If you live in Australia, perhaps you have been steering clear of berries since the Hepatitis A scare??
Well, I think food safety scares like this are a huge reminder to know where our food comes from and choose local wherever possible.
Blueberries are available locally to us and one way of having them year round is buying a few up when they are in season and freezing them.
Most people know blueberries (like all fruit) are healthy but why?
The nutritional benefits of blueberries (what’s so great about them?)
- They are a good source of vitamin C – A small punnet (about 150g) of blueberries contains about 19-20mg of vitamin C. Although this is not as high as some other fruit (E.g. an orange has about 44mg and 1/2 punnet of strawberries contains about 45mg), it’s still a great source.
- They have anti-oxidant properties - Blueberries contain a food chemical (phytochemical) called Anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are what give some fruit and vegetables a blue/purple colour and it’s thought they act as antioxidants. Anti-oxidants fight free radicals (things that cause cancer).
There is some research that Anthocyanins actually boost the effect of vitamin C in our body, improving our blood pressure, circulation and strengthening collagen.
- They contain beta-carotene – Beta-Carotene gets converted to vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A is really important for reproduction, our immune system and also our eyesight
- They are Low GI – Low GI or Glycemic Index means the the blueberries won’t spike someone’s blood sugar levels quickly. This would make them an ideal snack choice for people with Diabetes or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
How can we eat and cook with blueberries?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Add them to yoghurt as a dessert
- In fruit salads
- In desserts like tarts, muffins & cheesecake
- On top of breakfast cereals
- In smoothies (this is my favourite)
- Lastly….in blueberry jam!
Ok, so if you have never eaten blueberries or want some ideas to try, then an easy smoothie is a good way to go.
Here is a super blueberry smoothie recipe:
- 1/2 cup of blueberries (frozen or fresh)
- 100-200ml of plain coconut water
- Sprinkle of shredded coconut
- 1 small banana
- Sprinkle of LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond seed mix) – this is optional
- 1/2 teaspoon of honey (if you wish)
- Wizz it all together in a blender and you are good to go
- You can also swap the coconut water for cows milk/almond milk/oat milk/rice milk/soy milk if you wish