Health,  How to,  raw food

Blueberries – Health Benefits PLUS Raw and Vegan Recipes

 

Blueberries are in season and they growing like crazy in West Michigan this summer. Last week a friend of mine let me pick blueberries out of her parents farm. The blueberries were bountiful, plus big and juicy.

There are many health benefits from blueberries. They have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of all the fruits and vegetables. They also have great benefits on the nervous system and brain health. One study done on adults around 76 years of age that were fed about 2.5 cups blueberries for 12 weeks showed that blueberries can improve memory function and slow down aging in the brain. For reference of this study please see http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8.

It is best to eat blueberries raw to get the most nutritional value out of them. Studies have shown that blueberries even maintain their nutritional value after freezing them. So it is a great idea to pick tons of blueberries now and make raw desserts with them later when they are not in season anymore. Blueberries still have some value after baking, just less. It is always nice to have a warm blueberry muffin during the cold seasons. Therefore, I am including a Raw Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake recipe and a Vegan Blueberry Muffin recipe.

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Raw Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake:

Crust:

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup walnuts

1 cup dates

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling

2 cups cashews

1 cup blueberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup agave

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

First soak the cashews for 6 hours or overnight.

Then make crust. Fill a 9 inch round pan with the coconut shreds by spreading them across the bottom. In a food processor, grind up almonds first then add walnuts, pitted dates, vanilla and salt and process all ingredients together. Then spread crust on top of coconut shreds in pan.

Now, to make the filling, start by processing the cashews in the food processor until it is like cashew butter. Then put cashews in a blender and combine them with blueberries, lemon juice, agave, coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Blend until it makes a smooth creamy mixture. Next, pour the filling on top of the crust in the pan.

Freeze the prepared cheesecake for at leas 4 hours. Then put in fridge. Or just take it out, thaw and eat. Enjoy.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins:

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups spelt flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup agave

2/3 cup rice milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place paper liners in 1 12-cup muffin pan and 1/2 of a 12 cup muffin liner. This recipe makes about 18 muffins. Spray the paper liners with a non-stick spray of your choice. I like to use a coconut oil spray but canola oil will do.

Whisk together spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend in coconut oil, agave nectar, rice milk and vanilla extract. Fold in blueberries.

Fill each paper liner to just below full. Bake in the oven 22 minutes.

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