Blueberries: Super Food, Super Salad

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    Not only are these lovely orbs delicious, but their health benefits are through the roof.

    Blueberries are in season locally, and that is good news! Not only are these lovely orbs delicious, but their health benefits are through the roof. They contain high doses of antioxidants, which protect our bodies from free-radicals those villainous substances that cause everything from premature aging to cancer. Other benefits include lowering blood sugar and blood pressure, improving brain function and cholesterol, fighting urinary tract infections, and helping the body recover faster after exercise, according to authoritynutrition.com. They are tasty and a delightful blue color that adds to their appeal, and these days they are economical since the harvest is in full swing.

    Of late, I've enjoyed blueberries on their own by the bowlful, tossed in yogurt and cereal for breakfast, blended into a smoothie, or dumped on vanilla ice cream for dessert. But a foray into the savory has opened up a new avenue of blueberry consumption I tossed them into a green salad with dinner the other night, and boy, was it good! The contrasting textures and flavors were a bit of a revelation: Crunchy nuts, sweet berries, creamy goat cheese, crisp field greens all worked beautifully together, and the array of colors made for a pretty presentation as well.

    Super Blueberry Salad

    1 box spring mix lettuce

    1 cup blueberries, rinsed

    3 oz. crumbled goat cheese

    1/3 cup roasted, salted cashews

    Dressing:

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    1.  In large salad bowl, place lettuce and toss blueberries, cheese and nuts over leaves.

    2.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over salad. Drizzle vinegar, then oil. Toss well and serve immediately.