Blueberry Recipes You Need to Try

Blueberry Recipes You Need to Try


Often labeled as a superfood, blueberries are chock-full of antioxidants. But they offer so much more than that. Blueberries contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese, which is necessary for the body to build and maintain bone and connective tissue. These yummy little berries are also a good source of dietary fiber when eaten with the skin intact. Nutritious and sweet, blueberry recipes are the perfect go-to for those summer months.

Besides being such nutrition powerhouses, blueberries are also quite delicious. Their sweet flavor makes them wildly popular when baked or blended into dishes—or even just used as a yummy topping. They can be served atop oatmeal, yogurt, tarts, baked goods—or even just eaten plain and whole.

There are so many healthy ways to incorporate blueberries into your day. While you probably have lots of your own ideas for how to eat more blueberries this summer, we’ve rounded up our favorite blueberry recipes that you’re going to want to add to your list. After all, now is the time that this delicious fruit is in season.

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Check out 10 blueberry recipes that are perfect for summer:

1. No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake for One >

cheesecake

Few recipes are simpler than those that are “no-bake.” This recipe involves layering delicious ingredients, including a crumbled Nutrisystem Blueberry Lemon Baked Bar used for the “crust,” into a small dish or ramekin. When complete, it counts as one Nutrisystem Breakfast, one SmartCarb and one Extra. While this dish tastes incredibly indulgent, the cheesecake topping is made from healthful ingredients like fat-free ricotta cheese, blueberries and just a touch of honey—making it quite nutritious.

2. Blueberry Burst Energy Balls >

blueberry energy balls

Energy balls are all the rage and for good reason. They are easy to make, portable and packed with healthy ingredients that give you a burst of energy when you need a nutritious snack. These energy balls feature cashews, rolled oats, dates and blueberries. Everything is blended in a food processor to form a dough, which is rolled into balls—two of which count as one serving at 197 calories. On the Nutrisystem program, a serving also counts as one SmartCarb and one PowerFuel.

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3. Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Tart >

Baked-Blueberry-Oatmeal-Tart

This is one of our favorite blueberry recipes and couldn’t be easier to make. It involves heating up and then topping our Nutrisystem Baked Blueberry Oatmeal with nonfat Greek yogurt and blueberries. Though it only requires simple assembly, it will give you the taste and feel of a warm homemade breakfast. And it’s healthy, too. It’s very hearty and filling, yet this breakfast is only 168 calories. And it counts as two Extras on the Nutrisystem plan.

4. Blueberry Nut Sweet Potato Toast >

Blueberry-Nut-Sweet-Potato-Toast

If you like having toast in the morning, then give this no-bread, more nutritious alternative a try. It uses a medium sweet potato, cut into slices, as the base. After being crisped in the oven to create a “toast” texture, it is topped with cottage cheese, cinnamon, blueberries, nuts and honey. It’s absolutely packed with flavor and boasts the nutritional benefits of the sweet potato, including fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and several other vitamins and minerals. And for all that taste, it’s only 176 calories, counting as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Extra.

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5. Blueberry Lemon Chia Jam >

blueberry jam

If you’re looking for a tasty but nutritious topping for your whole grain toast or crackers, then you’re going want to make this delicious jam. It combines blueberries and chia seeds, which are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and even provide a boost of fiber. Combined with the juice of a lemon and just a touch of Stevia, this jam is sweet and flavorful without being high in calories (it only has 40 per serving!). It also counts as one Extra.

6. Instant Blueberry Crisp >

blueberry crisp

Though delicious, traditional blueberry crisp is made using quite a bit of sugar and butter—and usually served with whipped cream or ice cream. We developed a healthier version that is still full of flavor and has a lot less calories and fat—plus some great health benefits such as fiber and antioxidants. It combines a package of Nutrisystem’s oatmeal (either Maple Brown Sugar or Apple Cinnamon—your preference) with a cup of blueberries. It’s really that simple! On the Nutrisystem plan, it counts as one Breakfast and one SmartCarb.

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7. Blueberry Almond Nice Cream >

blueberry ice cream

It might sound too good to be true, but with this delicious dessert you can satisfy your craving for ice cream in a healthy way. At just 131 calories, the smooth and creamy texture of this “Nice Cream” is made from combining a frozen banana with frozen blueberries and almond milk. It’s sweet and delicious while also being totally guilt-free. In addition to all the antioxidants you’ll get from the blueberries, the banana packs in some added potassium, fiber and a variety of other nutrients. This dish counts as one SmartCarb and one Extra.

8. Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie >

blueberry-smoothie

If you love smoothies, then this is one of our blueberry recipes you’ve got to try. Combining a cup of iced green tea with frozen blueberries, nonfat Greek yogurt, Stevia and ice, it’s blended to smooth perfection. This is a smoothie you can feel good about sipping. Between the green tea and the blueberries, it’s absolutely brimming with antioxidants—and only has 108 calories. It counts as a half of a SmartCarb and a half of a PowerFuel on the Nutrisystem plan.

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9. Red, White & Blueberry Pancakes >

Independence-Day-Pancakes

This patriotic breakfast is packed with protein thanks to its use of a Nutrisystem Vanilla FreshStart Shake and egg whites to make the “pancake” batter. It’s then topped with a sweet berry sauce made from blueberries and strawberries and finished off with some sliced bananas. The recipe makes three pancakes, all of which count as a serving. It clocks in at only 251 calories despite being a very filling breakfast. On the Nutrisystem plan, it counts as one SmartCarb and one-and-a-half PowerFuels.

