Top tips and recipes for blueberries

Deliciously small and sweet, the blueberry is a lot more powerful than its modest size would lead you to believe. Nowadays hailed as a superfood, the blueberry has been enjoyed for many centuries by the Native Americans, who have long realised its potency in terms of high levels of antioxidants, as well as being hugely beneficial for the nervous system. It has also been claimed that the little purple berry packs a powerful punch for general brain health too, especially for improving memory - there's an incentive for anyone who, like me, walks into a room for something and then cannot remember what that something is!
To get the maximum number of benefits of blueberries, however, they do need to be consumed raw, so make sure to keep a few punnets in the freezer for throwing into smoothies, juices and mueslis. It's true, though, that the blueberries in the cheesecake recipe, opposite, are baked and so they are not as nutritious as raw berries, but the recipe is too divine to omit. The blueberry jellies, also opposite, are gorgeous, wobbly delights that both children and adults will love at the end of a meal, while the blueberry coulis recipe is a deliciously fresh, fruity sauce to pour over ice cream or even into the bottom of a glass of Cava - now there's a good way to get your five-a-day if ever I heard one!

Blueberry Recipes: 


Rachel recommends

It's great to hear that freezing blueberries does not affect their high antioxidant level, so make sure to leave a space in the freezer for a few punnets of the Irish-grown version, so that all year round you can have delicious fruit at your fingertips for juices, smoothies and puddings. I always try and seek out those grown at Derryvilla Blueberry Farm near Portarlington in Co Laois.

Rachel's tip

If you want to use powdered gelatine instead of leaf gelatine, you'll need one teaspoon of gelatine in place of one gelatine leaf. Using a small bowl or measuring jug, sprinkle the powdered gelatine onto two tablespoons of water and set aside for 3 minutes. When it is  sponge-like, place the bowl or jug in a saucepan of simmering water and let the gelatine dissolve. The gelatine is now ready to be used in whatever recipe you're making.

Shaneod Jun 22, 2015 News