By Nancy Smorch
It's blueberry season here in West Michigan! This is one of my favorite times of the year!
West Michigan is known for having the perfect soil and weather conditions for growing amazing blueberries. If I go to visit anyone out of town this time of year, there is usually a request to bring along some blueberries. My sister who lives in Flint, usually places a big order of blueberries for herself and some of her co-workers, and we ship out a bunch of 5-pound boxes of blueberries to friends all over the U.S.
Our favorite places to get blueberries are Golden Barn in Holland. For organic fruit, I'll go to Pleasant Hill Farm in Fennville. My favorites are the Blue Crop and Blue Ray - they are nice and big, and so sweet!
Last year was a pretty tough year for a lot of the fruit crops here in West Michigan. Our spring weather was unseasonably warm quite early, which caused the fruit trees and bushes to bloom earlier than normal... but then we were hit with a frost that killed off either a large percentage or, in some cases, entire fruit crops for the year.
Pleasant Hill Farms was one of those places that experienced such losses. Fortunately this year, we were blessed with a typical spring (though with some more rain and thus flooding than usual), and we are enjoying the bounty of fruits as a result.
I tell you, I will never again take for granted the local farmers and everything they do to ensure we get to enjoy the flavors of our state!
So, if you are looking for something different to make using blueberries (and cherries too, for that matter), try this superfood smoothie. It’s packed with nutrients and flavor and tastes amazing - it’s actually my lunch today. It’s the perfect mid-day pick-me-up to help maintain my high energy level I have going today.
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 frozen cherries
1/2 frozen banana
5-6 pitted dates
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. raw cacao nibs
1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. Greek yogurt (Substitute silken tofu to make the recipe vegan!)
1 cup coconut water
1 cup ice
Put all the ingredients in a blender, mix, and serve!