In the midst of hot summer weather, I find myself craving ice cream. Normally I’m not an ice cream person, but there is something about sticky, 90-degree heat that produces an irrational desire within me to purchase a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie and dig in with a spoon. Only problem is that the satisfaction is extremely temporary. Later, after the effects of mega-sugar have passed through my brain and veins, I wish I had opted for something healthier. Something for which my body could thank me most heartily and still appeases my tastebuds.
So I turn to berries. Summertime is the greatest season for fresh fruit, and this summer I’m having a love affair with blueberries. Most all of us know that blueberries are our health-conscious friends. Chock-full of antioxidants, the violet-blue berries deliver more than scrumptious taste. The antioxidants help protect your body from free radicals, not to mention the superberries are low-calorie and high in fiber. Providing vitamins E and C, magnesium, and potassium, blueberries have been shown to detoxify your body and boost your immune system. Blueberries are even kind to the brain, assisting memory and other such neuro-functions. (Check it out: ‘Researching a Blueberry/Brain Power Connection.’ Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, March 2001.)
A few nights ago I picked through the four blueberry shrubs in my backyard, their branches weighing down with dozens of plump, little berries. It was more of a chore than a treat (any who have manually picked berries know this feeling), and I decided to do something sweet with them afterward. After experimenting with recipes, I came up with this berry-peach smoothie. Complete with blueberries, yogurt and wheat germ, your body releases a satisfied sigh of ‘thank you’ after drinking. It’s like a spa treatment for your insides
peach-berry super smoothie
1.5 cups blueberries
.5 cup blackberries
1 whole peach, sliced
.5 cup lowfat plain (or vanilla) yogurt
splash of orange juice
1 tbsp wheat germ
Using a blender, crush the ice with a splash of orange juice. Add berries, peach slices, yogurt and wheat germ, blend until smooth. For a smoother smoothie, add more juice. Now drink up—your body will thank you.