Blueberries


Blueberries in Peak Season: July is National Blueberry Month
Available at the market from May through September, it is July that blueberries hit their zenith of flavor, just in time for July 4th barbeques and celebrations. How fitting! Blueberries are truly American, since the blueberry is native only to North America.

 

In terms of nutrition and health, blueberries have a low glycemic index, are loaded with iron, and provide a variety of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, including vitamins A and C, as well as anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, flavonols, and tannins. Nutrient dense, they are thought to play a role in the prevention of a variety of chronic disease, from cancer, to Alzheimer’s, to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Anthocyanin, which gives blueberries their color, appears to protect the signaling neurons in the brain from oxidative stress, aiding neurological function and memory. It is this component that is especially associated with blueberries’ anti-aging benefits.1

 

Interestingly, this modern-day conclusion about blueberries’ anti-aging health benefits agrees with the model offered by traditional Chinese medicine: the blueberry is associated with the water element, the kidneys and the adrenals, and our “kidney essence”… our life-force energy that we acquire at birth.

 

Pathways4Health Sugar-Free Blueberry-Almond Compote
2 cups coconut water or organic apple or pear juice, divided (1 cup to dilute kuzu)
2 pints fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
¼-1/2 cup kuzu, diluted in 1 cup liquid, above (more kuzu will result in a firmer jell)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1-2 T. maple syrup
1-2 t. vanilla flavoring
1-2 t. ground cinnamon & a pinch of ground cloves (optional)
1 cup chopped or slivered almonds

In a 3-4 quart sauce pan, bring 1 cup of apple juice to a boil. Add blueberries and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes until all berries have popped open. Add kuzu diluted 1 cup juice/coconut water and boil, stirring constantly until kuzu turns clear. Add lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and almonds. Adjust sweeteners and flavorings to taste. Pour into individual serving dishes. Can be eaten hot or chilled.

 

Cantaloupe Soup with Blueberries (Serves 6-8 as an appetizer or dessert)
1 ripe peach
1 cantaloupe
¾ cup unfiltered apple juice
2 t. fresh lemon juice
½ t. vanilla extract
2 T. fresh mint leaves, chopped
½ pint blueberries for garnish

Peel and chop the peach; cut the cantaloupe into small chunks. Place the fruit in a medium saucepan, and add the apple juice. Cook over medium heat until the fruit is soft, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla.
Puree the soup in a blender or a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the chopped mint leaves. Chill for 2 hours. Garnish with blueberries and serve.
Source: Annemarie Colbin, The Natural Gourmet.

 

Blueberry-Couscous Cake (Yield: One 9” by 14” Cake…a dessert or for breakfast)
This is a luscious cake, dense, moist, and rich-tasting because of the blueberries, yet fat-free. Serve it topped with unsweetened raspberry or strawberry jam or orange marmalade, thinned with a little water

6 cups organic apple juice
1 T. vanilla extract
3 cups couscous
1 pint blueberries

Pick over the blueberries and wash them gently under cold water. Set aside on paper towels to dry thoroughly.
Place the apple juice, vanilla, and couscous in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Stir continuously, until the couscous has thickened and all the juice has been absorbed.
Gently fold the blueberries into the hot couscous. Pour immediately into a 9”X 14” rinsed, undried shallow baking pan. Chill until set, about 2 hours.
Source: Annemarie Colbin, The Natural Gourmet.

Copyright 2008 Pathways4Health.org

  1. See www. Blueberry.org; and Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Datatbase, a database on hundreds of plant phytonutrients, at www.ars-grin.gov/duke/p []