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Blueberries – February 2007

There has been a lot of talk about climate change and carbon footprints and what we can do to help as individuals. One of the most effective ways of making less impact on carbon emissions is to eat local seasonal produce that is not travelling long distances to reach you. We at Piko are looking at products that come from far afield and assessing them against what is available closer to home. We hope to get to a situation where if there is a more local alternative we will stock it in preference to similar products from further away.
At the moment the seasonal product available that only lasts until April is BLUEBERRIES.

Make the most of this powerhouse of late summer/early autumn...
eat Fresh Blueberries now!

Blueberries are nature's antioxidant powerhouse and contain higher antioxidant levels than just about every other fruit and vegetable.
Antioxidants prevent cell damage that occurs from everyday wear and tear. It is believed a diet high in antioxidants helps avoid such health problems as cancers and heart disease. It appears the blue pigment, anthocyanin, is the
major contributor to blueberries high antioxidant levels.
Blueberries also promote good eyesight and urinary tract health. They seem to fight off urinary-tract infections by preventing E. coli bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall.
Often referred to as 'brain berries', several leading scientists suggest eating half a cup of blueberries a day to protect and promote brain function.
Blueberries contain 6ug /100g of folic acid. Folic Acid may help guard against cervical cancer, and benefit the foetus during pregnancy.
Blueberries are not only low in fat they are also a natural source of dietary fibre. One cup of fresh blueberries gives 5 grams of fibre (more than most fruits and vegetables) and 15% of the daily value for vitamin C, and at a cost of only 80 calories!

Try these ideas....

Add blue berries to school lunches, frozen blueberries are a great treat.

Make blueberry smoothies by blending one cup of milk with one cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen). Add banana or yoghurt if you wish.

Blueberry Fruit Smoothie

1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not
½ cup light peaches
½ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
¼ cup low-fat yoghurt

Place all ingredients in blender. Cover and mix until smooth, about 30-45 seconds.

Sprinkle blueberries over your breakfast cereal. For frozen blueberries - place half a cup in your cereal bowl and microwave on high for 40 seconds then top with your favourite cereal and a spoonful of yoghurt.

Add blueberries to apple crumbles.

Very Simple Vegan Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup soymilk
1/4 cup oil
1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 200c.
Place baking cups in a muffin pan.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl.
Add soymilk and oil. Mix.
Fold in blueberries.
Pour into muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Blueberry Shortcake

2 cups flour
¾ cup sugar
3 oz butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
2 or 3 cups of fresh blueberries

Cream butter and sugar, beat in the egg, work in the flour & baking powder.
Add a tablespoon of milk if necessary.
Roll out to a thickness of half an inch.
Place half the shortcrust on a lightly greased or floured baking tray or in a shallow baking dish.
Place blueberries on top and sprinkle with sugar.
Put the remaining shortcrust on the top. Prick with a fork.
Bake in a fairly cool oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

NEW PRODUCTS to look out for:
China White Organic Iced Teas in the fridge
Waihi Bush flaxseed oil designed especially for children
Wildlife Downunder Biscuits, great for lunch boxes
Venerdi Organic Bagels ~ yum!
Miranda Organics' seasonal Jams, Sauces and Chutneys
Clearwater Organic Yoghurt (bring your container back to be recycled)
Decadent Dates, a real treat!

We welcome Kiyomi to Piko; she replaced Andrew when he moved to Japan to teach English. Eroica has just left us, to find her fortune (or at least a change of scenery) in Melbourne.

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