I’ve been having cravings for blueberries. I wonder if my body knows that it needs the powerful anti-oxidants that blueberries contain. I thought I would make these double blueberry muffins to get the most punch!
Berries are not on the dirty dozen list from Environmental Working Group, but they are on EWG’s full list and they are number 14. Therefore, I would only use organic blueberries. I find it somewhat difficult (and expensive) to source organic blueberries even when they are in season. I like to use organic frozen blueberries for this reason – I can get them anytime of the year and they are much cheaper than fresh.
Antioxidants consist of a group of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help bind up harmful metabolic by-products called “free radicals” that can lead to tissue and DNA damage, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other age-related diseases.
Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that are formed from normal metabolic functions in the body and also when our cells are exposed to a variety of substances such as radiation, chemicals, pollution, smoke, drugs, alcohol, pesticides and the sun.
A poor diet also contributes to the formation of free radicals. Anthocyanin (the pigment that makes blueberries blue) contains naturally occurring plant chemicals called polyphenols which have very high antioxidant characteristics. The darker, deeper blue fruits have the highest anthocyanin values, thereby supplying the most potent antioxidant sources.
The USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston has developed an assay called ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), which rates the antioxidant capacity of foods. Fresh blueberries have a high level of ORAC, at 2400 per 100 grams. Researchers have found that blueberries rank #1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 common fresh fruits and vegetables.
I’m sold on blueberries!
Tip: If you are using frozen blueberries bring them to room temperature before using
• 1 muffin pan with cupcake papers (where to buy stainless steel muffin pans) (where to buy unbleached muffin papers)
• Rack for cooling (where to buy stainless steel cooking rack)
• food processor (where to buy a food processor)
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