5 Reasons to Eat More Blueberries

Plump and juicy with a delicious burst of flavor, blueberries are a tasty, low-calorie treat that pack tons of health benefits into a tiny berry. You can celebrate this fantastic summer fruit during National Blueberry Month this July by enjoying some of its amazing benefits.

gourmet fruit basket

Source: iStockphoto via Philly

Improve your immune system

Blueberries are absolutely brimming with antioxidants. In fact, they contain the highest concentration of antioxidants of any fruit or vegetable that has been tested. These amazing components neutralize free radicals in your body, giving your immune system a serious boost. The pigment in blueberries, known as anthocyanin, is responsible for both the beautiful blue color of the berries and many of the health benefits.

Maintain brain function

Blueberries aren’t only good for your body; they’re also good for your mind. As you age, you can begin to lose memory function and the ability to control your emotions. Anthocyanins can help reverse this, improving memory and brain function. One study found that participants who were given blueberry juice scored higher on a memory test than those that were not.

gourmet fruit basket

Source: iStockphoto via Philly

Preserve eyesight

Have you noticed that you’re having a harder time seeing clearly? Blueberries may be able to help. Clinical studies have found that blueberries can slow vision loss.

Get your vitamin C

Blueberries have so much vitamin C that they contain nearly 25 percent of your recommended daily allowance of this important nutrient. Vitamin C is credited with improving everything from glaucoma to gum health to immune system function.

gourmet fruit basket

Source: iStockphoto via Philly

Reduce your risk of heart disease

Blueberries are so amazing; they’ve even been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Studies have revealed that diets rich in blueberries have been linked to reduced cardiovascular inflammation, which lowers the chances of heart attacks or heart failure.

farmstand fruit spreads

To get these benefits for yourself, all you need is the blueberry-packed fruit spread from our Hickory Farms’ Farmstand Fruit Spreads gourmet fruit baskets. Whether you enjoy our blueberries in the morning on toast or after dinner on ice cream, your body will thank you.

 

Seasonal Recipe: Dried Fruit Thumbprints

hickory farms

Source: Martha Stewart

Making some fruity desserts is a delicious way to celebrate all of the fresh things growing around us this spring. By combining dried fruit, jam and just a little hint of chocolate, you can whip up one of our favorite spring recipes — delicious Dried Fruit Thumbprint cookies — to enjoy with your friends and family!

Making your marbleized dough

The base of these flaky cookies is made with two different flavors of dough — one chocolate and the other vanilla. Both contain essentially the same ingredients, including flour, salt, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. However, to make your chocolate dough nice and rich, mix in a heaping scoop of unsweetened cocoa powder.

To marbleize or mix the batches of dough together, start by rolling both into ropes that are about a half-inch wide. Then, form the base of your cookies by pinching off a piece of each rope and rolling it together to form one chocolate and vanilla swirled ball. Finish by holding your dough and using your thumb to press a small well into the center of each cookie before refrigerating for half an hour.

hickory farms

Source: Martha Stewart

Adding the final touches

After your cookies have had the chance to firm up a bit, it’s time to throw them in the oven for a few minutes. While they’re baking, start mixing up your fruit and jam filling. For the right ratio of fruit, simply combine one cup of dried and chopped fruit with one tablespoon of jam. 

hickory farms

Source: Martha Stewart

The type of fruit and jam flavor you pick is entirely up to you. You can try pairing our Wild Blueberry Fruit Spread with yellow and white dried peaches or pairing our Strawberry Fruit Spread with pears and plums. Mixing Raspberry Fruit Spread with mangoes and apricots is another combination that works well together. Finish the dessert by spooning the filling over the top of your cooled cookies.

hickory farms

hickory farms

With this delicious recipe, some fresh fruits from our Dried Fruit Collection and spreads from our Farmstand Fruit Spreads collection, you can bake a fruity dessert and make the perfect sweet ending to your spring feast.