Blue Food

With just 80 delicious calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries offer us many important nutritional health benefits. 

Blueberries are an excellent source of dietary fiber, and possess antioxidant properties as well. These important antioxidants help neutralize free radicals can prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's. 

Blueberries are also high in Vitamin C. In fact, a serving contains about 14 mg or almost 25% of daily requirement for Vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for the formation of collagen and to maintain healthy gums and capillaries. It also aids in the absorption of iron and promotes a healthy immune system.


There are many ways to incorporate blueberries into your diet with a healthy breakfast including a parfait of blueberries, yogurt and granola.

Blueberries are also an excellent way to add sweet and tart flavor to pork, poultry or fish with sauces, salsas and chutneys. Simply simmer blueberries with balsamic vinegar, sweet onion, garlic and peppers. 

Create desserts with blueberry toppings with cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, and mint. Garnish desserts topping off with fresh blueberries like a Creamy Rice Pudding from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series.  

And a few fun facts:

The blueberry is the official state fruit of New Jersey.

There are only three fruits native to North America; blueberries, cranberries and Concord grapes.

The blueberry muffin is the most popular muffin in the U.S.

Creamy Rice Pudding as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

Enjoying time sharing food for the soul in-studio with Msgr. Jim at Telecare TV

Enjoying time sharing food for the soul in-studio with Msgr. Jim at Telecare TV

And, join me in February on Create TV and your local PBS station as I share warming comfort recipes and more!

Having really no economic barrier and universal appeal- I’ve seen rice pudding on restaurant menus from diners and joints (my favorite place to find RP) to high-end linen napkin on-your-lap digs. Personally I‘ve made more batches than I can even remember. Here are a few variations that come to mind; Rum Raisin, Berry, Pomegranate, Coconut Mango and Banana. Keep in mind, I made mega batches. I prepared rice pudding batches to feed a daily buffet for about 10,000 people with list of ingredients like; 18 gallons milk, 12 pounds of rice, 12 pounds sugar. . . 


Creamy Rice Pudding from George Hirsch Lifestyle

Making a batch for 10 thousand or 10 hungry people at home is pretty easy, as most ingredients are probably already in the pantry and can even be made by using leftover plain cooked rice. 

Creamy Rice Pudding

Makes 2 cups, about 4-6 servings | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

 3/4 cup uncooked short grain rice

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups milk

1/3 cup granulated sugar, or if using Turbino slightly less

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup raisins, plumped with dark rum or water 

1 Tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, add rice and water bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. 

In a separate bowl mix 1 cup milk, salt, sugar and salt. Add to cooked rice and return to heat and gently simmer and stir for 15 minutes.

In separate bowl mix remaining 1/2 cup milk to beaten egg, plumped raisins, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.

 Stir egg mixture into milk and rice and simmer 2 additional minutes, stirring constantly. Serve warm or chill in small cups. Sprinkle small amount of granulated sugar on top to keep skin from forming.

Serve with fresh chopped fruit, toasted chopped nuts, whip cream or meringue.


Knowing your grains is important, as each type of rice will provide different results. Here are your options; long or short grain white rice, brown, basmati, or jasmine. Cooking times and consistencies will vary wildly, ok maybe widely. Long grain rice makes a pudding that is slightly drier and chewier than one made with short grain rice. While brown rice will be nuttier. Arborio rice is starchier and therefore can set up without addition of eggs. Cooking times will also depend on the type of rice, along with the amount of milk used. 

Other important tips: Do not combine any sugar to rice until the rice kernels are completely tender or the starch will begin to set and harden and will not become additionally tender. Do not use converted rice as it contains pre-gelatinized starch, which will not thicken rice properly. To keep a skin from forming over rice pudding, sprinkle a small amount of granulated sugar over the top as soon as you pour the pudding out of the pot.

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