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 []

Cooling Summer Soups


Cantaloupe Soup with Blueberries (serves 6-8)…A wonderful appetizer; dessert; or snack.
1 ripe peach
1 cantaloupe
¾ cup unfiltered organic apple juice
2 t. fresh lemon juice
¼ t. vanilla extract
2 T. fresh mint leaves, chopped
½ pint blueberries for garnish

  1. Peel and chop the peach; cut the cantaloups into small chunks. Place the fruit in a medium saucepan, and add the apple juice. Cook over medium heat until the fruit is soft, 7-8 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla.
  2. 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


Peach Soup (serves 6)
3 pounds ripe peaches, peeled
¼ cup mild honey
3 T. fresh lemon or lime juice
5 cups buttermilk
1 cup orange juice
3 T. peach brandy or Marsala
½ t. ground cinnamon
½ t. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ t. ground ginger
½ t. ground cardamom
½ t. vanilla
Garnish: ½ cup slivered almonds

  1. Set aside 6 of the peaches. Remove the pits from the remaining fruit and puree in a blender or food processor, along with the honey and lemon or lime juice.
  2. Place the puree in a large bowl and stir in the buttermilk, orange jice, brandy or Marsala, spices, and vanilla.
  3. Slice the reserved peaches and add to the soup.
  4. Serve immediately or cover and chill 30 minutes in the freezer.
  5. Garnish each bowl with slivered almonds.

Note: Peel peaches like tomatoes, but submerging in boiling water for ten seconds, then running under cold water. Skins should come off easily.
Source: Martha Rose Shulman


Watermelon Soup
½ watermelon, ~8 lbs, no rind
1 mango
1 cup sparkling grape juice
½ cucumber, peeled Piece fresh ginger
Mint leaves for garnish

Cube fruits and add all ingredients to a blender. Increase speed from low to high, gradually, and blend for about 40 seconds. Turn off machine and chill in refrigerator. Serve with fresh mint leaves if desired.
Source: Vita-mix.


Gazpacho Soup (serves 4)
6 tomatoes, fresh from the vine
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Cayenne to taste
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
2 avocados, cubed
Fresh cilantro or parsley and mint leaves, chopped fine, to taste.

4 T. fresh lime juice

Blend tomatoes, oil, and spices. Stir in cucumbers, avocados, and chopped greens. Whirl in lime juice just before serving.

 

Quick, Creamy Garden Tomato Soup
1 quart vine-ripened tomatoes
Freshly ground pepper and Celtic sea salt
1 cup pine nuts
1 bunch of dill, chopped

Blend tomatoes, salt and pepper.
Add pine nuts and dill. Pulse and serve.
Source: Gabriel Cousens, M.D.


Watercress Soup (serves 4)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 T. butter
1 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 quart vegetable stock
1 bunch watercress, stems separated from leafy tops

1. Saute the onion in the butter in a large saucepan, covered, for 5 minutes, without browning.
2. Add the potatoes and watercress stems (if using), cover again and cook gently for 5-10 minutes more. Stir occasionally and do not allow the vegetables to brown.
3. Stir in the stock or water, cover the pan and leave the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
4. Reserve 4 small watercress sprigs for garnishing, then puree the soup in a blender or food processor with the rest of the watercress. Season to taste with salt and pepper, reheat without boiling and serve in warmed bowls, each topped with a swirl of cream and a watercress sprig. Also delicious served chilled.
Source: Rose Elliot