Green Power Smoothie

blueberries featured recipe five for friday smoothies wfpb Jun 17, 2022

My Favorite Fruit or Vegetable of the week - Blueberries

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Although there are not quite in season in the northeast as of this writing, there are in season in the south and in California.


What to Look for When Buying Blueberries?

 

Blueberries are a combination of tart and sweet.

 

However, cultivated varieties (the big ones) are now bred for increasing sweetness and large, plump fruits. 

 

There are 2 types of blueberries:

 

Highbush blueberries: The most common cultivated variety in the US.

Lowbush or “wild” blueberries: Typically smaller and richer in some antioxidants.

 

Wild varieties, in my opinion, taste way better than cultivated and tend to have a more concentrated blueberry flavor, while cultivated blueberries seem to be juicier.

 

Look for firm, dry, plump blueberries with smooth skin and no shriveled or moldy bits. 

 

Avoid greenish or red blueberries — those are usually underripe. 

 

Some blueberries may have a vague white chalky coating (called “bloom”) that is naturally occurring and helps to protect the berries.

 

Unfortunately, domestic blueberries rank fairly high on the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, a list EWG created to single out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. (Here’s a list of pesticides commonly found on blueberries.)

 

There are some differences between “wild” production and cultivated blueberries, although wild blueberries are not necessarily pesticide-free. One of the largest wild blueberry producers, Wyman’s, was threatened with a lawsuit for aerial pesticide spraying as a violation of the federal Clean Water Act (they voluntarily ceased spraying, but still continue to use minimal ground spraying as part of integrated pest management practices).



Storing Blueberries

 

Store blueberries in the center rack of your refrigerator, which is the low-humidity and low-moisture region. Keep them in the container they came in, which should be a breathable container. 

Blueberries freeze well in an airtight container or bag. Freeze blueberries for up to six to twelve months or consume them within 4-5 days.

 

Cooking with Blueberries

 

The best way to enjoy blueberries is raw, but they make great toppings on salads or fruit salads and are delicious in pancakes, smoothies, waffles, muffins, cakes, loaves of bread, pies, ice cream, yogurt, or oats. 

 

 

Blueberries are Superfoods


Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals, 

 

Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables.

 

The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries belong to a family of polyphenols antioxidants called flavonoids.

 

One group of flavonoids in particular — anthocyanins — is thought to be responsible for much of these berries’ beneficial health effects. 

 

Blueberries have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels in your body

 

Blueberries Reduce DNA Damage, Which May Help Protect Against Aging and Cancer.

 

Because blueberries are high in antioxidants, they can neutralize some of the free radicals that damage your DNA.

 

In one study, 168 people drank 34 ounces (1 liter) of a mixed blueberry and apple juice daily.

 

After four weeks, oxidative DNA damage due to free radicals was reduced by 20%

 

The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to reduce a predominant risk factor for heart disease by preventing oxidative damage to “bad” LDL cholesterol.

 

Regular blueberry intake is tied to lower blood pressure in numerous studies.

 

The antioxidants in blueberries seem to benefit your brain by aiding brain function and delaying mental decline.

 

Several studies demonstrate that blueberries have anti-diabetes effects, improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels.

 

Like cranberries, blueberries contain substances that can prevent certain bacteria from binding to the wall of your bladder, which may help prevent UTIs.

 

One serving (about 1/2 cup) of blueberries delivers:

42 calories

11 g carbohydrate

2 g fiber

1 g protein

7 g sugars

4 mg calcium

57 mg potassium

7 mg vitamin C

 

Green Power Smoothie

 

 

 

 

Sources: https://foodprint.org/real-food/blueberries/ Healthline

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