Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Got the Blues…And You Should Get Them Too

Generally speaking when we get the blues, it’s not a good thing. Getting the blues is generally associated with misfortune, loss of a job, betrayal. But there’s a new blue in town. It’s call anthocyanin and it’s the blue you need to get. Anthocyanins belong to a group of chemicals referred to as flavonoids. They are responsible for the flavor and aroma of fruits and vegetables. Anthocyanins help promote good health through protection against heart disease, slowing the aging process, and the initiation and promotion of cancer.

Anthocyanins are found in blue foods such as blueberries, plums, red cabbage, eggplant, blackberries and purple grapes.

Data shows that blue foods make up only 3% of the average American’s fruit and vegetable intake. Here are a few ideas to help you increase your consumption of blue foods. Toss a few blueberries or blackberries into your morning cereal. Blend some fruit with milk or yogurt for a blue smoothie. Add a few berries to your muffin or pancake batter. Add berries to your dinner salad. And finally, just eat them. Fruits and vegetables require very little preparation and they make great snacks.

Here are a few recipes to help you get started.

Blueberry Dumplings

Serves 6 to 8.

4 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup water
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves

1½ cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
¾ cup milk
Vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt


For filling:
Mix all ingredients in a 12-inch skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until berries soften and mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

For Dumplings:
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles a fine meal. (Mixture can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for a day or two.) Add milk; stir until just combined. You should have a very sticky dough.

Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto simmering berry mixture, placing close together. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover skillet and simmer until dumplings are firm and tester inserted in center of dumplings comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Note: Dumplings will not brown. If you want to brown yours, place them under the broiler for a few minutes. I don’t think the dumpling gods will mind if yours have a little color. After all, the whole idea is to eat some good for you blue foods.

If you want to consume even more blue foods try these recipes:

Grilled Eggplant Stack
Rustic Berry Tart -
Blueberry Sauce -
Summer Berry Crisp-

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