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JUNE 2013 RECIPES

BLUEBERRIES

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Blueberries are now in season – a perfect time to visit a blueberry farm to pick them fresh, add them to your daily meals, and (if you’re ambitious) freeze them for future use.   Kids will eat them by the handful – they can taste their natural sweetness in every bite.   Despite their natural sugars, blueberries are low in calories (only 100 calories in a cup) and are low on the glycemic index, which means that they will not spike blood sugars.  Studies have also found that blueberries can help regulate blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.   

But the best news is that blueberries are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and they can improve your memory too!  Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruits and vegetables.  As we teach kids in our classes, antioxidants neutralize free radical scavengers that can cause damage to our bodies at the cellular level.  Blueberries are also loaded with phytonutrients (“phyto” means “plant”).  They get their deep blue color from phytonutrients called anthocyanins, which have powerful antioxidant and antiflammatory powers.  Anthocyanins, as well as other phytonutrients found in blueberries, can prevent degenerative diseases, including heart disease, stroke, memory loss, and possibly cancer.  A study also found that regular consumption of blueberries can prevent memory loss as we age.  Blueberries are definitely on our "smart foods" list!  Adding blueberries to your diet (2-3 cups a week) will not only support your health, but could keep your mind sharp too.  Since blueberries do not lose their antioxidant capacity when frozen, why not visit a blueberry farm this summer and store up on this superstar fruit!

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BLUEBERRY LEMON TART RECIPE
(4 servings) 
INGREDIENTS for WHOLE WHEAT CRUST:
2/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Organic Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Ice Cold Water
INGREDIENTS for FILLING:
1 cup Greek nonfat Yogurt
4 Lemons
1/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup fresh Blueberries
DIRECTIONS:  Prepare Filling.  Blend yogurt, juice of freshly squeezed lemons, sugar, and eggs.  Chill in refrigerator for 4-5 hours.  Preheat oven at 350F degrees.  Prepare crust by processing all ingredients in a food processor, pulsing until flour is well blended and dough is crumbly.  Place dough between 2 sheets of wax paper and roll out dough until thin.  Place dough in flan ramekins or mini pie tins.  Add blueberries to cover the bottom of the pie tins, then pour filling ingredients on top of blueberries.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool before serving.

BLUEBERRY SUNFLOWER SANDWICHES
&
BLUEBERRY LIMEADE

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BLUEBERRY SUNFLOWER SANDWICHES

INGREDIENTS: 
  • "Mock" Blueberry Jam (see Blueberry Limeade Recipe below)
  • Sunflower Seed Spread
  • Colored Sunflowers (look for seeds colored with natural ingredients)
  • Flower-shaped Cookie cutters
 PREPARATION:  These sandwiches are a creative way to use the "Mock" Blueberry Jam leftover from the limeade recipe (below).  These are a healthier version of the peanut butter sandwich, with sunflower seed butter (low allergenic) substituting for peanut butter. 

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BLUEBERRY LIMEADE (with less sugar):
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (you will only use approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 4 limes, freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup blueberries
 PREPARATION:
1.  Heat 1 cup of water, 1 cup of fresh blueberries, and 1/2 cup sugar until boiling; then, reduce to simmer and continue to heat for 30-40 minutes (blueberries will be sweeter the longer the liquid is reduced).  A thin blueberry syrup will remain.
2.  Use a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to extract just the blueberry syrup for the limeade.  Reserve the extra berries in the strainer to make our Blueberry Sunflower Sandwiches (see recipe above).  The blueberries that remain are a "Mock" Blueberry Jam.
3.  Make a simple syrup by boiling 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and set aside.
4.  Pour 4 cups of water and ice into a pitcher.
5.  Add juice of 4 limes to the water pitcher.
6.  Add ONLY 1/2 cup of the simple syrup (discard the rest).
7.  Add 6 Tbsp. of the blueberry syrup (or more to taste) to the water pitcher.