busting with blueberries

blueberry_bush.jpegBlueberries are such amazing foods!!! In my part of the country, blueberry harvest is in full swing. Yeah!!!! I wait for the day the sign goes up on an organic farm near me. "Blueberries-open for picking!!!"  Berries are great sources of Vitamin C (immune function), K (blood clotting), manganese,  many antioxidants, as well as fiber.  They have been shown to lower blood sugar as well as being an low-glycemic food, and are therefore GREAT for those with Type 2 Diabetes.  Blueberries are a food that do the whole body good. When looking at their cardiovascular benefits, we also see how wonderful they are at reducing inflammation throughout the whole body. They have been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as reducing blood pressure. Other valuable research has shown blueberries to help with cognitive function (source). It's no wonder that foods that help with blood flow and boost cardiovascular health, also help boost cognitive function.  The easier it is for the brain to receive blood, the better it, and all tissues throughout the body, can function.Organic vs. Conventional Blueberries?As with all berries, organic is best. Berries are amongst the highest in pesticide residue. It's also been shown that organically grown blueberries have significantly higher concentrations of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants than conventionally grown blueberries,, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity (source). Why should you care? Antioxidants are what help prevent free radicals in your body from forming, and help to prevent disease, factors of aging, as well as many forms of cancer.Great things to make with blueberries:1)  Maple Blueberry Jam or a blueberry compote. Great as a topping for desserts or breakfasts! My jam is made with much less sugar than traditional jam. I use a type of Pectin called, Pomona's Pectin that allows for little to no sugar, unlike conventional pectin. It's also not fake tasting like a lot of no-sugar Pectin. I love it! More info in the recipe link.2)  Freeze them for adding to waffles, pancakes, and smoothies!  They freeze amazingly well, and it has been shown that their health benefits don't diminish with freezing. We pick most fruits in season around where we live, tossing the extras in the freezer.3) Add to salads-great in a massaged kale salad. Simply add some fresh berries and instant yum!!!4) Make this blueberry tartPiece_of_Blueberry_Tart_LR_Watermark_large.jpgI want to take this time to thank Veestro for allowing be to be a guest blogger! I've enjoyed my time with you all-and hope you have too! To keep up with in-season, plant-based recipes, follow me on www.gardenfreshfoodie.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!Be well & make sure to eat beautiful, healthy food!-Jessica from Garden Fresh Foodie  

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