you are what you eat
Blueberries contain a wide range of compounds known as phytochemicals. These phytochemicals have been researched to help prevent cancer, neuro-degeneration, heart disease and many other health conditions. Swop blueberry jams, jellies and syrups in favor of unsweetened, fresh or frozen blueberries for the greatest health benefits.
A 1-cup serving of fresh blueberries has just 84 calories with 3.6 grams of dietary fiber and 1 gram of protein. Fresh or frozen, both have their uses, and I always stash a cup or 2 of fresh blueberries into the freezer, ready to use in muffins, flapjacks and drinks. Fresh or frozen blueberries they make a brilliant addition to cereals, salads and sauces, introducing a sweet and complex flavour. This Ramadan, add a handful of frozen or fresh blueberries to your hot cereal at Suhoor, it really takes it to the next level – the heat draws out the juices and intensifies the flavor. As a bonus, blueberries turn hot cereal an appetizing purple color, which is great for enticing the little ones.
We love a glass of berry smoothie at Suhoor, I whizz 1 banana, fat free yoghurt, fat free milk and a cup of fresh or frozen berries, it is quick to drink, full of fibre and very filling! If a smoothie is not your thing, then make your own berry yoghurt- plain, unsweetened yogurt turns into a sweet and tangy treat with blueberries — the secret is to mash the blueberries first, then blend yogurt into the juicy mixture to sweeten the yogurt and turn it into a healthy, delicious home made treat!
Need a berry compote to go with your pancakes or flapjacks? Blueberry syrup should come fresh from your stove top, not a jar, and you only need a few minutes to make it. Combine fresh or frozen blueberries (a mixture of frozen berries also works!) with fresh squeezed lemon juice and finely grated lemon rind in a pan and simmer until you have syrup, add 1/2 a tsp of cornflour to thicken. If you want a sweeter syrup, add honey or pure maple syrup to make the flavor indulgent.
Here is my favourite, flop- proof blueberry muffin:
1 cup plain self raising flour
1 cup bran risk self raising flour
1/2 cup oat bran
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup fat free yoghurt
1/2 cup fat free milk
1/4 cup coconut
1 vanilla pod
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use canola oil)
1 cup fresh or frozen berries
– Combine the flours, oat bran, sugar and 1/4 cup of blueberries in a large bowl.
– Slit the vanilla pod length ways and scrape out the small, sticky seeds using the tip of a small, sharp knife.
– Combine all the wet ingredients including the vanilla.
– Place the wet and dry ingredients in a food processor and mix on medium speed until the ingredients are well combined. The batter should turn a lavender colour.
– Throw in the extra blueberries and gently stir through the batter with a spatula. You can alternatively scoop the batter into small muffin cups and stick the berries into the batter.
– Bake in a moderately hot oven unit golden brown, and baked all the way through.
– Serve with a foamy skinny cappuccino or a cup of fat free hot chocolate!
– This recipe makes 18 small muffins. To avoid overindulging, share with family and friends!
Baking the muffins in smaller cups helps to reduce the portion size. Smaller sized muffins are an excellent addition to lunch boxes too! Even though this recipe calls for fat free dairy and vegetable oil, it is still calories and consuming too many may hinder weight loss if you are on an energy controlled diet to lose weight. The muffins also freeze (freeze once completely cool) well, and make excellent Pre- Ramadan gifts- so that also helps in avoiding the blueberry binge!