Red, White & Blueberries!

Berry Easy Picnic Sides


Berry Skinny Muffins

These muffins are easy to bake, loaded with nutritious blueberries and under 100 calories to help keep you looking and feeling great this summer. Perfect as a picnic side or for breakfast, these muffins, plumped with juicy blueberries, stay moist for days. If you plan to work off the calories playing frisbee at the picnic, try topping the muffins with decadent cream cheese frosting to turn them into a quick cupcake dessert.


cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

cup sugar

cup applesauce

cup reduced-fat (2%) milk or Almond Milk

1 1/2teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (if using 
frozen berries, drain well)

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional):

2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese 
(Neufchâtel), softened

cup butter or butter substitute, softened

2 (16-ounce) packages powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Heat oven to 400°F. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate large bowl, stir together sugar, applesauce, milk, egg, and vanilla. Gradually stir flour mixture into wet ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter (or slightly fuller if you want larger crested muffins). Bake at 400°F for about 14-16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and frost, if desired, or drizzle with honey or agave nectar for added sweetness.

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract. Chill slightly, then frost, as desired.

Yield: 16 muffins. Per serving: Calories: 99; Total Fat 2.6g (sat 0.3g); Carbs: 24.2g. Cost Per Serving: $.83.

Red, White and Blueberry Coleslaw

What picnic is complete without the coleslaw? For a unique, reduced-fat twist on that iconic outdoor side dish, try adding blueberries! Berries add a splash of color and burst of sweetness, enhancing the flavor of the cabbage. To keep calories low, we’ve replaced traditional mayonnaise with a lighter combination of reduced-fat mayo and ranch dressing. To save time, simply replace the cabbage and carrot with pre-shredded coleslaw mixture from your grocer. This quick recipe can easily be made the night before and refrigerated; just fold in blueberries when ready to serve.


1 head cabbage, shredded

1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded

1 large carrot, thinly sliced

large onion, thinly sliced

tablespoons fresh cilantro

1 pint fresh blueberries (about 2 cups)

3/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup reduced-calorie ranch dressing

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper


In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, onion and cilantro.

In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, ranch dressing, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture; toss to combine.

Gently fold in blueberries until coated with dressing. Serve immediately, or refrigerate overnight. If refrigerating, fold in blueberries when ready to serve.

Yield: 8-10 servings. Per serving: Calories: 44; Fat 0.8g; Carbs: 9.2g; Protein 0.9g. Cost Per Serving: $.55.

Suzette Zara is a nutritionist, author, creator of Devil’s Salsa ( and a frequent speaker on low-fat healthy cooking. She can be reached via email at