Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am gaga for berries; and with good reason. Aside from being an antioxidant powerhouse, berries, blueberries in particular have a firmly established reputation as a memory protecting food. Blueberries contain compounds called anthocyanins that battle oxidization and inflammation; and both are culprits in virtually every major killer, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and heart disease; and inflammation and oxidization is also named in “milder” conditions of aging like arthritis. And if that weren’t enough to reach for the nearest half pint of these gems, blueberries help neurons in the brain communicate with one another more effectively.
So you see, blueberries do the body good!
As the brain ages, neurons communicate less effectively, as processing, coordination and balance all tend to decline; but polyphenols found in blueberries work to turn on the signals, helping neurons to talk more efficiently- as in marriage, so in the brain, communication is EVERYTHING.
This past weekend was the opening day of my city’s outdoor market; and although the season is still very young, and many crops have yet to flourish, I managed to snag some baby blues; and a fresh loaf of bread. The market never ceases to inspire me; my market strategy is walk the whole thing first and then walk back and take my picks. I’ll admit this is not the fastest way to market, but I enjoy strolling, petting dogs, cooing at babies and taking my time- the outdoor market season is brief in Edmonton, so I intend to savor it.
I came home with ideas of a spread, to adorn my perfectly baked bread; nothing complicated, as I wanted the blueberries to take center stage. After a quick rifle through my cupboards, raw honey, cinnamon and hemp seeds were all I needed. Blueberries are already nutritionally dynamic; but with the addition hemp seeds, another super food darling, I knew I was on to something.
When blueberries are cooked down with raw honey, cinnamon and brain beneficial fats like coconut oil something magical happens; they burst open, releasing not only their healing power, but their delicate flavor too. The hemp seeds deliver a nice textural bite which come as a nice respite from the ooey gooey-ness of this spread. Unlike many other jam types, this spread will fuel your day with protein and antioxidants!
Blueberry and Hemp Seed Jam
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1 cup blueberries
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp organic, grass fed butter
1 tbsp raw honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
3 tbsp hemp seeds
2 slices of bread
1 tsp coconut oil
In a small sauce pan, combine the blueberries, coconut oil, butter, honey and cinnamon. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the blueberries have popped and the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the hemp seeds.
Slather the bread on both sides with coconut oil and grill on both sides for 1 minute; or until it’s golden brown. Then generously spread the super food spread on one side; and enjoy!