrenes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are carcinogens. Grilling is frequently presented as a healthy alternative to cooking with oil, although the fat and juices lost by grilling can contribute to drier food.
Healthy Grilling Tips
1. Grill Fruits and Vegetables. Grilling fruits and vegetables is a way to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity, and some types of cancer.
PAHs and HCAs do not form on grilled fruits and vegetables. In addition, if you are having grilled meat, the fruits and vegetables will provide antioxidants.
2. Grill with Lean Meat. Choose lean meats or trim visible fat and skin to limit the amount of fat that drips on the coals.
3. Marinating. It is possible to reduce carcinogens when grilling meat or lessen their effect. Garlic, rosemary, basil, mint, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, olive oil, and cherries have been shown to reduce the formation of both HCAs and PAHs by as much as 92% to 99%. Choosing the right marinade ingredients limits the fat dripping on the coal. Select wines, vinegar, lemon, lime juice, low-sodium soy sauce, honey, onions, herbs, spices, fat-free or low-fat marinades on your grilled meats, fish, and poultry.
Meats and poultry should marinate at least 1-2 hours; fish and vegetables usually only need to marinate for an hour. Marinating enhances the flavor of meats, fruits, and vegetables.
4. Cut Down on Grilling Time. Grill smaller portions of meat, poultry, and fish so they cook faster and spend less time on the grill. Another method is pre-cooking the meat in the microwave and then draining meat juices so they do not fall onto flames, preventing the release of PAHs.
A skewer or brochette is a fun way to cook small pieces of food. The resulting food product is often called a "kabob" which means "to grill" in Persian.
5. Cooking Temperatures. Make sure to bring a cooking thermometer. Cook beef to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.