Blueberries have many health benefits and are also delicious, nutritious fruits that taste fantastic in smoothies and as a topping for smoothie bowls and yoghurt.
The Health Benefits of Blueberries
Health benefit 1: Antioxidants
Blueberries contain antioxidants like anthocyanins and flavonoids, which help combat free radicals and support overall health. These compounds neutralize free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and combating cellular damage. Anthocyanins, responsible for the berry's deep colour, exhibit strong anti-inflammatory properties, promoting heart health and potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases. Coupled with flavonoids, they support brain function and may contribute to improved cognitive abilities. The synergy of these antioxidants in blueberries makes them a potent addition to a health-conscious diet.
Health benefit 2: Vitamin C
Blueberries contain a notable amount of vitamin C, a vital nutrient known for its immune-boosting properties. Despite not being as abundant in blueberries as in some other fruits, vitamin C still plays a significant role in supporting the body's immune system, aiding in collagen production for skin health, and acting as an antioxidant alongside other compounds present in blueberries. Its presence contributes to the overall nutritional value of these delicious berries, adding a touch of immune support to their antioxidant-rich profile.
Health benefit 3: Dietary Fibre
Blueberries are an excellent dietary fibre source, aiding digestion and heart health. Their soluble and insoluble fibre content supports regularity, alleviates constipation, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. This nutrient also fosters a sense of fullness, contributing to weight management and reducing the risk of overeating.
Health benefit 4: Vitamin K
Blueberries contain a small amount of vitamin K, which is important for bone health and blood clotting.
Health benefit 5: Low calorie
Blueberries stand out as a low-calorie fruit, making them a smart choice for those mindful of their calorie intake. With their natural sweetness and nutritional richness, they make a perfect snack, so you can indulge in them without compromising your health goals.
Nutrient Content per 100g of Blueberries
- Calories: Approximately 32-41 calories
- Carbohydrates: About 7-9 grams
- Sugars: Approximately 7-9 grams
- Dietary Fiber: About 2-3 grams
- Protein: Approximately 0.7-0.8 grams
- Fat: Approximately 0.3-0.4 grams
- Vitamin C: Approximately 9-12 milligrams
- Vitamin K: Approximately 2.5-5.1 micrograms
- Vitamin E: Approximately 0.6-0.9 milligrams
- Vitamin A: Approximately 54-58 micrograms (as beta-carotene)
- Iron: Approximately 0.2-0.3 milligrams
- Potassium: Approximately 38-42 milligrams
Ways to Enjoy Blueberries
There are multiple ways to enjoy blueberries. Here are a few of our favourites.
Blueberry Almond Milk Smoothie
A delicious, creamy and nutritious smoothie
- 150g fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 ripe frozen banana
- 100ml plant milk
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (optional, for creaminess)
- 1 handful of almonds or hazelnuts
- A few ice cubes (if using fresh blueberries)
- Optional toppings: extra blueberries, sliced almonds, or a drizzle of honey
- Prep Ingredients: If using fresh blueberries, wash them thoroughly. Peel and slice the ripe banana.
- Blend: In a blender, combine the ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. If using fresh blueberries, you might want to add a few ice cubes to chill the smoothie.
- Taste and Adjust: Taste the smoothie and adjust the sweetness or thickness by adding more milk or banana if needed.
- Serve: Pour the smoothie into glasses or bowls, and top with a few extra blueberries, sliced almonds, or a drizzle of honey.
Blueberry Spinach Salad with Avocado and Almonds
- 4 cups fresh spinach leaves (about 120g)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries (about 150g)
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- 1/3 cup Marcona or Valencia almonds, sliced or chopped (or buy plain almonds and toast them as below)
- 1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare Ingredients: Wash and dry the spinach leaves thoroughly. Rinse the blueberries and pat them dry. Slice the avocado.
Toast Almonds (if raw): In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until they turn lightly golden and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning. Set aside to cool.
ake Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper to make the dressing. Taste and adjust according to your preference.
Assemble Salad: In a large salad bowl, combine the fresh spinach leaves, blueberries, sliced avocado, and toasted almonds.
Drizzle Dressing: Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat all the ingredients evenly.
Serve: Once the salad is well coated with the dressing, transfer it to serving plates or bowls.
This vibrant and nutritious Blueberry Spinach Salad with Avocado and Almonds offers a delightful combination of flavours and textures. It's perfect as a refreshing side dish or a light meal on its own. Enjoy!
Blueberry Coconut Chia Pudding
Create a Paleo-friendly chia pudding by combining chia seeds, mashed banana, coconut milk and fresh blueberries.
- 80g chia seeds
- 360ml coconut milk (or any milk of your choice
- 2.5ml vanilla extract
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 75g fresh blueberries
- Shredded coconut or additional blueberries for topping (optional)
Mix chia seeds, banana and milk: In a mixing bowl, combine the chia seeds, mashed ripe banana, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Stir well to combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Let it set: Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for half an hour or so, or even overnight. During this time, the chia seeds will absorb the liquid and create a pudding-like consistency. Remember to stir or shake the mixture a couple of times within the first hour to prevent clumping.
Prepare blueberry topping: In a small saucepan, heat the fresh blueberries over low-medium heat. Mash them gently with a fork as they cook, releasing their juices. Allow them to simmer for a few minutes until they form a slightly thickened sauce. Remove from heat and let it cool.
Assemble the pudding: Once the chia pudding has set and reached your desired consistency, give it a good stir. If it's too thick, you can add a little more coconut milk to achieve the texture you prefer.
Layering: In serving glasses or jars, alternate layers of the chia pudding and the blueberry sauce.
Optional toppings: Top the pudding with additional fresh blueberries or a sprinkle of shredded coconut for extra flavour and texture.
Blueberry Pork Chops
Cook pork chops in a skillet with a blueberry glaze made from fresh blueberries, balsamic vinegar, and a touch of honey or maple syrup.
Blueberry Coconut Ice Cream
Make a dairy-free and Paleo-friendly ice cream by blending frozen blueberries with coconut milk and bananas. Freeze until firm.
Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Create a fruity vinaigrette by blending blueberries with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a drizzle of honey if you prefer it sweet. Use it as a salad dressing or marinade.
Make a sweet and spicy salsa with diced blueberries, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice to top grilled meats or seafood.
Blueberry Coconut Pancakes
Whip up Paleo-friendly pancakes with coconut flour, eggs, coconut milk, and fresh blueberries. Serve with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
Frozen blueberries are even more nutritious than fresh blueberries because they are frozen at the point of picking, which retains more nutrients.