All the Colors of the Rainbow 2 – Blue
When it comes to vegetation in general, you don’t see the color blue all that often. This makes this next post a bit of a challenge. Luckily, I was not only able to come up with a blue vegetable, but I was also able to find a recipe that merges a blue fruit and a blue vegetable. Put down that cup of coffee so you won’t spit-take about the blue vegetable in the series, blue corn.
Funny thing about corn, most of us today assume that only yellow corn exists. The truth of the matter is that, just like other fruits and vegetables, corn has a variety of colors, kernel sizes and uses all over the world. The yellow corn is the only kind we see most often in grocery stores except for tortilla chips, and you would be forgiven for thinking that it was artificially colored.
This variety of corn naturally grows in Mexico and the South Western United States. Its earliest mention on European record was in 1540, by Spanish explorers, but there is evidence that suggests that the corn itself is much older than the Columbian era. Blue corn also played a huge part in traditional Hopi religious rituals and was associated with the cardinal direction of South West in rituals.
Blue Corn Nutrition
- The most noteworthy thing about Blue corn that makes it stand out from its hybrid cousins, is that it has a higher protein value. Specifically, it has 30% more protein.
- What makes the corn blue is a high level of anthocyanins, a plant-based antioxidant.
- The antioxidants I just stated helps even out your blood sugar, which is great for diabetics.
- It can also assist with metabolizing carcinogens and toxins.
This variety of berry is also native to North American soil and often grew wild in states like Maine, North Carolina, Oregon and New Jersey. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that US scientist and farmers started to focus on modern blueberry cultivation. Since then it is the second most consumed fruit in the United States, next to strawberries. There are three varieties of blueberry bushes and they can produce fruit for 20 years per bush. That is a lot of berries.
- It’s common knowledge to most people that Blueberries have antioxidants, but did you also know that it carries the same type of antioxidant that is found in blue corn, anthocyanin.
- Blueberries have also been known to have cardiovascular benefits and can help regulate blood sugar.
- What is most interesting is the recorded cognitive benefits that blueberries have. Upon examination, evidence does point to blueberries repairing and aiding in the production of nerve cells in the brain.
- They also protect your retinas from oxygen damage, by repairing and producing cells in your eyes.
If you are feeling a little adventurous and want to spice up your breakfast repertoire, then get ready to experiment with muffins made with blue cornmeal and blueberries. It’s simple to bake, interesting to try, and something playful that you can do with the kids. Click on the photo below for the link to the recipe.