WELL BEING: Blueberries

29 May

Blueberries by AmyJoVanB / flickr

Blueberry harvest marks the un-official start of Summer in East Texas!

The sandy soil in our neck of the woods is perfect for growing berries of all kinds, including blueberries. One local blueberry farm claims they’ve tested the soil and the sand literally goes down 20 feet in some places making for perfect blueberry growing conditions.

Not only does the true blue color of blueberries appeal to me but I regularly crave their dark fruit taste. Throughout the year, I fill my freezer with frozen blueberries but come June 1st, blueberry farms begin harvesting the freshest blueberries around.

One of my favorite days of each year is spent in early June, visiting a local blueberry farm.  Oftentimes, the farmers will have already harvested a large bounty, hand washed each berry and have prepared big baskets and crates of luscious berries for public consumption.  Bringing home a bunch of blueberries means I get busy experimenting with all sorts of wonderful recipe’s and still have plenty of berries to share with my neighbors.

Being a low-calorie fruit, blueberries are an excellent treat anytime. I especially love a handful of blueberries in the evening when I’m craving a late night snack.  They’re delicious, wholesome and satisfying.

Blueberries are great for your skin, eyes & vascular system. In fact, a single serving of blueberries is filled with the antioxidant power you need to fight aging and cancer.

Scientists have ranked blueberries as the highest antioxidant fruit of all, even out-ranking some vegetables like garlic and broccoli.  Their high vitamin C count makes them an ideal food to consume for immunity boosting.

Many compounds present in the blueberry have anti-viral and anti-bacterial elements.  Regular intake of blueberries prevents most common contagious illnesses, is said to prevent heart diseases and can even improve digestion by providing natural enzymes.

Here are a few of my favorite summer recipe’s, sure to make your crowd go wild!

Blueberry Smoothie

  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • ½  cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp local honey*

Pulse in blender til desired consistency. Great for “on-the-go” meals.

Blueberry Lemonade

  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or alternative sweetener to taste)

Process all ingredients in blender until smooth.

Pour through strainer over a pitcher, discard pulp.  Drink up!

Blueberry Parfait

  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp almond slivers

Layer the yogurt and blueberries in 2 wine glasses. Top with almonds.

For an extra sensory surprise, add some grated dark chocolate or a sprinkling of diced crystalized ginger.

*Local honey is good for building immunity to local allergies.

Send questions and comments to lynnvannoy@gmail.com or visit www.lynnvannoy.com 

The information in this column is not intended as medical advice. Its intention is solely informational and educational.

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