Blueberries . . . so much more than the color blue!

Blueberry-watermelon SmoothieOne of my favorite things growing up was fresh homegrown blueberries. I especially loved finding the large, plump, juicy blueberries, and eating them one by one right off the bush in the backyard; there is nothing better and somehow they always signaled the ending of summer and the return to school.  —Somewhere around the first part of August the blueberry bushes gave way to bountiful luscious berries. That was many years ago and I do not live in the Northwest anymore but blueberries from the Northwest have flooded the stores and not only brought back those memories, but still remain one of my favorite berries!

What I didn’t know then, but share with you now, are blueberries also support the lung, spleen and stomach meridians. They are a cooling food and one that helps clear out toxins. Blueberries are the best source for anthocyanidin (compounds which protect blood vessels against cholesterol buildup)  and antioxidants that help slow and prevent cell deterioration.  They also support eye function and help protect against age-related macular degeneration. They help with both constipation and diarrhea and are therapeutic for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and peptic ulcers. They have both antiviral and bacteria-fighting capabilities and are useful in countering urinary tract infections. Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C and fiber.
Truly American, blueberries are a native American plant related to azaleas, rhododendrons, huckleberries (another favorite) and cranberries. I still love to eat them plain– right out of the plastic container now—for dessert or make fresh muffins for a Sunday morning treat.  They are also a great addition to smoothies.
For a delicious Summer Smoothie try this Blueberry-watermelon twist:
1 cup watermelon chunks
1 cup blueberries
1/3-1/2 cup yogurt (I use the non-dairy So Delicious made with coconut brand)
2 Tsp. raw organic pumpkin seeds
Place in your vitamin to combine ~ Enjoy!

OR . . .for a special treat fresh hot muffins!Blueberry Muffins - fresh and hot from the oven
Blueberry Muffins out of Grandma Rose’s Book of Sinfully Delicious snacks, nibbles, noshes and other delights, Portland Oregon
5 cups flour (2 ½)

1 cup sweet butter (1/2), room temperature,

4 cups fresh blueberries (2)

1 ½ cups sugar (3/4)

1 tsp. salt (1/2)

5 extra-large eggs (2)

1 T. baking powder (1 ½ tsp.)

2 cups sour cream (1)

2 tsp. baking soda (1)
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Grease standard-size muffin tins. Sift the flour and put 1 cup of it over the blueberries. To the balance of the flour, add salt and baking powder.In a large bowl, cream the butter and add the sugar and eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg. Gradually stir in the remaining flour and the sour cream, to which you have added the baking soda. Don’t beat the muffin batter at this point, simply stir. Fold in the blueberries. Put a heaping tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Bake at 425˚F. for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375˚F.f and bake until the muffins feel solid and are golden brown, for about 20 minutes more.

Cathy’s notes: I usually make half of this recipe. It has been one of my favorites over the years.  Amounts are shown in (parentheses) to the right. Half recipe makes approx. 18 muffins. Also, I bake these muffins at 350˚F. for about 20 minutes. They are delicious—especially now that the blueberries are in season. The muffins shown in the picture, I substituted spelt flour instead of all-purpose to make them gluten free, and used a Turbinado sugar which gives them a darker heartier muffin, but one that is nevertheless very tasty!

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