The “Blues” are #1

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a superfood and can be added to a variety of foods for increased nutrition. They make a wonderful pudding that can be enjoyed anytime of the day - even (especially) breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly made almond milk
  • 1/3 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1 Tsp organic pure vanilla
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Combine almond milk, chia seeds and vanilla in bowl. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  2. Stir several times while chilling to ensure pudding is well blended.
  3. When ready to serve layer pudding with fresh fruit in a pretty parfait or wine glass.
  4. Enjoy.
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/07/the-blues-are-1/

Blue is the rarest of colors in the comestible world. Bet that is a little tidbit of information you’ve never given much thought to, am I right? Go on, try and name more than one or two blue-colored foods! While this is a tough challenge, chances are good almost everyone came up with a little blue fruit called a blueberry.  Native to North America, blueberries are the second most popular berry (next only to strawberries) contributing to their expected 2016 commercial cultivation reaching 750 million pounds on this continent and 1.4 billion pounds worldwide. While available year round blueberries are at the peak of perfection right now, so enjoy them.

I can remember when I was a little girl, I spent hours gathering wild blueberries on the hill behind my grandmother’s home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.  I ate most of the berries I picked, despite having a basket to bring berries back to the house for everyone to share, and didn’t mind in the least being scolded for it.  I was pretty sure then, (and now) that God must have created blueberries just for me.

They may be small, but blueberries pack a lot of nutrition into their tiny packages. Blueberries are #1 in antioxidant capacity among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings.  The antioxidants in blueberries support our whole body and have particularly awesome benefits for our cognitive health and blood sugar management.

Blueberries are definitely a food you should buy organic.  The pesticides used in conventional agriculture today are particularly problematic for foods like blueberries.  For more information on The Dirty Dozen – Foods You Should Buy Organic, check out the Environmental Working Groups website by clicking here.  To get the most nutritional benefit from blueberries consume them in their raw state. They are perfect to take to work or school, make a great mid-day snack, are delicious on top of your favorite non-dairy yogurt or ice cream, and are a quick and easy addition to your morning cereal.  Here is one of my favorite ways to enjoy blueberries!

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a superfood and can be added to a variety of foods for increased nutrition. They make a wonderful pudding that can be enjoyed anytime of the day - even (especially) breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly made almond milk
  • 1/3 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1 Tsp organic pure vanilla
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Combine almond milk, chia seeds and vanilla in bowl. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  2. Stir several times while chilling to ensure pudding is well blended.
  3. When ready to serve layer pudding with fresh fruit in a pretty parfait or wine glass.
  4. Enjoy.
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/07/the-blues-are-1/

Check out the incredible nutritional benefits of chia seeds in my blog “Pudding for Breakfast”.


Nutrition Facts – 1 Cup Raw Blueberries (84 Calories)

Vitamin K 28.5 mcg 32% DRI
Manganese .50 25% DRI
Vitamin C 14.36 mg 19% DRI
Fiber 14% DRI
Copper 9% DRI


 

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Off to the Market – A Plant-Based Grocery List

For some, grocery shopping is a pleasure; for others a chore. I actually love grocery shopping. I enjoy taking my time looking at all the beautiful colors and textures the produce section has to offer. I get excited when I discover an unusual fruit or vegetable and love talking to the produce manager or other customers about how they prepare certain foods. Today there are so many varieties of fresh organic foods to chose from it is often hard to decide. I do, however, make every effort to buy what is locally in season; being cognizant of supporting area farmers, being mindful of the carbon footprint left by transporting foods from other parts of the world to my city, and being aware of the importance of sustainable practices in agriculture.

I’m probably going to make “list makers” uneasy with my next statement; but I have to say I am not a fan of traditional grocery lists. I know they can be good tools to keep us from buying more than we need, but I prefer to be inspired by what I see at the grocery store – especially because 80% of my basket is fresh food. For the other 20% of my basket I keep a reminder in my phone of things I need like TP, parchment paper, cheese cloth, soaps, backup canned or frozen foods, etc. so I can take advantage of special prices or ensure I don’t run out. Having said this, here are some very general suggestions of things you may wish to purchase on your next excursion to the grocery store (or better yet, Farmers’ Market).

NOTE: Choose organic and NonGMO Certified foods whenever possible. Many people have heard about “The Dirty Dozen” – a list of foods you should always buy organic because of the high pesticide loads found in these foods. The list is available at http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ALB00035/The-Dirty-Dozen-Foods-You-Should-Always-Buy-Organic.html. For a list of NonGMO Certified Foods check out this website: http://www.nongmoproject.org.


Awesome Sources of Plant-Based Proteins

    quinoa
    buckwheat
    beans & legumes (ex: soy,chickpeas,fava beans,black beans)
    spiralina
    nutritional yeast
    seeds (ex: sunflower, sesame, chia, hemp, flax, pumpkin)
    nuts (ex: raw almond, raw cashew, raw walnuts)

Amazing Sources of Vitamins & Minerals

Vit A: carrots, spinach, kale, parsley, bell peppers, romaine lettuce,Swiss chard, sweet potatoes,collard greens,winter squash, broccoli, tomatoes

Vit B1: romaine lettuce, asparagus, Crimini mushrooms, spinach, sunflower seeds, green peas, tomatoes, eggplant, brussels sprouts

Vit B2: Crimini mushrooms, spinach, romaine lettuce

Vit B6: spinach, bell peppers, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, asparagus, cabbage, kale, watermelon

Vit C: bell peppers, parsley, broccoli, strawberries, cauliflower, lemon juice, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, papaya, kale, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, cabbage, tomatoes, swiss chard, collard greens raspberries, asparagus, celery, spinach, pineapple, green beans, summer squash

Vit E: sunflower seeds, almonds, Swiss chard, spinach, kale, olives

Vit K: parsley, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, basil, tomatoes, celery, sea vegetables, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage

Zinc: Crimini mushrooms, spinach, pumpkin seeds, mustard seeds

Magnesium: Swiss chard, spinach, summer squash, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, cucumbers, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, ginger, quinoa, buckwheat, black beans, beets, tofu

Calcium: spinach, collard greens, basil, cinnamon, kale, rosemary, romaine lettuce, celery, sesame seeds, cabbage, broccoli, garlic, tofu, oranges

Chromium: romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes

Copper: Crimini mushrooms, Swiss chard, spinach, sesame seeds, kale, eggplant, cashews, ginger, pumpkin seeds, asparagus, summer squash

Manganese: cinnamon, romaine lettuce, pineapple, spinach, turmeric, black pepper, collard greens, raspberries, kale, garlic, brown rice

Other Great Foods

Fats: avocados, extra virgin olive oil, nut oils, seeds, soy

Carbs: teff, bulgur wheat, barley, buckwheat, brown & black rice, beans, fruits, most vegetables

****These suggestions are not exhaustive. Have some fun, read, & explore your market. Variety is the spice of life so try new foods and prepare those you love in a different way

****Keep in mind when shopping that the vast majority of your grocery basket should be filled with fresh foods. Many canned foods such as beans and frozen foods such as peas and fruits are also very nutritious so keep some of these on hand for days when you can’t get to the market.

****Most importantly, remember that nourishing your body with the best foods available is your ultimate goal. Be good to yourself.

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