Beneficial Berries

05 Jun
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Everyone knows about strawberries and blueberries and how delicious and refreshing they are as snacks or toppings to our favorite dishes.  But have you ever heard of a bilberry? Or what about an acai or goji berry? Ranging from sweet to tangy, all five berries have incredible flavors that would surely compliment their health benefits.


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Strawberries: Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares


Filling


    • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

    • 2 Tablespoons warm water

    • 2 cups finely diced strawberries

    • 1/4 cup maple syrup

    • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar


Oatmeal Base and Topping


    • 2 and 1/4 cup quick oats (not whole rolled oats)

    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    • 1 cup almond butter (or peanut butter or sunflower seed butter)

    • 1/4 cup maple syrup

    • 1/4 cup apple butter*

    • 1 large egg, beaten

    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


Directions:


Filling:

  1. Mix the cornstarch with the warm water until it all of the cornstarch has dissolved and there are no more clumps. It should resemble milk. Set aside.

  2. Combine the strawberries, maple syrup, and sugar together in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir well.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in the pre-mixed cornstarch. Whisk until all clumps are gone and set aside to thicken and cool.

  4. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line a 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides for easy removal. Set aside.


Make the oat crust/topping:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the quick oats, cinnamon, almond butter, maple syrup, apple butter, and beaten egg.

  2. Mix until all of the oats are moistened and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Reserve 1/2 cup of the oat mixture.

  3. Press the remaining oat mixture into prepared baking pan. Make sure it is firmly pressed down and even. Spread the strawberry filling on top.

  4. To the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture, add the sliced almonds. Crumble this over the strawberry filling and, using the back of a spatula, press the topping down firmly into the strawberry filling. You want to make sure it sticks well.

  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The topping will be lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

  6. Makes 9-12 squares, depending how large you cut them.  Squares stay fresh covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Bars freeze well, up to 2 months.


Blueberries: Wild Blueberry Chia Oatmeal


Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Water-cooked steel cut oats (about 1/4 cup dry oats + 1 1/4 cups water + pinch salt)

  • 2 tsp Chia seeds

  • Dash cinnamon

  • 1 tsp Ground flax seeds

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Raw chopped walnuts

  • 1 tsp Goji berries

  • 1/2 cup Wild blueberries, frozen + 1 Tbsp hot water to thaw and plump

  • 1/4 cup Almond milk


Directions:

  • For ease, you can make the oatmeal in a larger batch (1 cup oats + 4 cups water + 1/2 tsp salt).

  • Add the chia seeds, half of the walnuts, goji berries, flax and cinnamon halfway through the cooking process if making in a large batch. Otherwise, add the pre-cooked oats to a pan with a splash of almond milk or water to rehydrate a bit.

  • Then fold those ingredients into the oats. Simmer until warm and soft. Add more liquid as desired.

  • Top the cooked oats with walnuts, the blueberries, a few more chia seeds, and a splash of almond milk right before serving.


Bilberries: Bilberry Smoothie


Ingredients

    • 4 handfuls of Bilberries

    • ½ Banana

    • ½ Melon


Directions

  1. Blend ingredients together and serve in glasses.


Acai Berries: Acai Berry Power Bowl


Ingredients (serves 1)

    • 1 Frozen banana

    • 1/2 cup Blueberries

    • 1/2 cup Raspberries

    • 1/2 cup Blackberries

    • 1/2 cup Coconut milk

    • 1 tbsp Almond butter

    • Handful spinach leaves

    • 1 heaped tbsp Acai powder

    • Desired berries, seeds, sliced banana + coconut for topping


Directions

  1. Blend all the ingredients on high speed until smooth and creamy. A thick frozen yoghurt consistency is best.

  2. Top with delicious fruits and granola of choice and enjoy.


Goji Berries: Superfood Salad


Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1 Butternut squash, preferably organic, cored and chopped into chunks

  • 1 large Sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks

  • 150g of Black or wild rice

  • 100g of mixed Pumpkin seeds, sunflowers seeds, golden and normal flaxseeds

  • A bunch of small basil leaves

  • 50ml of Maple syrup

  • 50ml of Extra virgin olive oil plus 4 extra tablespoons

  • 50g of Dried cranberries

  • 50g of Goji berries

  • 1 cup of Hot water

  • Salt and pepper

  • Freshly-grated nutmeg

Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

    2. Cook the rice in salty, boiling water, making sure not to overcook it.

    3. Drain, mix with a couple of tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, set aside and keep warm.

    4. Mix the chopped butternut squash with 2 tablespoons of oil, add salt and pepper and a quarter of a teaspoon of nutmeg.

    5. Pour the squash into an oven dish and roast in the oven for 20/25 minutes or until golden. Set aside and keep warm.

    6. Combine 50ml of olive oil with the maple syrup. Mix well with the sweet potatoes, add salt and a quarter of a teaspoon of nutmeg.

    7. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and roast in the oven for 20/25 minutes or until golden. Check the potatoes while cooking to ensure they are cooked evenly, gently stirring them a couple of times.

    8. Soak the goji berries in the cup of hot water for 5 minutes, then drain.

    9. Mix the rice in a bowl with the mixed seeds, goji berries, cranberries, roasted squash and sweet potatoes. Make sure you include the juices of the butternut and sweet potatoes to enhance the richness of the flavour.

    10. Serve with basil leaves scattered on top and a pinch of freshly-grated nutmeg.


Jessica LeGuillow
Last modified on Thursday, 05 June 2014 10:52

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