Nearly at their seasonal prime, blueberries will be bursting their blue richness on Canadian soil over the coming weeks. If there were one berry to be consuming on a regular basis, it would be the blueberry. Blueberries are ranked among the top superfood fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant activity. Not only that but they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that make them even more delightful to consume.
If you don’t already have enough reasons why you should be consuming these blue gems…here’s a few more.
5 Benefits of eating blueberries
- Blueberries are a source of the antioxidant ellagic acid which blocks metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer
- Blueberry skins contain resveratrol – which has proven to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and blood sugar lowering properties
- Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, E and fiber.
- They are only 81 calories per cup!
- They’re a cool and refreshing fruit perfect for hot summer days!
5 Uses for Blueberries
- Combine them in a fruit salad with other berries
- Blend them into a smoothie for liquid nutrition
- Bake them into muffins or pancakes
- Eat them fresh right out of the container
- 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
- Sea salt
- 2 cups fresh wild blueberries, washed and drained
Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9” tart pan.
For the Crust:
- In food processor, grind nuts to a meal. In mixing bowl, combine nuts, flour, maple crystals, baking powder and salt.
- In separate small bowl, whisk together oil and maple syrup.
- Mix wet ingredients (oil and syrup) into dry ingredients (nut meal and flours).
- Press crust mixture into tart pan. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes, then bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the filling
- 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.
- Add pinch of salt and berries. Cook 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool partially. Pour into cooled crust pan.
- Let set completely. Garnish with mint before serving. There may be a small amount of filling left, you can enjoy as a pudding by blending in food processor.
You all have heard it before and it still holds truth. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! A coffee and a slice of toast just doesn’t cut it. It will not hold you over, and you are likely to be hungry within the hour and that is when you will grab something else sweet and fulfilling…sound familiar? So start your day off right. I know this may sound like a Kellogg’s commercial, but it is true – and Kellogg’s and cheerios are not even part of my advice.
If you get “the goods” in early and your body will be very happy. Even if you are the type of person that really just isn’t that hungry in the morning, at the very least have a green juice or a glass of water with some lemon and a piece of fruit, and maybe even a handful of nuts. Other balanced breakfast for ones with more of an appetite may be a smoothie, bowl of oatmeal, granola with almond milk, slice of Ezekiel toast with almond butter, sheep’s yogurt and fruit or maybe some hearty oatmeal pancakes!
Whatever you choose to eat, make sure it it balanced and provides you with sufficient protein, complex carbohydrate, healthy fats and fiber. These nutrients will give you energy and keep you satisfied and make sure your metabolism is off to a healthy start. Just remember the more balanced the breakfast, the less likely you are to have cravings throughout the day (and more importantly at night!).
There are many ways to get these nutrients in your breakfast and not even focus strictly on one isolated nutrient. If you chose whole food ingredients and combine them wisely you will definitely be getting all the nutrients your body needs to get you going! Here are some tips.
Healthy fat: almond butter or avocado on your toast, coconut oil in your smoothie, nuts and seeds on sheep yogurt or oatmeal
Use this as a guideline and don’t skip breakfast. You are not doing your body any good by starving your body of calories when it needs it the most! Make sure you have a enough time in the morning to eat something decent and not always have to grab breakfast on the go.
And for the mornings or weekends when you have more time, you may even want to indulge and make a little feast of breakfast goodness. Oatmeal pancakes are hearty and delicious, full of fiber, complex carbohydrate and great for the kids too!
If you are looking for more breakfast inspiration, come to Balanced Brunch cooking class on May 12th to learn how to make some easy and filling breakfast recipes.
If you are a breakfast eater and have some others fabulous breakfast ideas, please post a comment and share your morning goodness!
Oaty Banana Blueberry Pancakes
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 ripe banana, mashed
1-2 tablespoon maple or coconut sugar
2 tablespoon ground sprouted flax, chia seeds
1 tablespoon applesauce
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1. Mix the oats, spelt flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in one bowl. Set aside.
2. Combine all the rest of the ingredients and allow to sit for a moment while you heat a skillet.
3. When the pan is hot, add your coconut oil.
4. Stir your pancake batter (add more water if necessary).
5. Pour a small amount of batter (about 3 inch in diameter) in the pan – you may be able to fit 2-3 circles in one pan.
6. Cook until bottom is brown and all sides are completely dry.
7. Serve with coconut flakes, fresh fruit, almond butter, apple butter or all natural fruit preserve. ENJOY!
8. Top with fresh banana and blueberries!