10. Red, White and Blueberry Smoothie >

blueberry recipes

The last of our blueberry recipes is another yummy smoothie to add to your list. This patriotic drink combines the flavors of strawberries and blueberries with vanilla for a sweet treat that is both delicious and nutritious. It uses a package of the Nutrisystem Vanilla FreshStart Shake for that indulgent vanilla flavor. Counting as one PowerFuel and one SmartCarb, this smoothie will also give you a big boost of vitamin C.





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6 Signs You’re Eating Too Much

6 Signs You’re Eating Too Much


Got a sweet tooth? You can thank mom and dad: Some research suggests that a preference for sugar maybe programmed in our DNA. Unfortunately, excess sugar is more than just a preference for the sweet stuff. It’s a health risk.

On average, Americans consume more than 24 teaspoons of sugar every day. That translates to more than 350 calories from sugar alone. In 2009, the American Heart Association entered the great added sugar debate, adding their own recommendations for intake: 100 calories per day for women and 150 calories per day for men.

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Why so strict? The scientific evidence against added sugar intake is growing fast. The risk of obesity is obvious. But added sugars, especially from sugar sweetened beverages, increase your risk for dyslipidemia (fat in your blood) and high blood pressure. All of these factors are direct contributors to cardiovascular disease, raising the red flag for the American Heart Association.

Added sugar hides in many places. (Find out the top 11 sneaky sources of added sugar here.) While the natural sugars found in dairy and fruit are not a concern, sugars added to processed foods and beverages are not so innocent (Learn about the differences between added and natural sugars here). Sugar adds to the pleasure of eating, creating a cycle of cravings and crashes.

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Luckily, if you’re on a Nutrisystem® weight loss plan, you don’t have to worry about added sugars. The Nutrisystem weight loss program and all of the diet food choices are based on the science of the Glycemic Index, which measures the quality of carbohydrates and how they impact your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down slowly encourage stable blood sugar levels so they rate well or “low” on the Glycemic Index. The slow and steady breakdown also produces a greater feeling of fullness. We are not a low carb program, but you are getting good carbs that are low to moderate on the Glycemic Index. However, you do need to be careful that you’re making smart choices when selecting add-ins like PowerFuels, SmartCarbs and Extras, as added sugars are often hiding in seemingly healthy foods.

So how do you know if you’re consuming too much sugar? Take inventory.

If you’re experiencing any of the six symptoms below, you may need to take a closer look at the added sugar in your diet and re-examine those nutrition labels.

1. Excess weight
The scale may tell the whole tale. See the numbers going up? Losing the weight loss battle? Faye Berger Mitchell, RD, LDN, nutritionist, author and speaker says excess sugar often translates to excess calories which will contribute to weight gain.

A review in the American Journal of Public Health published in 2007 found that higher intakes of sugar sweetened beverages were associated with higher body weights and lower intakes of other nutrients. The good news is, a decrease in consumption of these beverages was also associated with greater weight loss. Adding fuel to the fire, a larger follow up study concluded that sweetened beverages were associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Swap out the sugar sweetened beverages for water, unsweetened seltzer or iced tea. It may be the easiest way to cut calories and sugar without making dramatic changes.

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2. Breakouts
Feeling like a teenager going through puberty all over again? A study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics revealed a relationship between a high-sugar diet and acne. The more sugar that was consumed, the more severe the acne.

Sugar may increase the hormones that indirectly cause acne. The insulin spike that happens after sugar consumption may also cause inflammation throughout the body, which can wreak havoc on your skin. Avoid processed foods, refined carbohydrates and sugar sweetened treats. Fill your diet with healthy fats to reduce inflammation and complex carbohydrates to help control your blood sugar.

3. High blood pressure
The Framingham Heart Study concluded that one or more soft drinks per day significantly increased the odds of developing high blood pressure. The good news? Cutting out just one sugar-sweetened beverage daily may significantly reduce your blood pressure. And so it goes: Slow and steady wins the race.

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4. High triglycerides
According to the American Heart Association, it’s an excess of added sugar—not fat—that may be to blame for those rising triglyceride numbers. This is ironic considering a fear of fat has many people opting for low-fat everything. But, in order to preserve the flavor that is lost with the removal of fat, many companies add sugar. Lots and lots of sugar.

Mitchell has found that the media often confuses people with inaccurate and sensationalized headlines. The consumer often hears one thing: Eat low-fat. Carbs good. Fats bad. But healthy fats (think mono- and poly-unsaturated fats) are not to be feared.

Mitchell recommends healthy fats in her patients’ diets. Aside from playing a key role in many internal processes, Mitchell explains that “fat is really important for satiety and fullness.” Thus, avoiding fat altogether can cause increased hunger and over-consumption. Just be sure to opt for healthy fats like those found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil. And be sure to read the nutrition labels of your favorite low-fat foods. Don’t be fooled by foods that skimp on fat but pile on sugar.

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5. You crave it
Your brain sees sugar as a reward. Sugar cravings don’t necessarily mean your body needs food. Eating added sugars spikes your blood glucose, giving you that sugar high. Natural sugars in fruits and dairy may give you a boost without a high because they contain healthy fats and fiber, slowing digestion and managing blood sugar levels. Need a little help beating those sweet treat cravings? We’ve got you covered right here.

6. And then… you crash
You’ve flooded your body with sugar, and now you have to move all that glucose out of your blood. This may cause extreme peaks and valleys in sugar levels.

Mitchell explains, “Some people will experience a reactive low blood sugar after eating too much sugar at one time. Initially, the blood sugar will go up after eating sugar, and if your body is functioning properly, insulin will be released to lower your blood sugar to the normal range. In some people, though, the blood sugar can go too low and the person may become lightheaded, dizzy and shaky.”

Avoid the crash by avoiding the high. Eat when you’re hungry. Keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day with frequent small meals containing healthy fats, protein and complex carbohydrates can keep the sugar cravings under control.





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