Disclaimer: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
One of my favorite fruits is the blueberry - especially wild blueberries! I just love to put them on top of chia seed pudding and granola; I also like to use them in smoothies. What's the different between wild blueberries and regular blueberries? I am glad you asked, because not all blueberries are created equal.
Wild blueberries are not only delicious, but they also pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition. I don’t know about you, but I have purchased regular blueberries in the past only to be disappointed by the bland, non-sweet flavor. Wild blueberries are bursting with flavor, have a good balance between sweet and tart, and an intense blueberry flavor. There is nothing bland about the wild blueberry!
Wild blueberries are uncultivated lowbush berries that grow in the fields and barriers in Maine, eastern Canada, and Quebec. They also have quite a history as they have been around for 10,000 years. These berries are much smaller in size than regular berries so you get twice the number of berries per pound, which means twice the blueberry goodness spread throughout your baked goods. They also have a higher skin to pulp ratio; therefore, contain higher levels of the antioxidant-rich pigment (more skin and less water). To get a more in-depth overview of the differences between the two, visit this interactive page on the Wild Blueberries website.
Because of the higher concentration of beneficial antioxidants, wild blueberries are a powerful disease fighter. These berries are specifically rich in an antioxidant flavonoid called anthocyanin, which is responsible for the red, purple, and blue colors of many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. There is evidence to suggest anthocyanin pigments may have a therapeutic and preventative role in a number of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and in eye health.
Most wild blueberries are frozen at harvest, trapping in the flavor and antioxidant power. You can find them year-round in the frozen section of your grocery store. For this contest, I thought it would be fun to create a smoothie. I don’t know too many people who dislike blueberry or chocolate, so way not combine the two! My two-and-a-half year old son is a real fan of this smoothie and mom likes that he can get some chocolate in without ending up with the dreaded "chocolate hands" - WIN-WIN!
With Zest & Zeal,
Wild Blueberry & Cacoa Smoothie - dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan - Serves 1 to 2
- 1/2 cup kale, finely chopped
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 1 banana (fresh or frozen), sliced
- 1 T raw cacoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (start with 1/2 c and add a splash more if needed)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 teaspoons chia seed (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a Vitamix or blender and blend on high until smooth.
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