(Family Features) Blueberries are nature's perfect little superfood, and now these little blue powerhouses are available in grocery stores throughout the winter months.
Fresh blueberries are natural cancer-fighters. In addition to a healthy dose of cancer-fighting antioxidants, fresh blueberries pack enough vitamins, fiber and phytochemicals to rank them high on the list of superfoods all by themselves. Heart-healthy, they're also full of vitamin C and fiber, making them the ideal go-to fruit to pack great nutrition into every meal. Supplies of these amazing fruits are plentiful all winter long, courtesy of the growers and exporters of Chile, the southern hemisphere's largest producer of fresh blueberries.
Recipe for resolutions
So, if your New Year's resolution is to eat healthier, this recipe for Blueberry, Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad will help you keep it. Not just one, but two of nature's superfoods – fresh blueberries and quinoa – team up with butternut squash to create a salad that's packed with protein, bursting with sweet and tangy flavor and colorful enough to brighten the drab grays of winter.
The protein in this healthful, low-calorie salad comes from quinoa, widely considered a grain but really a type of seed more closely related to spinach and chard. As a significant source of protein, just one cup of quinoa has a full gram more than is found in an egg.
Butternut squash is widely available during the winter months and is not only sweet and tasty, but contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol, so it's an ideal food for folks on special diets. What's more, it's a good source of potassium, magnesium and fiber, and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Put all three of these core ingredients together and you have a winter salad that is super nutritious and yummy.
For more recipes or information about Blueberries from Chile, visit www.fruitsfromchile.com/blueberryrecipes.
Chilean Blueberry, Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 Green onions, thinly sliced
11/2 cups Chilean blueberries
3 cups baby arugula
Preheat oven to 450°F. In large bowl, toss squash with 1 tablespoon of oil. Spread on rimmed baking sheet; bake until tender, about 22 minutes; let cool.
Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil; simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cover; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork; cool.
In small bowl, whisk together remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; set aside.
In large bowl combine squash, green onions, blueberries, arugula and quinoa. Drizzle with dressing; toss to combine.
Note: Quinoa should be easy to find at your local supermarket but if not, couscous makes a perfect substitute.
Source: Chilean Fresh Fruit Association