INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Eating fresh, in season summer berries can be a delicious way to create whole health and prevent chronic disease. To benefit from the many vitamins and plant compounds within red, blue and blackberries, eat them fresh and raw as a pop-in-your-mouth treat. Cooking and baking blueberries into muffins, pies, sugary sauces or “Poop” Tarts however, reduce their super-nutrition into nothingness.
- Native Americans called them “star berries,” because the five points of blueberry blossoms make a star shape.
- Native Americans held blueberries in high esteem, believing the “Great Spirit” created the berries to feed their hungry children during famine.
- Blueberries are among the highest antioxidant value fruits.
- ½ cup fresh blueberries provided the antioxidant power of 5 servings of peas, carrots, apples, squash or broccoli.
- Fresh berries carry vitamin-C, A, and -E that work as potent antioxidants which help limit free radical mediated injury to the body.
- Berries also carry a small amount of B-complex group niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid.
- Potassium, manganese,copper, iron and zinc. (Potassium is an important in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese used by the body as an antioxidant enzyme. Copper required for the production of red blood cells. Iron required for red blood cell formation.)
- Low glycemic load: research suggest berries help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes.
- Prevents cancer, heart disease, urinary tract infections.
- Protects the brain from stroke damage.
- The anthocyanin in blueberries is good for eyesight.
According to the Annals of Neurology, women who eat about two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries a week experience less mental decline over time than peers who went without these nutrition powerhouses.
What you’ll need for Simmer Berry Chia Seed Jam:
- 2 cups strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
- 2 tbsp. water (or less, depending on how “juicy” your berries are)
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds-Omega three and protein
- liquid sweetener to taste – honey, maple syrup, stevia, etc. (optional)
Don’t forget to:
- Wash berries and let drain on dishtowel.
- Put berries into a mixing bowl and then mash using either a fork, potato masher, blender or food processor until desired consistency.
- Add water, chia seeds, and sweetener, if using, and mix very well until everything is incorporated.
- Transfer jam to a glass jar, cover, and place in fridge for at least 1 hour to set up.
- Enjoy as you would regular jam.