How to choose: These summer standouts come in two varieties: high-bush (or cultivated), found in produce sections, and low-bush (wild), available frozen. When fresh, check for uniformly dark blue, dry, smooth berries; discard bruised or seeping ones. Refrigerate or freeze in a single layer. Rinse just before using.

Preparation tips: Dessert, naturally. Combine with peaches and lemon zest for cobbler or shortcake; fold into cheesecake filling or any kind of batter; or simply mix frozen berries with light cream.

Health benefits: Blueberries rank number one among fruits and vegetables in antioxidant content, with wild blueberries scoring even higher than cultivated.

Grilled Chicken with Blueberry Sauce
(Serves 6)

2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh meat
Salad greens or cooked basmati rice (optional)

1. Place blueberries, vinegar, honey, ketchup, garlic powder, and ginger in a medium nonstick pan. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10–15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth.

2. Pour 1/3 cup of the blueberry sauce into a zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken, turn to coat, and marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat grill. Remove chicken from marinade and grill until cooked throughout, about 7 minutes per side. Warm remaining sauce and serve with chicken over mixed salad greens or basmati rice, if desired.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 244 calories
% fat calories: 12
Fat: 4g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 84mg
Protein: 36g
Carbohydrate: 20g
Fiber: 1g
Sodium: 210mg

Recipe provided by James Rouse, ND, the creator of Optimum Wellness and The Fit Kitchen, seen weekly on NBC’s KUSA television news.