May Cooking By Color – Purple/Blue
Happy May Day! I can’t believe it’s already May. This year is just flying by! This month we’ll feature purple and blue foods. I love May because it’s my birthday month and the weather should be just beautiful here in Austin. Another May baby, Christine, is here to share a delicious blueberry treat with us on her birthday!
Blueberry Pie Truffles by Christine
Purple is my favorite color, so I don’t know if it is by coincidence that many of my favorite fruits and vegetables are also purple. When Christy put a call out for guest posts for Cooking by Color, I knew without a doubt that May was my month of choice. (Today also happens to be my birthday!)
Not only are purple foods beautiful to look at, they are also nutritional powerhouses. When you hear the term “super foods”, it includes many of the foods in this color category. Purple fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins, a health promoting chemical that protects your cells and heals your body. Purple foods promote eye health, protect against cancer, defend against stress, and are anti-aging. They are also loaded with flavonoids that are beneficial to the cardiovascular system; they lower your risk of heart disease and decrease blood pressure.
Need an excuse to order a glass of red wine at dinner? I’ve got a good one for you! Purple foods, including dark grapes, some berries and red wine contain a compound called resveratrol, which studies have found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. So drink up (in moderation)!
In short, if you want to stay young, look great and feel relaxed, load up on purple foods; eat them a minimum of 4 to 5 times per week!
Blueberries happen to be one of my favorite fruits. Actually, I’m quite keen on berries in general. I have fond memories from my childhood of taking walks with my parents to areas of Brooklyn where there were berry bushes and plucking them off to snack on (yes, there were actually places in Brooklyn where you could find edible berries growing!). Besides being purple and delicious, blueberries are a super food that can help you to lose weight by reducing food cravings, reduce cholesterol, help prevent urinary tract infections, and slow age related memory loss.
I created these blueberry pie truffles with my childhood memories in mind, and also as a healthy alternative to decadent cake and pie. What can I say? I have a wicked sweet tooth! They are perfect for when you want something sweet, but don’t want to overindulge. Add on to that all the good stuff about blueberries that I’ve already mentioned and you’re doing more than eating dessert; you’re taking care of your mind, body and spirit. Oh, and the truffles are ridiculously easy to make and only have four ingredients!
Blueberry Pie Truffles
Makes about 24 truffles
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut, divided
Add sunflower seeds to a food processor and process until finely ground. Add blueberries, dates and two tablespoons coconut. Pulse until well combined. The mixture should start to come together. To test consistency, try rolling some of the mixture into a ball. It should stick together when pressed but not be too wet. Pinch off a little of the mixture and roll into a ball about the size of a quarter. Roll into the dried coconut, or extra cacao powder and set on a serving platter. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
As a certified Natural Foods Chef from Bauman College, Christine Oppenheim works to break down common misconceptions that vegan food is bland or boring. In 2010, she started her own company, Veggie Fixation, to provide plant-based, eco-friendly private chef services and seasonal cooking lessons. She is dedicated to preparing fresh, organic foods to satisfy all palates and is knowledgeable about creating alternatives for common food allergies or intolerances. She is currently training with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to receive her certification as a wellness coach. Visit her website, where you can link to her blog for recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter and Like her on Facebook.