Day 12: I’ve Got the Blues

The blueberry blues….Not really, but that was fun to say. I’m actually thrilled that blueberries made the list. Blueberries have the highest ORAC values of any fruit in the world. What does ORAC mean? Well, the acronym stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, but that doesn’t really tell you what it means. Bottom line, ORAC is a rating system that scientists use to test antioxidant power. To understand the ORAC scale, think about a football team. For your team (Go Steelers!) to go to the playoffs, you need all the players to work well together and not just have one superstar player. That is what the ORAC rating tells you: the level of benefit you receive from all the antioxidants and phytochemicals combined.

Antioxidants are important because they neutralize the free radicals, which are linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and more. Wild blueberries also show the greatest anticancer activity of any other fruit. Blueberries contain compounds like anthocyanin that are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. As I learn more about inflammation in the body, I’ve discovered that it is a bad, bad thing. Inflammation can contribute to a whole host of diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.

If that wasn’t enough, blueberries are a great brain food. They actually help the neurons in the brain communicate with one another more effectively. This can help with memory loss, balance and coordination.

Did you know that blueberries are actually one of only three fruits native to North America? The other two are cranberries and Concord grapes. 

I bought pint of blueberries and had planned to eat them over yogurt or in my cereal, but when I got home last night, I discovered that my baby sitter had given my kids the blueberries for their special treat after dinner and the two of them polished off the entire pint! I couldn’t be more thrilled! Have you noticed that kids will sometimes eat something that they normally wouldn’t without complaint if someone other than their Mom gives it to them? If I would have told them that blueberries were their special treat, I would have heard whining and complaining. Maybe I’ll start giving them fruit for their dessert every night!

I do want to share a great recipe with you that I have had for dessert on occasion and it is decadent and healthy. I simply take ½ cup of nonfat Greek yogurt and top it with frozen blueberries. I let it sit for about ten minutes and the Greek yogurt gets slushy and the blueberries thaw out a bit. I sometimes add a little honey if the berries are not sweet enough. Yum!

If you have any blueberry recipes, please share!

4 thoughts on “Day 12: I’ve Got the Blues

  1. Got this from Paula Deen so may not fit the “health” food theme but wow are they good and the boys loved them.

    2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    12 vanilla wafers
    1 (21-ounce) can blueberry filling, or other pie filling
    Directions
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of a muffin pan.

    Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Place a vanilla wafer, flat side down, in each muffin cup. Spoon cream cheese mixture over wafers. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow tarts to cool completely. Serve with blueberry filling on top,
    p.s.
    I made this with the blueberry jam you made me and it was yum-o!

    • OMG this recipe sounds YUMMY!! I am sure one could substitute the cream cheese with fat free and use a diffrent sweetner etc. I might try this sometime!

  2. I’m beginning to think we are kindred souls Stacy! I love blueberries, and when I buy a pint or quart at the store my kids love nothing better than to eat them as is, right out of the colander! I too love to put some frozen blueberries on top of my yogurt and wait a few minutes to eat them. Another treat you might like to try if you like cottage cheese, is to sprinkle some frozen blueberries on top, and then sprinkle on some cinnamon, stevia or splenda or whatever sweetener you like, top it all off with some TJ slivered toasted almonds. OH MY, it is so good! I also love to sprinkle frozen blueberries on my cereal. It makes the milk sooooo cold, and I love that 🙂 The frozen wild Maine blueberries are good for all of this because they are smaller than regular frozen blueberries and therefore the defrost a bit quicker for you. In the summer I LOVE to pick my own blueberries (we have several “pick your own fruit” farms near where I live). What we don’t eat right away freeze beautifully!

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