Remember how those kids in Enid Blyton novels would go berry-picking and come back with tongues stained purple? This summer, do a fair bit of blueberry-picking from your favourite supermarket, for that's the fruit you need to be polishing off this season. These tiny berries are packed chock-full with nutrition. Shiny Esther, a nutrition consultant at Qua Nutrition, tells us why blueberries are all the rage this summer. "Blueberries are antioxidant superfood," she said. "They are nutrient-dense and packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, as well as potassium and vitamins C & E. They help in minimising the damage of cancer-causing free radicals, which your body produces every time you step out into the sun. Blueberries are also heart-friendly, but you might want to go easy on them if you are taking blood thinners. These berries are so packed in fibre that a small portion of them go a long way in satisfying hunger pangs." Blueberries are best eaten raw, or cooked with minimal heat, in order to avail benefits, and we have chosen recipes accordingly.  

Blueberry Flax Pancakes with Caramelised Bananas

01 blueberries summer veggie guide

Ingredients: 2 eggs 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk 2 tbsp vegetable oil 6 tbsp unsalted butter (3 tbssp of which need to be melted and slightly cooled) 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup flax meal (grind up some flax seed in a spice grinder) 3 tsp baking powder 3 tsp sugar ½ tsp kosher salt 350 gms fresh blueberries 2-3 medium-sized bananas ¼ cup packed light brown sugar 1 pinch of cinnamon Method: In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light and foamy. Stir in milk, oil and butter. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Gently whisk dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Lumps are okay. Place a nonstick griddle (or pan) over medium heat. Let the batter rest for a few minutes while the pan heats up. Pour in about ¼ cup of batter for each pancake. Top each pancake with a handful of blueberries. Flip when bubbles are bursting on the top of the cakes and the edges look dry. Continue cooking for another minute. In the same pan, turn the heat back to low and add brown sugar and the remaining butter. Slice the bananas lengthwise, then half them. Place a cut side down in the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon. Raise heat to medium low and cook for about 3 minutes a side, moving them around in the pan to keep the sugar from burning. Top the pancakes with bananas and melted butter/brown sugar from pan. Add a touch of maple syrup if you want to be really decadent. Recipe and Image Courtesy: The Quixotic Table  

Watermelon, Blueberry, Basil and Quinoa Salad

02 blueberries summer veggie guide

Ingredients: ½ cup red quinoa, rinsed under cold water 1 cup water 2 cups cubed watermelon ½ cup fresh blueberries ¼ cup sundried tomatoes (preferably packed in olive oil) 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil 3 tbsp blanched, slivered almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes ¼ cup gruyere cheese, cut into small cubes (or feta) Salt and pepper to taste Method: After you’ve rinsed the quinoa add it, along with the cup of water, to a medium-sized pot. Bring the water to a boil, and then simmer while covered for 15 minutes. When done, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, toss the watermelon, blueberries, sundried tomatoes, basil, almonds and gruyere. Add the cooled quinoa, oil, salt and pepper to taste. Serve lukewarm or chilled. Recipe and Image Courtesy: Love, Life, Eat  

Blueberry Banana Pie Vegan Overnight Oats

03 blueberries summer veggie guide

Ingredients: 2 cups rolled oats 2 cups non-dairy milk 1/3 cup pure maple syrup 3 tbsp chia seeds 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 small bananas, peeled & chopped 1-1½ cups fresh blueberries ½ cup chopped walnuts Pinch of salt 1 tsp vanilla Homemade granola, to garnish Method: Mix in a casserole dish and place in fridge overnight. In the morning, give it a stir and enjoy cold with a sprinkle of granola on top. Keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days. Recipe and Image Courtesy: Oh She Glows

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