Monday, December 2, 2013

The good kind of blues

British Columbia Blueberry Council's Blueberry Breakfast Rice Bowl
Every year, my local Whole Foods has a one-day sale on organic blueberries. I stock up, buying as many cases as I can fit in my downstairs freezer. I use them mostly to make blueberry-based smoothies year-round. (The kids are happy with a simple mix of blueberries, strawberry yogurt, and ripe banana; other times I'll add kale, pineapple, and roasted and pureed beets.)

The berries are a great source of anti-oxidants, which I'm always trying to get more of (and more into my husband, who's a two-time cancer survivor). They're also high in vitamins C, A, and E as well as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They make regular appearances around here in pancakes, muffins, and crumbles; atop French toast; and in a sauce to accompany salmon.

The British Columbia Blueberry Council has dozens of recipes on its website; here's one to kick start you into getting your blues.

Yields 3 cups
*    1 cup (240 ml) water
*    1½ cups (360 ml) milk or unsweetened almond, soy or rice milk, divided
*    1 tsp (5 ml) salt
*    1 cup (165 g) brown rice or quinoa, uncooked
*    1 tbsp (15 ml) chia seeds, whole
*    5 (10 ml) cardamom pods, whole
*    3 tbsp (45 ml) maple syrup
*    ½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon
*    1½ cups (225 g) B.C. blueberries, fresh or thawed frozen, divided
*    1 tbsp (15 ml) flax seed, ground
*    1 tbsp (15 ml) hemp hearts
*    1 tbsp (15 ml) walnuts, chopped
*    1 tbsp (15 ml) unsweetened coconut flakes
*    In a medium pot, bring water, 1 cup of the milk and salt to a boil. Add the rice, chia seeds and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, stir, then simmer, covered on a medium low heat for 40 minutes until cooked (or according to the package instructions)
*    Remove the cardamom pods.
*    Add the remaining ½ cup of milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and 1 cup of the blueberries, heat and stir until warmed.
*    Serve warm topped with the remaining blueberries, flax, hemp hearts, walnuts and coconut.

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