By Valerie Wilson
Summer is here, and that means it is blueberry season! These little berries are packed full of nutrition and sweet, sweet flavor. And blueberries grow wild in Michigan. Wild blueberries are smaller than cultivated ones and also sweeter. The smaller the berry, the more compact the sweetness is, making for a sweeter berry. If you ever come across blueberries growing in the wild, make sure to stop and taste them and pick as much as possible.
Blueberries, my favorite fruit, are packed full of health benefits. They have been shown to be excellent for your heart and brain, good for maintaining healthy blood pressure, great for your eyes, skin, and bones, and even help reduce the risk of cancer. They contain vitamins C, K, B6, K, Calcium, Iron, magnesium, phosphorous, folate, manganese, and copper.
Blueberries dark blue color indicates they are high in antioxidants, one of which is anthocyanins, shown to help maintain a healthy heart, good blood pressure, and lower high cholesterol. Anthocyanins also are great for your skin, they assist in fighting oxidative DNA damage, and the abundance of vitamin C helps build collagen. All this goes along with blueberries helping to prevent signs of aging, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
No Bake Blueberry Pie
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup water
1 ½ cups oat flour
4 cups blueberries
¾ cup brown rice syrup
¼ cup plus 2 T. agar flakes Pinch sea salt
1 T. plus 1 tsp. Kudzu (dissolved in ¼ cup water)
To make the crust, mix all crust ingredients together; the dough should be firm and held together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Roll out the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap until you have created a round crust large enough to fit your pie pan. Place the crust in an oiled pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until golden brown.
To make the filling, put in a saucepan all the filling ingredients except the kudzu mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low temperature and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the kudzu mixture and whisk as it heats; it will thicken as it warms. It will thicken quickly, and once it is thick, turn off the heat. Pour the filling into the crust. Let sit for an hour to cool off, then put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to completely cool and solidify.