Celebrate July Fourth with Georgia blueberries

July 1, 2013 

When mother of two Denise Sawyer arrives home from work and her kids are starving, she reaches for Georgia blueberries.

"They're great just to snack on," she says.

Recently her 19-month-old daughter and 4-year-old son helped her make dessert. She cut up pieces of banana and pound cake and her kids took turns layering blueberries with the bananas and pound cake to create dessert skewers.

"It didn't require any cooking skill and in five minutes we had dessert," she says.

Denise, the 2013 spokesperson for the Georgia Blueberry Commission and food blogger at WholesomeMommy.com, loves creating simple family-friendly recipes that feature locally grown produce.

This summer, many of her blueberries will come from her front yard.

Because blueberry plants are pretty, Denise and her husband decided to plant them right outside their front door.

"Why not grow something that will produce some fruit?" she ponders.

Here's a healthy summer salad recipe that would be an ideal starter for a Fourth of July picnic.

Find more blueberry recipes at Georgiablueberries.org.

Chicken with Georgia Blueberry Relish

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup Georgia blueberries

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

Olive oil to coat frying pan

Butterfly the chicken breasts to make cooking quicker. Add a few drizzles of olive oil to a heavy bottomed skillet. Place chicken breasts in pan and allow chicken to brown before flipping and browning the other side. Cook chicken through.

Combine blueberries, water and sugar in a separate saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn blueberries down to medium heat and allow to cook until blueberries reach a thick, relish consistency. Serve warm Georgia blueberry relish over chicken.

Baked Tilapia with Fresh Georgia Blueberry and Mandarin Orange Salsa

For the Fish

6 pieces tilapia

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

1 teaspoon tarragon

¼ teaspoon salt

For Salsa

Half a 15-ounce can mandarin oranges in juice or light syrup

2/3 cup fresh Georgia blueberries

Half an onion, minced

¼ cup of liquid from the mandarin oranges

Drain mandarin oranges, but reserve the liquid. Mix blueberries, orange segments and onion in a bowl. Pour in about ¼ cup of the reserved liquid from the mandarin oranges. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking pan with aluminum foil. Place fish on pan and baste with butter. Sprinkle lemon pepper, tarragon and salt evenly over each piece of fish. Bake fish until done (approximately 15 minutes).

Arrange fish on the plate and serve with salsa on top.

Georgia Blueberry and Mandarin Orange Salad with Toasted Pecans

1 cup pecans

1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted

1 head romaine lettuce

1 cup Georgia blueberries

½ cup mandarin orange segments

Red onion cut into rings

Blueberry vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Pinch of salt

Toss pecans with butter and a sprinkle of salt. Arrange on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 300 degrees. Allow to cool.

Chop lettuce. Mix with Georgia blueberries, orange segments, onion, and toasted pecans. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss.

Georgia Blueberry Vinaigrette

1 cup Georgia blueberries

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1/8 cup sugar

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

¼ cup olive oil

Place Georgia blueberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar and orange juice into blender. Blend until smooth, streaming in the olive oil while the blender is running. Continue blending until emulsified.

Dawn Minty can be reached at dminty@ledger-enquirer.com. Get more recipes and food news at ledger-enquirer.com/dawn.

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service