If I had to choose just one berry to consume on a regular basis, it would be the blueberry. Ranked among the top fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant activity, blueberries are loaded with vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that just make them even more delightful to consume.
If you don’t have enough reasons already as to why you should be consuming these blue gems…here are a few more.
Five health benefits of eating blueberries
1. Blueberries are a source of the antioxidant ellagic acid, which may block metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer.
2. Blueberry skins contain resveratrol, which research associates with anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and blood sugar-lowering properties.
3. Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamins C and E, as well as fibre.
4. They are low in calories, with only 81 calories per cup!
5. Blueberries are good for your heart — several studies have associated blueberry consumption with improved blood-fat balances, reduced cholesterol, increased HDL cholesterol and reduced trigylcerides.
Five ways to enjoy blueberries
1. Combine them in a fruit salad with other berries.
2. Blend them into a smoothie.
4. Eat them fresh right out of the container.
5. Make a blueberry pie!
Wild blueberry tart
1 cup almonds, roasted and cooled
3/4-1 cup oat flour
2 tbsp maple crystals or organic sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp agar flakes (natural form of gelatin)
1 3/4 cup apple juice
2 tbsp tapioca (or cornstarch) dissolved in 1/4 cup apple juice
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups fresh wild blueberries, washed and drained
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9” tart pan.
For the crust:
1. In food processor, grind nuts to a meal. In mixing bowl, combine nuts, flour, maple crystals, baking powder and salt.
2. In separate small bowl, whisk together oil and maple syrup.
3. Mix wet ingredients (oil and syrup) into dry ingredients (nut meal and flours).
4. Press crust mixture into tart pan. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes, then bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the filling:
1. In a small pot, simmer agar flakes in apple juice until agar completely dissolves. When agar dissolves, add tapioca/juice mixture.Whisk until mixture thickens. Add maple syrup.
2. Add pinch of salt and berries. Cook six to eight minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool partially. Pour into cooled crust pan.
3. Let set completely. Garnish with mint before serving. There may be a small amount of filling left; you can enjoy it as a pudding by blending in food processor.
Marni Wasserman is a culinary nutritionist in Toronto whose philosophy is stemmed around whole foods. She is dedicated to providing balanced lifestyle choices through natural foods. Using passion and experience, she strives to educate individuals on how everyday eating can be simple and delicious.