Foodie Friday: Peach-Berry Smoothie Recipe

June is Georgia Blueberry Month. And while the berries in my yard aren’t quite ripe yet, regional berries are starting to make an appearance in the grocery stores. But before we get to the recipe, here’s why berries are so good for us:

Cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants, powerful phytochemicals that have been shown to fight cancer and heart disease.

All red and blue fruits and vegetables get their color from anthocyanins. These phytochemicals reduce inflammation and protect against cancer, diabetes and heart disease. They also help cut levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol. Another phytochemical, ellagic acid, inhibits tumor growth caused by certain cancers and improves wound healing. And pterostilbene, a relative of the health-promoting substance resveratrol, has also shown promise in fighting cancer and lowering cholesterol.

Many berries have specific health benefits. Sour cherries reduce exercise-induced pain. Blueberries battle abdominal fat, and cranberries block the development of urinary tract infections and tooth plaque.

All of these berries are readily available in your grocer’s freezer, and they also make for great planting in your garden. Wild strawberries are easy-to-grow perennials that provide fruit from spring through fall. Blueberry bushes are extremely hardy and, unlike fruit trees, don’t take up much space. Visit your local garden center for more growing tips.

Recipe: Peach-Berry Smoothie

2 (6-ounce) containers strawberry yogurt (low-fat or nonfat optional)
1 cup fresh peaches or 1 cup frozen peaches or 1 cup nectarine, pitted and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries or strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1 cup crushed ice

Place all ingredients in a blender. Cover, and blend on high speed until smooth, about a minute.
Pour into four glasses; serve immediately. Garnish with sliced strawberries if desired.
Serves 2.

Variations: Substitute blueberry or another berry yogurt for the strawberry yogurt.

Nutrition information per serving: 229 calories, 2g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0.1g monounsaturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 86mg sodium, 48g carbohydrates, 3.5g dietary fiber, 6g protein


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