Something with blueberries. Something easy, quick low carb and flavorful…that’s what rattles around in my head for dinner on a steamy hot humid day. Even with air conditioning on inside, it just seems wrong to turn on the oven. Here are three of my favorite low carb summer dishes to make with blueberries: a low carb chicken salad for dinner, some blueberry rum Popsicles for dessert, and a blueberry protein smoothie for the next day’s breakfast. Lucky me that I have a blueberry farm! Lucky you that blueberries freeze easily and can be great year round!
While this blueberry chicken salad by itself was filling enough for me as a low carb summer dinner, my family thinks they need several courses when we sit down to the table. As soon as I put this out I hear, “Is that all we’re having?”…”well, it looks good for an appetizer”….”I’m starving!”.
So…if you’re making this blueberry dish as dinner for a family like mine that thinks they’re undernourished, you might want to add another side of sorts. I sautéed some summer squash in butter and mint and they were happy and satisfied in the end. It’s a great dish for a low carb summer lunch if you don’t like salad for dinner.
Blueberry Chicken Salad
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 chicken breasts halves, skin on
- 2 carrots, shredded with grater,
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cups torn salad greens
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- Whisk together first 3 ingredients with salt and pepper and pour into large plastic bag.
- Add chicken breasts to bag and massage bag so the marinade covers chicken pieces. Let marinate for about an hour
- Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Grill chicken breasts over med-high to high heat for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until done (depends on how thick your chicken breasts are).
- Combine carrots, celery, onions and pepper with your favorite salad dressing, tossing to coat.
- Place chicken over greens. Top with vegetable/dressing mixture, and sprinkle with berries.
Low Carb Summer: Blueberry Rumsicles:
These blueberry Popsicles (with or without rum) are great fun to take to a party, or have outside or at the lake. They’re ever-so-easy, a good way to use up any leftover jam in the fridge, and they keep you cool and happy.
Ingredients & Directions:
- 1 cup blueberry jam (low sugar if possible)
- 2 cups water
- 2 oz. rum
- In a medium saucepan, add about 2 cups of water for every cup of your favorite jam (I used Blueberry Lime Mint), and melt mixture over low heat. If the jam is fairly sweet you will want to add more water, both to make it taste more like an ice pop, but also to help it freeze better as too much sugar will prevent the Popsicles from freezing solid.
- Cool and pour into Popsicle molds and freeze for 6 hours or until frozen hard.
- For a fun adult Popsicle treat, after the jam mix has melted, add 2 oz. rum or vodka for every 3 cups of jam mix.to the pot before pouring into molds. Just don’t add too much or they won’t freeze as the alcohol will change the freezing point.
- If you don’t have Popsicle molds, place 6-10 dixie cups in a shallow square pan, cover tops of cups with aluminum foil, and poke a Popsicle stick or sturdy stir stick through the foil in the center of each dixie cup (the foil will hold the sticks upright).
Low Carb Summer Smoothies: Blueberry-Mint:
Blueberry smoothies were my kids’ favorite lunch during the summer, until they became teenagers and started thinking it was too much like a milkshake and therefore too high in calories. I make them now with protein powder and unsweetened coconut milk for myself every morning for a low carb breakfast. And when the adult “kids” are home these days I’ll make one for them also.
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- a handful of fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 scoop protein powder (I like Premier brand)
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds.
- 1/2 cup ice cubes and 1/2 to 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup mint leaves (optional)
Add everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water to thin it out if it is thicker than you like. Add more ice to thicken it up.
Remember, blueberries freeze really nicely. Just pour them (unwashed) on a cookie sheet, freeze till solid, and pour in freezer bags for use throughout the year.
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