Over time, consumers’ appreciation for farming began to dwindle and the connection between the farm (our original food source) and our tables became more obscure. Thankfully, over the last decade, the "real foods” movement has resurged, opening the eyes of consumers and encouraging us to ask more questions about where our food comes from and the impact it has on our bodies and health. How does overly processed food-stuff that's created in a lab compare to wholesome, natural, unaltered foods? What effect does it have when it comes to our health, the taste of our food, and the pleasure of eating? Best-selling author and journalist Michael Pollan says it best: “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.”
Some consumers now regard certain food categories as mandatory: non-GMO, organic, grass-fed, gluten-free, no added sugar, natural, sustainable, wild, wild-caught, and more, and we will continue to see new categories emerge and flourish.
On the flip side, processed food manufacturers continue to inundate us with temptation and abundance. Fat, salt, and sugar are the trifecta for food addiction and food manufacturers know the exact ratio to keep us coming back for more. These flavor enhancers have overpowered our natural taste perceptions and triggered our cravings out of control.
The best way to fight this manufactured food addition is to find natural foods that satisfy these cravings, all while boosting our health. The intense flavor and vibrant colors of natural fruits, like lowbush wild blueberries, is a perfect solution for those pesky sweet yearnings. Wild blueberries, for example, serve as nature’s candy, packed in a tiny package and frozen within 24 hours of harvest to retain the most flavor and nutritional value. They're packed with more taste, less water, more fiber, and double the amount of antioxidants than the ordinary highbush blueberry.
Research shows that in as little as two to three weeks, our taste buds and taste preferences can change. After shunning the three main culprits – fat, salt, and sugar – for a short period of time, we become more sensitive to them and crave them less. This allows us to appreciate the simple essence of natural produce, like the sweetness of wild blueberries.
And yet, Americans consume on average 20-30 teaspoons of sugar a day. Overconsumption of sugar-laden foods and beverages, along with refined processed foods, can (and have) lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
But sweetness doesn’t have to mean sugar. You can find natural sweetness in a variety of foods, including fruits. Wild blueberries are a low-glycemic food, registering only 53 on the glycemic index (GI) scale, a measurement of how food impacts blood sugar levels after eating. Compared to regular blueberries, wild blueberries contain only 10 grams of sugar per cup vs. 15 grams of sugar per cup. In addition, a smaller berry means you can have more per serving. More wild blueberries means more berry skins, and nearly double the amount of fiber, an indigestible component of plant foods that helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
So, skip the usual store-bought smoothies, packed with added sugars and bombed with fruit. Try a homemade green smoothie, instead, which can offer a healthy balance of vegetables, fruits, good fats, and protein.
This smoothie recipe is bursting with flavor and packs a nutritional punch, perfect as a refreshing summer treat that’ll keep you healthy, maybe wealthy, and most definitely wise.
Wild Blueberry Summer Smoothie
- 1 ½ cups baby spinach
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 1 Tbsp almond butter
- 2 Tbsp NutriBullet Protein Blend+
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ½” turmeric, optional
- 3 ice cubes
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Extract for 30 seconds in your NutriBullet Tall Cup and enjoy!
Frozen wild blueberries are so versatile, you can add them to almost any of your favorite snacks or meals to kick them up a notch. They pair well with oatmeal, raw cacao, mixed in curries, or with savory dishes that include ginger, citrus, onion, zucchini, and more.
Try them in this simple side dish as part of your summer picnic!
Quinoa Wild Blueberry Pecan Pilaf
Serving Size: approximately ¾ cup
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup frozen wild blueberries
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- ¼ cup green onion, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse quinoa. Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a medium pot. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 15 minutes until done.
- Heat olive oil in a small pan on medium high. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Combine cooked quinoa and mushrooms in a large bowl. Add wild blueberries, pecans, and chopped green onion. Toss to mix.
- Serve with a healthy protein, like wild salmon, along with a side salad.
By eating natural whole foods, like wild blueberries, we can kick those cravings we're so used to to the curb and start nourishing our bodies with all the nutrients nature has to offer. Start your transformation today!