Sip Away Those Winter Blues – On the Wild (Blueberry) Side
Try this nutrient packed smoothie recipe!
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Looking for a breakfast smoothie that will keep you going all morning? Do you need a mid-afternoon snack to fuel your mind and sustain you ‘til dinner? Below you will find a recipe for a smoothie that will brighten your day and provide you with beneficial nutrients to help perk you up and get you dreaming of summer berry picking!
The primary ingredient in this smoothie is frozen wild blueberries. If you can’t find wild blueberries look for organic. I highly recommend blueberries to my clients because they are a low sugar fruit packet with fiber and important nutrients. See the table below that highlights the star nutrients found in one cup of raw or frozen blueberries.
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Carbohydrate||21.4 grams||7%|
|Natural sugars||14.7 grams|
|Omega 3 Fatty Acids||85.5 mg|
|Omega 6 Fatty Acids||130 mg|
|Vitamin C||14.4 mg||24%|
|Vitamin K||28.6 mcg||36%|
Nutrient data for this list from USDA SR-21.
Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older, and are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.
From the table above you can see that blueberries are low in calories, sugar, and total fat while providing a good source of fiber, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. There is more to the picture.
Have you heard of phytonutrients?
Phytonutrients are naturally occurring chemicals made by plants that help protect them from invaders that might harm them such as germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats. Blueberries are a rich source of phytonutrients, especially anthocyanin, resveratrol, gallic acid, lutein, and zeaxanthin. When we eat these phytonutrients our bodies can use these chemicals for our benefit. Here are some of the ways we benefit from the nutrients and phytonutrients found in blueberries:
· Blood pressure lowering1
· Protect the nervous system, including the brain2
· Anti-cancer 3
· Cardiovascular protective4
· Blood glucose-lowering4
· Slow age-related lung function decline5
Wow! That is an impressive list! Of the phytonutrients mentioned above, one in particular, anthocyanin, deserves special mention. Anthocyanins are abundant in blue and purple fruits and vegetables. They are found mostly in the skin of fruits such as blueberries and are powerful antioxidants. A scientific study just published in Food Chemistry found that blueberries are especially high in anthocyanin.6 Another study suggests that while anthocyanin levels are high in all purple or blue berries they are slightly higher in wild blueberries.7 This is why I encourage you to first look for frozen wild blueberries for the smoothie recipe below.
Enjoy this smoothie recipe.
Wild Side Blueberry Banana Smoothie “Your Way”
NOTE: You can follow my version exactly that is pictured at the top of this article or make suggested modifications as you prefer. My version ingredients are bolded, options are in plain text.
¾ cup frozen wild blueberries or organic blueberries
½ frozen banana (cut in chunks and frozen prior to use)
½-3/4 cup water (depending on desired consistency) OR use milk or your favorite milk substitute
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder such as Raw Garden for Life (about 22 grams protein) or 2 tablespoons almond butter or omit and eat 2 hardboiled eggs or 2-3 ounces of meat with the smoothie
½ cup packed greens such as spinach, kale or Swiss chard
1 tablespoon organic chia seeds or ¼ of an avocado
1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
2 drops stevia (optional)
1 tablespoon pastured beef collagen (optional)
In order listed add all ingredients, except for the collagen powder, to a blender or smoothie blender cup such as a Nutribullet. Blend until smooth. Add additional liquid, if needed, for desired consistency. Add collagen powder and blend for just a few seconds until mixed in. Garnish with a few frozen blueberries, a banana slice and a couple of mint leaves.
Make sipping this smoothie a mindful meditation. Pause to consider the land where the berries grew and who harvested and processed them while noticing the color, flavor, temperature and texture of the blended ingredients. If you actually “chew” your smoothie you will mix it with important digestive enzymes in your mouth and help your body break down and use the nutrients more fully. You will also feel more satisfied.
See reference list HERE.