Blue is the color of trust, dependability and calm - the sky and ocean naturally come to mind when thinking of this solid, serene color. Likewise, the health benefits of foods that are blue will keep you calm, confident and healthy with the many nutritional benefits that they have to offer. Here are three berry good recipes to include in your diet.
Blue-hued foods boost quality of life
Dr. Elizabeth Pivonka, the CEO and president of the Produce for Better Health Foundation explains that "blue and purple foods contain substances that may help reduce the risk of some cancers, lower the risk for death from heart disease, and may have anti-aging benefits." Even though blueberries are one of the very few true blue foods, Pivonka reminds us "other foods that contain similar beneficial substances include blackberries, plums, purple cabbage and purple carrots." To reap their many health benefits, you can seamlessly add blueberries and other blue-hued foods into your day. "They can be incorporated into many meals such as smoothies, fruit salads, and yogurt or as a topping for pancakes and waffles," explains Pivonka. Another source of blue is borage, a plant known to help PMS and aid in the common cold and respiratory infections. But before you consume borage for medicinal purposes, be sure to check with your doctor or naturopath for proper intake.
Serves 4 Ingredients: 2-1/2 cups blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, cleaned, chilled 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt 1 packet sugar substitute Directions: Crush 1/4 cup of the berries. Halve strawberries, if using; otherwise keep blueberries and raspberries whole. Combine crushed berries and yogurt and sugar substitute. Spoon remaining berries into dessert bowls and top with berry-yogurt mixture.
Fruity Green Salad
Serves 8 Dressing: 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup vegetable oil Salad: 8 cups fresh spinach 1 cup fresh blueberries 3 oranges, peeled, sectioned, diced 1/2 cup pecans or slivered almonds Directions: 1. Combine sugar, vinegar, dry mustard, salt and oil in a small mixing bowl and set aside. 2. Break off stems from spinach leaves. Wash and drain. Dry on paper towels. Tear spinach into bite-sized pieces and place in a salad bowl. 3. Wash blueberries and drain. Add oranges, blueberries and nuts to spinach. Pour dressing over salad, tossing lightly to mix. Serve immediately.
Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Serves 6 Ingredients: 1 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone ground 2 tablespoons sugar 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry 2 eggs 1-1/2 cups buttermilk 2 tablespoons melted shortening 2 tablespoons milk, if needed Directions: 1. Sift dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add blueberries and toss gently. Beat eggs, add buttermilk and shortening. Add to dry ingredients. Mix gently until moistened but do not overmix. Batter should be thick enough to hold berries in place. If too thick, thin with milk. 2. Measure 1/4 cup batter onto greased hot skillet. Cook approximately 3 minutes, turn, and cook on second side another 3 minutes or until both sides are golden brown. Serve with extra berries and toppings of your choice.