Forget fish; blueberries are the new brain food.
Blueberries are tops when it comes to antioxidant content, as measured by the ORAC test. This means they're a real free-radical fighting force. For your brain cells (neurons), this is good news. (Especially if you are a rat, and encounter mazes on a daily basis.) Even for the rest of us, blueberries are likely to improve performance on crosswords. (Your mileage may vary.)
Trouble is, there just aren't enough ways to use blueberries in cooking. The ubiquitous blueberry muffins and pancakes have limited appeal once blueberry season is over—frozen blueberries tend to turn the batter purple.
But that's no reason to shun the greatest antioxidant boost since green tea.
Sunday morning I made wholewheat pecan pancakes, while the sun streamed in, defying the frost on the ground. The pancakes were forgettable; the blueberry syrup divine. A simple yet elegant addition to breakfast, and a year-round convenience when made with frozen blueberries. Try using the leftovers in a smoothie.
Blueberry and Orange Syrup
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to boil and then lower heat. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve warm over pancakes.
Wholewheat and Pecan Pancakes (Vegan)
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 cup oats
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups soy milk
1 cup orange juice or apple juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
Combine the flours, walnuts, oats, sugar, allspice, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl combine liquid ingredients. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, whisking until thoroughly combined. The mixture may be thin.
Allow to set for five minutes while you heat the griddle.
Pour 1/3 cup batter onto griddle. Cook over medium high heat until the edges are dry and bubbles form. Turn pancakes once and cook until lightly browned. (Resist the urge to pat down with a spatula.)
Note on ingredients: To bring out the pecan flavour, toast for 5-7 minutes before chopping. Reserve a few larger pieces for the pancake stacks.