JULY – National BLUEBERRY Month, PLUS How Actress MALINDA WILLIAMS eats them!!!
July is National Blueberry Month! I love blueberries for their sweetness, their easiness and their goodness! I eat them plain first thing in the morning, or throw them with some yogurt and honey and they are delicious! This month is when the blueberry is supposed to be the best season for picking or shopping at your local Farmer’s Market. This month you can find some round and robust fresh berries full of flavor and juicy splendor. Although I prefer organic blueberries, Dr. Oz has suggested, that even if you can’t find organic, eating non-organic fruit is better than not eating any at all!
My good friend, actress Malinda Williams, from the hit Showtime TV show Soul Food and movies like Idlewild, A Thin Line Between Love & Hate, and Daddy’s Little Girl, maintains her outstanding physique with a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and protein. She eats berries regularly and even has her own bowl marked, “Malin’s Berries!” I pulled this genius photograph from her personal Facebook page and thought I’d share with you the article below by dermatologist Dr. Catherine L. Kaufman that I found on the LA JOLLA LIGHT website.
Malinda’s skin is amazing, and I can personally guarantee that blueberries are indeed a real treat! So I hope you read the article below and are inspired to make like Malin and incorporate blueberries into your regular diet… You’ll LOVE THEM!
Blueberries, with more than 450 species in their large family, have the distinction of being one of the few fruits native to North America, praised and enjoyed by Native Americans and settlers for hundreds of years. The former believed that the “Great Spirit” sent this five-pointed “star berry” to prevent starvation during lean times. They created pemmican, a type of “blueberry Jerky” to sustain them during lengthy journeys. Purple Powerhouse
While Ben Franklin discovered that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” a serving of blueberries a day might just keep the oncologist, neurologist, cardiologist, optometrist, endocrinologist, gastroenterologist and periodontist away. A cup of low-gycemic, diabetic-friendly blueberries contains just 80 calories and almost zero fat, but a motherload of nutrients.
Packed with Vitamin C, blueberries boost the immune system, stimulate collagen production for youthful skin and maintain healthy gums.
They are a good and plenty source of dietary fiber and manganese to dial-up bone health and energy.
Blueberries are rock stars in antioxidant activity, thanks to the polyphenols, especially anthocyanins that give the berry its dark blue hue. These mighty warriors fend off free radicals that can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease and age-related decline.
They have been shown to improve eyesight and keep gastro inflammation at bay. And since organically grown blueberries have been found to contain higher doses of antioxidants than conventionally grown ones, where possible, go organic. Recent studies have also linked blueberries to improved memory. Pick a Winner
Look for blueberries that are firm, have a rich blue hue with a silvery protective gloss, and are uniform in size. Avoid unripe green pee-wees or overripe mush balls and soggy packages.
Store these blue beauts in their original containers for up to a week in the fridge. Do a cold rinse when ready to eat, and comb through the batch removing stray twigs, leaves or bad berries. Pat dry and enjoy. Blueberry Fields Forever
According to “The Great Food Almanac,” if all the blueberries grown in North America in one year were spread out in a single layer, they would cover a four-lane highway stretching from New York to Chicago.
Maine is the top banana of wild blueberry production, both in North America and worldwide, while Michigan produces the most cultivated varieties. A Blueberry Walks into a Bar
The multi-tasking blueberry can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks and desserts. Toss them in your ricotta pancakes, whole-wheat bars, oatmeal, buttermilk scones, coconut macadamia quick breads and frothy smoothies.
Whip up a sweet and tart blueberry Meyer lemon syrup for French toast, waffles or crepes, or a savory blueberry balsamic sauce to drizzle on grilled wild-caught salmon or shrimp, roasted chicken, lamb chops or burgers.
Do a twist on traditional salads with a sizzling Asian chicken breast tossed with blueberries, ginger and toasted cashews; or a roasted kale, red onion and blueberry blend; or a Mediterranean with feta, figs and blueberries; or a turkey Cobb tossed with avocado and blueberry vinaigrette.
Try toasted quinoa, brown rice or orzo with pecans and dried blueberries. For your just desserts, do a blueberry tort with hazelnut crust, blueberry coconut cupcakes or a summery blueberry peach cobbler with blueberry cinnamon swirl ice cream.
-Catherine L. Kaufman