In the middle of this icy cold winter, I had a sudden craving for something fresh and springlike. What could it be? Blueberries! It’s hard to source organic blueberries in the middle of the winter so I used the frozen organic blueberries that I get all year round.
I believe that your body craves things that it needs. What is in blueberries that I could be needing just now?
Blueberries add flavor, texture and a slew of antioxidants to any dish. 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. You can’t get much better than that.
The recipe also has lemon, which imparts a sweet/sour flavor and blends well with the blueberries. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which adds to the anti-oxidant content of the tart.
Between the lemons and the blueberries, this tart should be considered super-rich in anti-oxidants!
The carbohydrate content of the fruits is rather low – from berries and citrus fruit, but the crust is made with coconut and the good fat that comes with coconut balances out the carbohydrate content of the fruit.
Tip: Use organic lemons, especially for the zest. I always wash the lemon thoroughly with soap and water. Remember to zest the lemon before you squeeze it!
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These recipes are suitable for Paleo, SCD, GAPS and all grain free eaters.
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