Food of the Week: Blueberries

By Shelby Carl
Staff Writer

Calories: One cup, 84

High In: Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and antioxidants

While you may not have heard the expression “as American as blueberry pie,” it would be more appropriate considering blueberries’ have strong ties to American history.

Blueberries are indigenous to North America and played a large part in Native American culture long before America was formally settled.

Native Americans added them to soups, used them as a meat preservative, and even created the first blueberry baked good, a pudding called Sautauthig. Legend has it that the Native Americans introduced the pilgrims to blueberries to help them survive their first winter.

Many historians believe pilgrims added milk, butter, and sugar to Sautauthig and even incorporated the dish into the first Thanksgiving meal.

In 1916, farmer Elizabeth White and botanist Dr. Frederick Coville teamed up to crossbreed and domesticate the blueberry in rural New Jersey.

Today, the blueberry is hailed for its antioxidant properties and dense nutritional profile.

Blueberries provide a number of health benefits such as: maintaining healthy bones, managing blood sugar levels, warding off heart disease, promoting weight loss, and fighting wrinkles.

Anthocyanin, an antioxidant responsible for rich hues in fruits and vegetables like blueberries, cranberries, red cabbage and eggplants is one of the biggest contributors to blueberries nutrient density.

Blueberries also contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamins K, which all play a vital role in maintaining healthy bones. Vitamin K helps improve calcium absorption, while iron and zinc maintain strength and elasticity of bones and joints.

Studies show the fiber in blueberries has helped Type 1 diabetics lower their glucose level and Type 2 diabetics improve blood sugar profiles including lipid and insulin levels.

Blueberries fiber along with potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content also contributes to its heart healthy benefits. Together, they lower cholesterol in the blood, prevent homocysteine from accumulating in the body, and as a result, prevent blood vessel damage and other heart problems.

The final benefit of blueberries high-fiber content (14% of daily recommended intake) is the way it acts as a bulking agent in the body, reducing appetite, lowering overall caloric intake, and promoting weight loss.

Blueberries have also been shown to fight wrinkles. One cup provides 24 percent of the daily-recommended intake of vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that helps prevent damage to the skin through pollutants and sun damage.

Recipe of the week: Blueberry Protein Muffins

Ingredients

▪     1 cup oatmeal flour (quick oats ground in food processor)

▪     ¼ cup almond flour

▪     3 egg whites

▪     ½ cup Greek Yogurt

▪     1 cup unsweetened applesauce

▪     2 tablespoon honey

▪     1 teaspoon vanilla extract

▪     1 medium banana, peeled and mashed

▪     3 scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder

▪     1 teaspoon cinnamon

▪     1½ teaspoon baking powder

▪     ½ teaspoon baking soda

▪     1 teaspoon orange zest or lemon zest

▪     1 cup fresh organic blueberries or frozen blueberries

Instructions

1    Preheat oven to 350°.

2    Place liners in one muffin pan and lightly spray with organic baking spray.

3    In a large bowl combine egg whites, yogurt, applesauce, honey, vanilla extract and mashed banana.

4    In a second bowl combine oatmeal flour, almond meal, vanilla whey protein powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and orange zest.

5    Combine flour mix and egg mix together until smooth.

6    Fill each tin ¾ of the way full, spreading evenly.

7    Place about 8 blueberries on top spreading evenly over top of each filled muffin batter. Do NOT push blueberries down into batter.

8    Bake for 20 minutes.

9    Store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 muffin

Calories: 126 Fat: 3g Carbohydrates: 17 Sugar: 8g Sodium: 253mg Protein: 9g

Recipe from: http://ahealthylifeforme.com

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