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Biblio Bistro: Wild Blueberries, Wild People

September 2, 2022 | By Meghan Jaszczak

Biblio Bistro is back for season three, and it starts off with a wonderful episode titled Wild Blueberries, Wild People! In this episode Chef Michael and Dietitian Meghan show off a bunch of amazing ways you can utilize the wild blueberries found all over our region. 

Healthy Eating Tips from Dietitian Meghan

  • Blueberries
    • Blueberries contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants for fruits and veggies! Antioxidants help prevent and/or slow damage to our cells.
  • Salad
    • Dry mustard powder (or regular mustard) can be used as a natural emulsifier in salad dressings. Emulsifiers help keep ingredients like oil and vinegar blended together (vs them separating out).
  • Smoothie
    • Kefir was the base of the smoothie in this episode. Kefir is similar to yogurt, but has a thinner consistency. Kefir actually contains more strains of probiotics (healthy bacteria) compared to yogurt and is up to 99% lactose-free! More strains of probiotics = better profile of gut bacteria  improved gut health. Yogurt is also a lower-lactose product, but has a wider variability in lactose content.
    • If selecting a smoothie for a meal, it is best to incorporate a fat source to help keep you full for a longer period of time. You could add avocado (like we featured in the episode) or any nut or nut butter you enjoy!
      • Bonus – adding a fat will make the smoothie extra creamy (and even more delicious!).
    • For extra fiber, omega 3’s, and protein – consider adding any of the following to your smoothie
      • Fiber – Chia seeds or ground flax seed
      • Omega 3’s – Ground flax seed, chia seeds
      • Protein – Hemp seeds (could also use nut butter or protein powder)
  • If looking to sneak a few extra veggies in, you can add a handful of greens to your smoothie. Just be aware that calcium and iron compete for absorption in the body and calcium wins that battle.

Cooking Tips from Chef Michael

  • Blueberries
    • Other fun and creative ways to use blueberries – jam, fruit leather, in a marinade or BBQ sauce
  • Salad
    • To create a homemade oil-and-vinegar dressing, start with a 2:1 ratio (2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar).
      • In the episode, we used balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You can use other vinegars, such as red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, etc or even lemon juice in place of the balsamic vinegar.
    • Using a small mason jar (with a lid!) to measure and store your homemade salad dressing will help you dirty one less dish AND makes it easy to shake up your salad dressing.  
  • Smoothie
    • You can use a hand-held immersion blender to make smoothies in the morning, if you don’t have a traditional blender.

Farmers Markets in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula

Screen Shot 2021-12-13 at 10.55.12 AMFrom Calumet to L’Anse there are several great farmers markets in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Our friends at the Western U.P. Food Systems Collaborative have put together a great resource on this that gets updated regularly. Check out a full list of farmers markets here,

About Biblio Bistro

Biblio Bistory at Portage Lake District LibraryThe Biblio Bistro series strives to show that healthy cooking doesn’t have to be boring or laborious. Our goal is that by watching this series, participants can feel more confident and curious in the kitchen, all the while increasing fruit and veggie intake and supporting the local food system! Learn more about Biblio Bistro at

About Portage Health Foundation’s Food Initiative

PHF Food Initiative Logo Vert CMYKPortage Health Foundation is passionate about making a difference when it comes to food in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. PHF’s Food Initiative is two-fold. First, the food initiative aims to improve access to locally grown and healthful foods within our community. Second, it provides educational resources and tools to promote sustainable changes to eating and lifestyle habits for all. Learn more about this initiative at

Meghan Jaszczak