Diabetes Diet: Enjoy The Flavor And Benefits Of Blueberries
You ought to have seen how it looked in the rain,
The fruit mixed with water in layers of leaves,
Like two kinds of jewels, a vision for thieves.”
~ Robert Frost, Blueberries
Blueberries are ripe for picking or purchasing this time of year, and their distinctive sweet flavor packs a powerful nutritional punch.
Not only do blueberries provide vitamins C, and K, fiber, and manganese, their bioactive compounds promote two things important for people with diabetes:
Cardiovascular Health. Research indicates that enjoying a cup of fresh blueberries daily significantly lowers blood pressure and reduces arterial stiffness, a symptom of atherosclerosis. These beneficial blueberry effects are attributed to increased levels of nitric oxide, a substance that enhances circulation by widening our blood vessels.
Insulin Sensitivity. Scientists have also found that regular intake of the bioactive compounds in blueberries can appreciably improve insulin sensitivity, and symptoms of metabolic syndrome (e.g., high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, cholesterol imbalance).
Wild blueberries are especially potent. They are smaller than cultivated berries so they contain less water and have a greater skin-to-pulp ratio. This translates into a more intense burst of flavor per bite, and twice the load of antioxidants.
Fresh or frozen, blueberries make a great stand alone snack - one quarter cup is only 20 calories - and are colorful additions to salads, cereals, yogurts, and smoothies. They can also lend a bit of pizazz to many of our favorite recipes, such as the notoriously plain corn muffin.
Blueberry Corn Muffins
Corn muffins punctuated with blueberry sweetness can complement a picnic meal, be enjoyed at breakfast, or during a coffee break.
You will need:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup Splenda granulated no calorie sweetener
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup egg substitute
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
Because conventionally grown berries are often heavily sprayed with pesticides, choosing organic blueberries is recommended.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a muffin tin with nonstick spray, or use paper muffin cup liners; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, blend the dry ingredients; set aside.
- In a large bowl, blend butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg substitute slowly; scrape sides of the bowl and continue to mix until butter forms small lumps. Add vanilla and buttermilk; mix well. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing well and scraping the sides after each addition.
- Fold blueberries into the batter, and scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling cups to the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until done. Makes 10 muffins.
Each muffin contains: 210 calories, 26g carbohydrate, 2g sugar, 10g fat, 5g protein, 280mg sodium, and 2g dietary fiber.