You may remember last year I shared a blueberry piña colada, and made some blueberry frozen yogurt which had the most amazing color and flavor from the frozen wild blueberries I used in there. I have had it in my mind since then to work on some more recipes with blueberries, and in particular wild blueberries which have such a great flavor. However I guess it has felt out of season and I’ve got caught up with other things (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day do kind of take over!). Well recently I found out that actually the start of the year is when people search for smoothie recipes the most – presumably looking to work on those healthy New Year’s resolutions. Plus, I came across this competition from the Wild Blueberry Association of North America, and always having some wild blueberries in the freezer these days, it all seemed to point to one thing – get working on a wild blueberry smoothie recipe!
After a little bit of thought I decided to really take on the “wild” part of the smoothie challenge and make a striped wild blueberry smoothie to look a bit like tiger or zebra stripes for a bit of a fun look. True you might need to use your imagination a little but hey, it still stands out. Of course, I still wanted it to taste great and be healthy too, so I have gone for ingredients in the layers that have great flavors. Both work on their own if you want to sip the layers separately, as well as all working together. However you decide to drink it, you won’t be disappointed by how delicious this striped wild blueberry smoothie is.
What makes wild blueberries different?
There’s lots of fantastic healthy goodness in this striped wild blueberry smoothie too, from the vitamin and mineral-rich fruits, to the anti-inflammatory turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds. Not many people know that wild blueberries are that bit different from cultivated ones, but they really are and so much better too. Wild blueberries are little mini-powerhouses, having twice the antioxident capacity of cultivated blueberries. The fact that the majority are frozen at harvest means the nutrients are locked in, not to mention the flavor which is more intensely ‘blueberry-ish’.
I am lucky enough to have grown up picking wild blueberries in Scotland as a child so I know how special they are and the kind of landscape they like, and it’s nice to know they also exist in my new home. In fact, as a Brit it’s easy to make fun of how so many things considered old in the US aren’t by European standards, but wild blueberry fields are an exception – they’ve been around in Maine and Eastern Canada for 10,000 years. Sadly picking them in the wild isn’t possible every day, but at least we can pick up a bag of frozen wild blueberries from our local supermarket as the next best thing. In fact they’re better when it comes to smoothie-making, as no need for ice!
Even if the health benefits of everything in this blueberry smoothie isn’t something you are that bothered about, I can assure you it doesn’t disappoint on taste either. It’s also not difficult to make, taking just a few minutes to whip up in the blender. True, you have to make one layer, put it to one side, rinse the blender then make the other layer, but it still really takes no time at all – all you do is throw things in the blender and turn it on for a minute. The trickiest bit is layering it in the glass, which I by no means did perfectly but don’t worry too much, as you’ll drink it quickly enough it’s so tasty.
This wildly striped wild blueberry smoothie is almost everything you could ask for in a smoothie – looks good, tastes great, good for you and easy. Almost sounds like your ideal date, right? Now you see why I am sharing this on Valentine’s day! In all seriousness, you could do much worse, as your mother might say, so make a date with this wild one soon.
Two flavors, two colors and all deliciously tasty and healthy.
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp honey optional
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 1/2 tbsp chia seeds or a little more or less to taste
Place the orange juice, frozen pineapple, turmeric, optional honey and half the banana in a blender and blend a minute or two until smooth. Pour into a jug and rinse out the blender.
Put the almond milk, frozen wild blueberries, chia seeds and remaining half of the banana in the blender and blend until smooth.
Pour a little of the pineapple-orange smoothie mixture into a glass and spoon some of the wild blueberry mixture on top. Repeat with as many layers as you like, or just do a layer of each.
Note - the honey is optional as I don't think it is really needed but the flavor of turmeric is a little more distinct if you drink that layer separately. I like it, but if you are less sure the honey helps balance it out. You also don't notice the turmeric when you drink the smoothie all together.
Makes approx 16oz
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By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated in any way and all opinions remain my own (albeit I am sharing facts about Wild Blueberries shared by WBANA).