Anyone who has watched the original film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” has probably been at least slightly imprinted with some strange feelings about blueberries. Have you seen the movie? Remember Violet Beauregarde – that gum-chewing chatterbox who popped a piece of prototype gum into her mouth and began to turn blue and round like a blueberry? I for one watched the movie so many times that that scene is forever burned into my memory: the Oompa-Loompas had to roll the girl out of the room, she had grown so rotund. I must have developed a kind of horrified fascination for the idea of a child turning into a blueberry, for I wrote several short stories and drew a gallery of sketches of scenes based on the frightful metamorphosis portrayed in the movie. I did feel a bit reluctant to eat blueberries after the first time I saw that scene, but the hesitation was washed away when my mom offered me some of the offending fruits bathed in coffee creamer.
If you don’t want to end up like Violet Beauregarde (and most of us don’t), here’s some good news: there are plenty of healthy and delicious ways to consume blueberries without ballooning into a ball or turning blue. Why, blueberries are pretty much designed for the health-conscious, as they are very low in calories and high in vitamin C and fiber. Recently, the American Chemical Society proclaimed that eating berries can benefit the brain, particularly with the prevention of age-related memory loss.
All around, blueberries are a true super fruit. But as with many other foods, people have found ways to turn an innocent health food into a dangerous dish of dietary doom: blueberries are drenched in cream, dumped in sugary pies, and mixed into muffin batter riddled with butter, oils, white flour, refined sugar, all the other things health nuts try to avoid. In answer to a common question: no, the fact that a muffin has blueberries in it does not make it healthy. Not unless that muffin also happens to be made the smart way, with fat substitutes, low GI flour, and real, whole ingredients. Better yet, scrap the whole baking step, and dump the tasty soul of a muffin into the body of a nutritious smoothie. You’ll leave behind a lot of the carbs and sugars found in a baked muffin, and keep the delicious taste and healthy berries.
This smoothie was a successful mish-mosh of unbaked muffin and ice-cold drink. With a generous helping of both fresh and dried blueberries, it turned out a lovely shade of blue-purple. But don’t worry – the color will not manifest itself in your skin after drinking this smoothie. Nor will you grow round, your belt exploding off as Violet Beauregarde’s did in the movie. Nope, this is a smart snack to help you stay slim, packed with filling protein and fiber. Silly Violet should have been a smoothie enthusiast instead of a gum-chewer; it would have saved her a lot of heartache. As a child watching that film, I think I must have resolved to learn from the rotten childrens’ mistakes. That’s probably why I always strive not to drink out of a brown river, and why I’d choose a smoothie over gum any day.
Drinking this smoothie was almost like sipping a hearty blueberry muffin through a straw. It had all the satisfying comfort of homestyle muffin batter, plus the refreshing chill and invigorating flavor of zesty lemon. It was very thick and filling, and I knew I could feel good drinking it because it was truly a delectable glass full of calcium, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. I highly recommend setting aside some time in your busy morning to blend up this smoothie. It doesn’t take too much time to throw together, and it’ll take you scarcely as much time to slurp it all up!
Lemon Blueberry Muffin Batter Smoothie
makes 1 serving
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 container Chobani brand lemon flavored Greek yogurt
- 2-3 small ice cubes
- 3 tbls whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp Earth Balance Whipped or Original Buttery Spread
- 1/2 tbl lemon curd
- 1/2 tbl honey
- 1-2 tbls water
- 1 tbl dried blueberries
Place all smoothie ingredients in blender.
In a small bowl, combine “muffin batter” ingredients. (If you like, reserve dried blueberries for garnish.) Texture will be sticky and not at all like muffin batter…so just throw it in the smoothie and smash it all together!
Blend until smooth. Pour into desired glass. If you reserved the dried blueberries, add them on top as garnish. Sip with the soundtrack of the Oompa-Loompa song!
Violet Beauregarde Image: http://cher-homespun.blogspot.com/2011/08/flattery-is-like-chewing-gum-enjoy-it.html