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Blueberry Muffins with Yogurt

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Blueberry Benefits and Nutrition

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Blueberries are the Doris Day of summer fruit – happy-go-lucky, bright bouncing balls of flavor. Blackberries are moody, musky, and complex. Raspberries are posh and fancy. Watermelon is refreshing, juicy, and crisp. Cantaloupe is just a bit exotic. Peaches are downright racy — seductive, sexy, and sensual.

Blueberries however, are rated G. They are all-American, signify summer and are good and good for you. Blueberries will put a smile on your face. And, the season in the Southeast is now!


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The Highs and Lows

There are two basic kinds of blueberries: high bush and low bush. High bush blueberries belong to the same family of plants as cranberries, rhododendrons, and azaleas and will grow up to eight feet! My home state of Georgia is in the top 5 high bush blueberry producing states in the nation.

Low bush blueberries will only grow up to 24 inches. These wild bushes are native to eastern and central Canada and the northeastern United States. Maine is famous for its wild low bush blueberries, barely a foot y’all. Low bush blueberries grow as far south as West Virginia and west to the Great Lakes region, Minnesota and Manitoba.

Blueberry Benefits

Both high and low bush blueberries are low in fat and sodium, have just 80 calories per cup. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The deep-blue hue comes from anthocyanin, an antioxidant that could help protect the body from heart disease and cancer, as well as reduce inflammation and increase immune function. Research also suggests the compounds found in blueberries may delay the effects of vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.” Blueberries berries are great sources of fiber, a nutrient important for a healthy digestive system. High or low, blueberries are good and good for you.

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Harvesting Blueberries

A few years ago, a friend and I drove a few hours south of Atlanta to pick some of those delicious Georgia blueberries so that we could put up some jam. Let me tell you, it was hot as absolute blue blazes in that blueberry patch. The sun mercilessly beat down on our efforts for a farm-fresh harvest. Sweat ran in rivulets into our stinging eyes. Sunscreen washed off of us in waves. Gnats buzzed about our faces, pestering our eyes, ears, nose, and mouths.

Birds dive-bombed our heads in competition for the fruit. Mosquitoes freely fed at our ankles like they were at a Las Vegas buffet. The combination of the smothering humidity and brutal sun caused our clothes to adhere to our flushed skin in awkward, uncomfortable configurations much like misdirected plastic wrap. It was 100% pure misery. So, I have now officially decided buying blueberries nicely packaged in containers is the way to go. 😉

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Blueberry Recipes

Please check out one of Garden & Gun’s all-time most popular recipes, my Cast-Iron Skillet Blueberry Cobbler

You can also watch this video I shot for the Washington Post for my Almond Jelly with Blueberry Ginger Compote. SO cool and refreshing. It’s a fantastic summer dessert.

I hope you enjoy the following recipe for Healthy Blueberry Muffins. Thanks so much for reading.


Bon Appétit Y’all!
Virginia Willis


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Blueberry Banana Muffins

That blueberry muffin you’re grabbing at the coffee shop in an attempt to be healthy very likely has around four hundred fifty calories, 15 percent of your recommended daily allowance of saturated fat, and weighs in at a whopping twelve points (eleven points for the reduced fat version!) That’s no good!
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Skipping it to “save calories” is nothing but a bad idea—breakfast gets your metabolism going, and if you miss it, I promise you’ll just end up scarfing down too much food at lunchtime! But, I understand. I don’t like to eat first thing in the morning, either. I will often have a banana and a coffee to get going then, after I work out, I have some protein, maybe an egg or some yogurt. These muffins come in around five points. Good and good for you, if you’re looking for a great grab and go, this is it. 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
5 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Author: Virginia Willis


  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries


  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan generously with nonstick cooking spray, including the top surface.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, ginger, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, bananas, yogurt, oil, and buttermilk. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the berries.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cups (the batter will come to the top of the cups). Fill the greased muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

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photography by Virginia Willis

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Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 2 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

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