A Magic Pill?

Close your eyes and imagine a pill that could:pill

  • lower your blood pressure
  • reduce your total cholesterol
  • improve your memory and cognitive function
  • ease muscle soreness after strenuous exercise
  • protect your eyes from UV damage
  • and reduce your risk of developing certain cancers

Would you take it? What if it tasted horrible? What if the costs were exorbitant?

Good news. It’s not a pill, it tastes delicious and the price is far less than a bottle of Aspirin. You can open your eyes now.

Yes, it’s the blueberry.photo 1

Blueberries are among the most antioxidant-rich foods in the world.  Anthocyanins are the natural pigments that give blueberries their colour and account for much of the antioxidant activity of this fantastic fruit. They also contain flavonols like quercetin and numerous other phytonutrients including red-wine rich resveratrol.

Antioxidants are important as they have the ability to scavenge and trap free radicals that can damage our cells and our DNA.  Consuming a diet high in antioxidants may help slow the aging process and reduce cellular damage that can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, macular degeneration and dementia.

Quick Tips:

Freezing blueberries does not affect the antioxidant content, so go ahead and buy them by the flat-load in the summer and freeze for use on a rainy November day.

Heating blueberries is not a problem either. In fact, cooking blueberries rearranges the phytochemicals making them more bioavailable. Heating for too long or on too high of a heat, however, may lead to a loss in some of the vitamin C content.

Finally, don’t rinse of the waxy coating until ready to eat. The “bloom”, as it is called, keeps the berries’ juiciness and helps to protect against bacteria.

Beyond the Muffin.

I’ll be on CTV Morning Live Monday morning showing the audience how to incorporate blueberries into their meals in new and delicious ways.  See the recipes below for inspiration.

BLUEBERRY LIME SALSAphoto 1

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup fresh blueberries

5 medium strawberries

1/4 red onion

1 teaspoon lime zest

Juice of two limes

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 avocado, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, juice and cilantro in a food processor or blender and pulse about 5-6 times so it stays a little chunky. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Transfer salsa into a bowl and fold in chopped avocado. Serve with raw veggies, whole grain pita chips or on top of fish, chicken or pork.

BLUE on BLUE   IMG_2837                                                                                        Recipe adapted from: BC Blueberry Council

Yields 1/3 cup of spread

Ingredients:

1 cup (150 g) B.C. blueberries ­ fresh or frozen

3 cloves of roasted garlic

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp maple syrup

½ tsp pepper – freshly ground

½ tsp  salt

2 tbsp cream cheese (room temperature)

1 whole endive, separated into individual leaves, washed and trimmed to size

¼ cup Gorgonzola or Cambozola blue cheese

3 tbsp walnuts , chopped

3 tbsp  B.C. blueberries ­ fresh for topping

Directions:

Cut the top off of a bulb of garlic and wrap in tin foil. Slow roast in a 250°F/120°C oven for 60­75 minutes. Set aside to cool. Remove the garlic from the bulb casing.

In a medium saucepan, over a low heat, simmer the blueberries, roasted garlic, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup for approximately 10- 15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.

In a food processor or blender, puree the blueberry mixture with the cream cheese. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum 1­2 hours until thickened.

Spread approx 1 teaspoon of blueberry mixture on lower half endive leaf.  Top with slice of  blue cheese and sprinkle with a few chopped walnuts and 1 fresh blueberry. Serve at room temperature.

 

FRESH BLUEBERRY, CORN & CHICKEN SALADIMG_2840

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 large boneless chicken breast

3/4 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 ear of corn, kernels removed

½ cup natural unsweetened Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon light mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of chopped dill

Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

Optional: Romaine or Bibb lettuce leaves for wraps, or small whole grain tortillas

Directions

Place chicken breast in between two sheets of wax paper or in a re-sealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, whack the chicken to flatten it until it is about 1 inch in depth.

Oil grill pan if using or place chicken directly on BBQ. Cook each side for about 5-7 minutes until it is cooked through.

Place the celery, red onion and corn in large bowl.  Slice the cooked chicken into slim, bite size pieces and place in bowl with other ingredients.

In a small bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill add a pinch of salt. Add blueberries and dressing to chicken mixture and gently toss to coat.  Refrigerate until serving.  Serve either on a bed of lettuce or use romaine leaves or whole grain tortillas to make wraps.

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One thought on “A Magic Pill?

  1. Love this news as we love blueberries! Now if only there were Richmond farm fresh blueberries in France! Will drain Picard frozen stock instead and give the recipes a try. Thanks!

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