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!

Watermelon—Good for more than just Picnics!

Fresh ripe and delicious

Cooling refreshing summer ripe watermelon

I am more apt to think of Watermelon at picnics or seed spitting contests at camp or a lively family reunion or used to entertain the kids.  But, watermelon is a great addition to our diet—especially as the weather gets warm and we enjoy our summer days. Their high water content makes them good refreshments on the hot days as it is considered an “cold” food and one that treats the bladder, heart and stomach meridians.

Who knew, watermelons are native to Africa, and were considered a valuable and portable source of water for desert situations and when natural water supplies were contaminated. Watermelons were cultivated in Egypt and India as far back as 2500 B.C. as evidenced in ancient hieroglyphics.

Watermelon contains Vitamins A and C, iron, and potassium.  Surprisingly, the red watery fruit has only half the sugar of an apple, but often times tastes much sweeter because sugar is its main taste-producing element—the rest of course—water!

Watermelon relieves thirst, mental depression, and edema and it induces urination.  It is a good source of lycopene and is great for one’s vision.

Add watermelons to salad, salsa or juice them. Watermelon is refreshing and nourishing any day. Try to make it a regular part of your diet, especially while in season.  Check out the Watermelon Cooler and smoothie.  But most of all indulge–and smile as you enjoy a summertime fruit that not only tastes good, but is good for you!

Watermelon Cooler

1 2-inch slice of watermelon

1/2 cup of fresh organic strawberries

1/4 fresh fennel bulb

1 lemon

mint for garnish

Using your juicer, process watermelon, strawberries, fennel and lemon.  Stir and pour into a glass.  Adjust ingredients accordingly to the number being served! This recipe serves one.

Watermelon Smoothie

1 cup watermelon chunks

1 cup organic blueberries

1 cup SO Delicious coconut yogurt

2 tbsp. raw pumpkin seeds

Put all ingredients into Vitamix and process.

Enjoy, be well and relax!

  •   Every part of the watermelon, including the seeds and the rind is edible.
  •  Watermelons are ideal for the health as they do not contain any fat or cholesterol and are high in fiber content.
  •  Over 1200 varieties of watermelon are grown in approximately 100 countries across the world.
  •   Watermelons are very fragile and cannot be harvested with the help of machines. Instead they are carefully tossed by workers on a relay that runs between the fields and the truck.

Florian enjoying fresh summer watermelon!

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: