Can I say how spoiled it feels to stroll out into our garden in pajamas to collect breakfast? Our blueberry bushes are in full production now and I couldn’t be happier.
Ever since I discovered the joy of breakfast for dinner, eggs, my go-to breakfast choice for decades, are off the morning menu. That leaves a hole in my diet. I’ve never been a big scone person, and muffins aren’t really my thing, a heretical statement in Cannon Beach where everyone raves about the Almond Poppy Seed and Chocolate Cream Cheese muffins at the Cannon Beach Bakery. When I was young and not completely obsessed with cholesterol or calories, I thought a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin was a perfectly great breakfast.
Ten years ago I jumped on the granola train. (Sea Level, by the way, makes killer granola.) I’ve gone through several phases of how to best eat it. For a long time I had it with a little milk. After awhile I began mixing it up with runny yogurt before my heart was won over by the super thick Greek-styles. Lately I’ve been smitten with nondairy yogurt. My current favorite is CoYo coconut yogurt-alternative, which, unlike other coconut milk yogurts, is super rich and creamy. Fair warning, it’s very rich. Each serving has 38 grams of fat and 360 calories. That’s why I only use a little, like a tablespoon at a time. It’s perfect as a topping on fresh fruit, or on top of a quarter cup of granola, served parfait style. Look for it at Fresh Foods in Cannon Beach alongside the other yogurts.
Now back to that fresh fruit.
Blueberries are my favorite fruit ordinary gardeners can grow in Oregon. The blueberry growing season runs June through September. Our house came with four blueberry bushes planted by previous owners. Two out of four plants regularly produce large, dark, blue berries from mid-July through September. (Two of the bushes are weak and spindly. I have to work on why.) Last summer we got in the habit of collecting berries in a bowl every evening, although I soon realized that by that hour the birds were gorging themselves on what was mine. Now we collect the berries in the morning. I toss a handful on top of my granola and coconut milk yogurt, along with some organic walnuts for a breakfast of champions.
Blueberries, it’s been reported, might be the healthiest of all fruits. Research has shown that elderly rats fed a diet of blueberries became better at balancing and showed memory improvement. When researchers cut open their heads, they discovered blueberry pigment in the rats’ brains. Blue anthocyanins—a plant chemical widely attributed with antioxidant benefits — were scattered throughout the rats’ cortex, hippocampus, striatum and cerebellum. Elderly rat research aside, blueberries have been reported to lower blood pressure; improve cognitive skills, reduce depressive symptoms and improve blood-sugar levels.
So as long as they keep growing on our bushes, I’m going to keep eating blueberries.
It doesn’t hurt that blue is my favorite color.