Detroit -

Michigan is the number one state in blueberry production with growers producing over 100 million pounds of blueberries every year.  This year Meijer will sell about 3 million cartons of these homegrown blueberries from local farms.

Blueberries are considered the "little blue dynamos" that help to prevent heart disease and cancer and support brain health. Emerging research out of the University of Michigan suggests that blueberry consumption can improve insulin response and reduce belly fat, reducing risk for diabetes and obesity.  Stock up and enjoy these in-season sweet treats now and freeze a batch or two to use later in the year. Try these cool recipes that keep you out of the kitchen on hot summer days.

Lemon Blueberry and Chicken Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries divided ($1.50)-NuVal Score 100

3/4 cup Meijer low-fat lemon yogurt ($0.60)

3 tablespoons reduced-calorie mayonnaise (on hand)

1 teaspoon salt (on hand)

2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts ($2.00)

1/2 cup sliced green onions (scallions) ($0.10)

3/4 cup cucumber, diced ($0.15)

1/2 cup diagonally sliced celery ($0.10)

2 1/2 cups chopped leaf or romaine lettuce ($0.80)

(Recipe Total $5.25)

Instructions

1. Reserve a few blueberries for garnish

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise and salt

3. Add the remaining blueberries, chicken, green onions, cucumber, and celery.

4. Mix gently

5. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors blend, at least 30 minutes

6 Serve over greens garnished with reserved blueberries and lemon slices, if desired

Serve with whole wheat dinner rolls.

Nutrition information (per serving): 244 calories, 25 g protein, 6 g fat, 22 g carbohydrate

Frozen Blueberry-Lime Squares