There's no better season than summer, when access to fresh, locally grown produce is at its peak. And August is great, because locally harvested blueberries abound.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants, including lutein, a compound identified as effective in preventing and sometimes reversing macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in older people. And what a delicious way to protect your health! Pour them into a saucepan with a little sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch, heat until you've got a thick, syrupy, concoction, pour into a pie crust and bake, for a wonderful blueberry pie. Or simply put a handful of fresh blueberries over your morning cereal, or in a fresh green salad for a little extra punch.
Gourmet blueberry jams and syrups retain the healthy qualities of fresh raw blueberries, so don't be afraid to add these delights to your diet. A tablespoon of blueberry jam spread over a piece of whole wheat toast is a healthy start to your day; a generous dollop of warmed blueberry syrup poured over a stack of pancakes or a bowl of vanilla ice cream is a great treat for any time of day.
Make sure you take full advantage of the summer growing season by enjoying the local produce available at your grocery stores and farmer's markets. And be sure to include fresh, locally grown blueberries in your purchases; it's a delicious way to enjoy the best summer has to offer.
Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire. She has written numerous articles for local and regional newspapers and for a number of Internet websites, including Tips and Topics. She expresses her opinions periodically on her blog, http://beyondagendas.blogspot.com