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Blazing Blueberries PDF Print E-mail
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Blazing Blueberries
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by Lois Manno, SuperSite Managing Editor

harvested wild blueberries
A harvest of wild blueberries.
Photo courtesy of the North American Blueberry Association

Recipes:
Blueberry Cobbler with Spicy Biscuits

Blistering Baked Squash with Bombastic Blueberries

Savory Blueberry Compote

Tuna Carpaccio with Wild Blueberry Wasabi Sauce

Amazing Wild Blueberry Salsa

Chicken Satay with Spicy Wild Blueberry Peanut Butter Sauce

Quinoa Salad with Wild Blueberries

Don’t be fooled by the cool blue color—blueberries are rapidly becoming one of the hottest fruits around. Touted as a “superfood” that can fight high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer, and a host of other maladies, blueberries are medicine that’s good for you…and delicious too!

According to the Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., a compound
called Pterostilbene, which is found in both cranberries and blueberries, is crucial for the metabolism of lipids, including cholesterol. Blueberries are packed with antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanidins, which neutralize free radicals. Anthocyanins improve the integrity of the veins and entire vascular system.

While domestically-cultivated blueberries are available in most grocery stores, wild blueberries can also be purchased. In recent good news for health-conscious consumers, Health magazine has named Wild Blueberries high on its list of “America’s Healthiest Superfoods for Women.” The feature, running in the magazine’s January/February 2010 issue, singles out wild blueberries’ impressive variety of potential health benefits, including preventing memory loss, improving motor skills, lowering blood pressure, and fighting wrinkles.

“If berries are nutritional treasures, Wild Blueberries are the crown jewels…truly one of nature’s ultimate anti-aging foods,” according to the feature, which gave Wild Blueberries the #2 slot on its Superfoods list. Health editors recommend that readers mix in Wild Blueberries with their daily berries servings “as much as possible” for their many health benefits, and point readers to the frozen fruit aisle of supermarkets for the healthy frozen version available every season of the year.

A patch of wild blueberries

A patch of wild blueberries. Photo courtesy of the North American Blueberry Association

A native North American berry, Wild Blueberries grow naturally in Downeast Maine and Canada. The state of Maine is by far the #1 producer in the world, growing over 90 million pounds in recent years. Just like the wild counterpart of mass-produced strawberries, wild blueberries have a tangy sweetness that is absent in milder, commercially-produced blueberries. If you want to try wild blueberries and taste the difference for yourself, you can find a source on the website of the North American Blueberry Association.

So what could possibly improve on these potent packets of health? Chile peppers, of course! Combining the sweet flavor of blueberries with the warmth of chiles is a winning combination. According to Sharon Hopkins, R.D., evidence is pouring in on why you should be noshing on chiles. Not only are these fiery vegetables low in fat, low in sodium, and high in fiber, they are veritable power plants of vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, C, and E), phytochemicals, and antioxidants. According to researchers in the Ethnobotany Department at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, one medium green chile contains up to six times the amount of vitamin C in a Valencia orange, and twice the amount of vitamin A and beta carotene in a carrot. This makes the humble chile pepper an valuable—and tasty—source of nutrients that boost the immune system. Read her article Hot and Healthy Chile Peppers here for more about the benefits of chiles.

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