Blueberries are such a wonderfully nostalgic food for me. Just reading the word is enough to conjure up brilliantly blue skies, the feel of pleasant early morning sunshine that promises to turn to a scorching inferno by midday on my neck, and my grandma marching about with a white, half-gallon bucket tied to her waist.
Every summer, for years now, Grandma and I have gone blueberry picking. There is a blueberry farm about 2 miles from my grandma’s house that sells pick-your-own, size-of-your-thumb, organic blueberries. We go as early in the morning as soon as the dew has lifted and pick until we can’t pick anymore.
It’s beautiful in the berry patch. And relaxing. And it never fails to make me smile. I get to watch my barely 5’0’’, 70+-year-old grandma, with pointed determination, vigorously twist, crawl and climb around in the bushes to get just the right bunch of berries. (These are in places, mind you, that I can reach without getting on my tiptoes…)
And then we come home with a blue treasure trove. Usually, we pick somewhere in the order of 25-30 pounds of blueberries. Most are sorted, washed and frozen. But a few pounds are left out to eat right then and there. If any survive our snacking (yes, we have been known to eat pounds of blueberries in a single day) it’s on to an afternoon of baking a smorgasbord of delectable blueberry treats — pies, crumbles, muffins, and cookies.
What do we do with all the berries we freeze? Well, lots of them find their way into blueberry smoothies, like the one in this recipe!
Smoothies are just so versatile and practical. They take a grand total of 2-minutes to make and you can eat them whenever and wherever.
You can bring them with you on the go, making them a great, quick breakfast for the road — blend, pour, out the door!
You can drop them in your gym bag for an awesome pre-workout snack that won’t weigh you down while you shape up. Or, you can sip them afterward, for a refreshing and hydrating post-workout meal.
And if you’re staying home on a lazy Sunday? Super quick breakfast to sip while you’re chilling on the patio reading a book. Or while you’re bingeing Game of Thrones on the couch. (I won’t tell you which one is more likely to occur on any given Sunday in my home.)
Or how about a cool, refreshing drink for those soul-sucking hot summer afternoons. (Are you looking forward to those coming in August as much as me?)
Basically, any time or place is a good time or place for a smoothie!
And if the convenience and practicality of a blueberry smoothie weren’t enough to win you over, the taste (at least of this one!) will! Sweet, smooth, summery and creamily-rich, it seems like you’re drinking a dessert. But a dessert you don’t have to feel guilty about at all!
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Blueberry Smoothie Ingredients
This easy, quick, sippable and dessert-like summer treat is just two healthy, 100% whole-foods — blueberries and bananas.
Even if you don’t have fond memories of blueberry-filled summer shenanigans, you should be a fan of blueberries. These little blue gems are a goldmine of nutrients.
Like all plant foods, blueberries are low in calories, and rich in fiber, vitamins (especially vitamin K) and minerals (especially manganese). Blueberries one up many plant foods, though, by being super rich in a group of phytonutrients called anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins, which just so happen to be the blue-purple molecules responsible for blueberries’ pretty color, are absolutely wonderful for human health. Studies show that anthocyanins:
- reduce inflammation
- protect brain function
- prevent cancer
- help regulate blood sugar levels
- sink blood cholesterol levels
- lower blood pressure and ease blood flow through the body
- aid weight loss/weight management
And this isn’t just if you take them at high doses, such as in a supplement. The doses you get from simply eating about 2 cups of blueberries a day have measurable effects in laboratory tests! These little guys are just so good for you!
Even though a plain blueberry smoothie would be amazing all by itself, the texture of blended blueberries is juicier (well, juice-y-er) than creamy and gooey. Since we’re going for decadent and dessert-like, here, we added a second ingredient: bananas. Bananas blend into a smooth, ice-cream-like texture that gives a whole smoothie a milkshake-like quality we adore!
Bananas also happen to be pretty rich in fruit sugars, helping us add a pop of sweetness to the milder flavor of the berries, upping the “dessert” factor another notch.
No worries, though! The bananas aren’t just there for superficial, tastebud and texture reasons! They pull their weight health-wise in this smoothie, too!
Bananas are awesome sources of fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. Though perhaps less densely concentrated than in blueberries, bananas also contain all kinds of healthy phytonutrients, including flavanols, catechins, and carotenoids.
They are also rich in antimicrobial molecules (that can protect your gut from infections), blood-sugar-regulating molecules (which can protect you from diabetes) and mood-boosting-molecules (that can help fight depression and anxiety).
See, they totally earned their smoothie spot!
- High Powered Blender (We love the Nutribullet!)
- 2 bananas*
- 1.5 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup of water**
*To make the smoothie less rich, you can use a single banana.
**For an even fuller flavor, you can replace water with cashew milk.
- Place ingredients in a high powered blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add additional liquid to reduce thickness, if desired. Pulse briefly to mix.
- Enjoy your delicious, healthy blueberry smoothie!