Wild Blueberry Brain Boosting Smoothie

Wild Blueberry Smoothie

Thank you to the Wild Blueberry Association for hosting my trip to Maine

As a senior in high school, my daughter Rosie is facing the ups and downs of preparing for and applying to college. She’s a good student, an athlete, has heaps of extracurriculars, and as my sole extrovert, will likely slay the college interviews. But when it comes to filling out the tiny bubbles of a standardized test with a number 2 pencil? Not her strong suit.

As a parent, it’s only natural to want to give my child every advantage. But barring taking the test for her — which would yield no advantage given my test-taking track record, never mind the ethics — there’s not much I can do.

But last Saturday, before she headed off to sit for the ACT, I did perform one small act that may…just may…make a difference.

I made her a smoothie.

Not just any smoothie. A 16-ounce wild blueberry smoothie that I insisted she down before heading for the test.

Here’s why:

Wild blueberries are good for the brain. They’re loaded with antioxidants, thanks in part to their high skin to fruit ratio. The flavonoids in wild blueberries have an anti-inflammatory effect and promote healthy brain function. Of particular interest to me as a parent, though, is recent research on the potential benefits of these berries on cognitive function in children. One study found kids who consumed wild blueberries had improved memory and concentration relative to those taking a placebo.  A later trial found drinking a wild blueberry beverage had a significant positive impact on children’s moods.

Whoa!

Wild Blueberries

I learned all this on a trip to the wild blueberry barrens of Maine, one of only a few places in the world where this rare fruit thrives. I was in the company of  scientists and academics who study this stuff for a living. And while we have much more to learn about how these hearty little berries impact children’s brains, I saw no harm in loading up my daughter with them before her exam.

Below you’ll find the recipe. It’s got a full cup of wild blueberries along with cashews that soak overnight in whatever kind of milk you prefer. The cashews lend a creaminess to the smoothie, along with the protein and healthy fats that come along for the ride. Because I don’t live in wild blueberry country, I buy mine frozen, which hold up brilliantly from a nutrition standpoint and are pretty widely available in the frozen food section of markets. I also threw a wild card into my mix: frozen cauliflower. I find it goes under the radar while delivering a small serving of vegetables in every glass.

Rosie won’t get her test results back for a while yet, but if things go well, wild blueberries and I are planning to take just a weansy bit of the credit.

Wild Blueberry Smoothie

Wild Blueberry Smoothie
5 from 7 votes
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Wild Blueberry Brain Boosting Smoothie

A purple powerhouse of a smoothie packed with antioxidants thanks to all those wild blueberries. The cashews, which soak in milk overnight, lend a creamy richness along with healthy fats and protein that give this smoothie staying power. Food for your body AND your brain.

Course Breakfast, Snack
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 16-ounce or two 8-ounce
Calories 240 kcal
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk, low fat cow's milk or favorite plant milk
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (see notes)
  • 1 small ripe banana (see notes)
  • 1 cup wild blueberries (sold in the frozen fruit section of many markets)
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen cauliflower florets optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Pour milk over the cashews in a small bowl and store in the fridge overnight. Peel the banana, wrap in plastic, and store in the freezer overnight.

  2. Put the cashews and milk in a blender. Cut the banana into several slices and add to the blender along with the remaining ingredients.  Blend until the cashews are pulverized and the smoothie is creamy. 

Recipe Notes

Get a jump start on this smoothie by soaking the cashews in milk and freezing the banana over night. This makes for an extra creamy drink. If you don't have time for the advanced prep, not to worry. This will still be tasty without it.

 

 

 

Comments

09.20.2017 at 7:29 AM #

Pamela Prime

Great story– love that sweet gal! Your recipes are always so creative–cauliflower, amazing!💚

09.20.2017 at 7:29 AM #

katiemorford

Thank you 🙂

09.20.2017 at 9:20 AM #

Sophie Ziegler

This is such a creative recipe! One question – are wild blueberries different from the blueberries that are readily available at the market?

09.20.2017 at 9:20 AM #

katiemorford

Yes! I should probably add that to the post. They’re in the frozen section. They are especially concentrated in flavonoids. A lot of markets sell them. Definitely sprouts and trader joe’s.

09.20.2017 at 10:17 AM #

Catherine McCord

LOVE this one! YUM!!

09.20.2017 at 10:17 AM #

katiemorford

Preaching to the smoothie-loving choir 🙂

09.21.2017 at 1:05 PM #

EA The Spicy RD

I love this post Katie, especially because Rosie sounds just like my daughter-the social butterfly 🙂 She’s a junior, so we’re just starting to navigate ACT/SAT territory, and I definitely think this smoothie would start her off on the right track. Best of luck to Rosie on her test, and finding the right college!

09.21.2017 at 1:05 PM #

katiemorford

Thanks EA. Social intelligence is highly underrated. I wish there were a standardized test for that 🙂

09.30.2017 at 2:30 PM #

Lisa

Thanks so much for this recipe! My son is a little picky on texture so I used cashew butter and it worked really well. I am trying to get extra calories in him so used whole milk – thank you! (and any other thoughts on adding calories/protein/healthy fats to smoothies appreciated!).

09.30.2017 at 2:30 PM #

katiemorford

Adding nut butters is a great way to boost calories. Whole milk (which you are already doing), whole milk Greek yogurt is also a good one. I also like to add avocado, which makes the smoothie nice and creamy. Chia seeds, hemp seeds. You could put a little coconut oil if you want.

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