Timeless Nutrition Tip
Bursting with flavor and boasting the highest antioxidant level of any fruit or vegetable, the simple blueberry abounds with flavor and good nutrition. Blueberries are naturally sweet, low in calories, easy to eat, cook or bake with and exceptionally nutritious.
It is also thought blueberries can help you sharpen your memory as well as your taste buds. The pigment that gives blueberries their deep blue color is called anthocyanin and is a powerful antioxidant. It protects the body against the damage of free radicals and plays an important role in the health of the heart and skin.
Eating 1/2 cup of blueberries a day may improve balance, coordination and short-term memory.
Blueberries are traditionally a summer treat, but you can find them fresh in stores almost year round. The intense taste and the deep color of blueberry freezes extremely well making it easy to store extra blueberries in the freezer for use at any time.
Suggestions for using blueberries:
- Use fresh blueberries to top off cereal, yogurt, ice cream or rice pudding.
- Combine fresh blueberries with a dusting of cinnamon or one tablespoon of your favorite liqueur, such as creme de cassis or amaretto.
- For a special treat, top off fresh berries with a dollop of fat-free or light ice cream.
- Let fresh blueberries add color, taste, and texture to fruit salads or cold chicken salad.
- Make a blueberry parfait by layering blueberries with your favorite sorbet or frozen yogurt. Save the biggest, firmest berries for the top!
- Use frozen blueberries to add great taste to muffins and quick breads. Simple corn or bran muffins get pizzazz from berries as well as an extra nutritional boost.
- Keep some frozen blueberries in your freezer and use your imagination. You'll be amazed at how many recipes they can brighten up.
Blueberries are excellent anti-inflammatory agents. They increase the amounts of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age, thereby causing inflammation and damage, particularly in the brain. If you eat blueberries regularly, research shows that these heat-shock proteins stop declining, inflammation decreases, and pain decreases. Blueberries are excellent pain fighters. If toxins in your body are causing pain or inflammation, you will be happy to learn that blueberries contain a substance that is ten times more potent than aspirin at fighting pain and inflammation.
Blueberry Cleansing Salad Dressing Recipe
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup cold-pressed flax seed oil (make sure it is refrigerated)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Dash of Celtic sea salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Blend with a hand mixer or whisk together. If whisking ingredients together, mash the blueberries with a fork. Pour over mixed baby greens since they have the greatest healing properties of various types of lettuce.
Exceptional Bluberries and Native Americans
According to legend, the blueberry was the real star of the first Thanksgiving, as Native Americans shared dried blueberries with the pilgrims to help them through their first winter. (Recipe below)
Native Americans used these star berries, as they called them, for soups, stews, meats and medicinal purposes. They also made one of the first blueberry baked goods, called Sautauthig, out of blueberries, cracked corn and water.
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons real maple syrup or honey
2 cups fresh blueberries
In a 2-quart saucepan heat water and milk until bubbles form around edge of pan. Stirring constantly, slowly add cornmeal or grits and salt until well combined. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in maple syrup or honey until well combined. Gently stir in fresh blueberries.
Did You Know?
July is National Blueberry Month