Wild Blueberry and Pear Smoothie
Wild blueberries and pears come together in this tantalizingly refreshing smoothie. Packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein, this wild blueberry smoothie will help you power through your day with zest.
By posting this Wild Blueberry and Pear Smoothie, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Smoothies. They are such a great way to start the day or refuel after a workout. The star of this smoothie? Wild blueberries. I love this fruit! Wild blueberries are a serious health food, loaded with antioxidants–twice the amount of cultivated blueberries. What’s more, a growing amount of research suggests that wild blueberries may be beneficial for gut health, brain health, cancer, and diabetes.
You will almost always find wild blueberries in my freezer. In addition to being a staple in my smoothies, I add wild blueberries to toast, pancakes, nice cream, clafoutis, scones, and grilled salmon. Unlike fresh berries that only last a few days, frozen wild blueberries keep happily in the freezer for months. Most wild blueberries (99%) are sold frozen. They are individually quick frozen at the peak of harvest, locking in nutrition and taste until you are ready to enjoy. You can find wild blueberries in the freezer section of most grocery stores, just make sure the label says wild.
Nordic Inspired Smoothie
This wild blueberry smoothie was inspired by the flavors and foods of my early childhood in Sweden. Although I moved to New Hampshire when I was almost 8, food memories are strong. (Plus my mom managed to keep many of these foods as a staple in our diet here in the US.)
- Wild blueberries – Here in North America they have been growing wild in Maine and along the eastern coast of Canada for 10,000 years! It’s the genetic diversity of these berries that give them their intense flavor, a mix of tart and sweet. Blueberries also grow wild in Sweden, we picked them in the woods that surrounded our summer house on the archipelago. In Sweden, you will find a lot of wild blueberry foods–from the classic jam to juice to blueberry soup!
- Pears – Pear flavored ice cream and juices are common in Sweden. A favorite ice cream combo of mine when I visit is a scoop of pear, a scoop of blueberry, and a scoop of hazelnut. (Their scoops are much smaller than ours!) I still love the pear flavor, whether in the form of plain juicy, ripe pears, baked pears, pear cakes, or pear flavored drinks.
- Cultured milk – Cultured milk such as kefir and filmjölk contain probiotics, gut-friendly bacteria that are essential to keeping your digestive tract and whole body working well. They are also a good source of protein, low in sugar, and mostly lactose-free. (For a long time after moving to the US we ate our cereal with buttermilk since it was the closest thing we could find to filmjölk at the store!)
- Lingonberry – I love adding a dollop of lingonberry jam to my filmjölk and muesli or morning oatmeal. The lingonberry jam acts as a sweetener and flavor enhancer in this recipe, but if you don’t have it you could add honey.
Dietitian’s smoothie additions
While the above combination of foods makes a delicious smoothie on their own, the final 3 ingredients take the nutrition and flavor up an additional notch.
- Baby spinach – Adding baby spinach to your smoothie provides you with a serving of leafy greens right from the start of your day. One of the best parts of a wild blueberry smoothie is that the rich blue color of these wild berries allows you to add greens galore without the smoothie turning a murky shade of brown or gray! Hooray to that!
- Chia seeds – These super seeds provide fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Did you know that you can buy white chia seeds? They have the same nutritional composition, but are less likely to be noticed in your smoothie (or on your teeth)!
- Lemon – A splash of fresh lemon juice is optional, but it brightens the whole smoothie up a notch! Plus it provides some extra vitamin C.
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Now, are you ready to get your smoothie on? My best advice: follow a new recipe such as this one, but then refine it to make it your own! Get your kids into it by letting them create their own smoothies! Check out my smoothie how-to guide. Maybe even have a household smoothie contest!
- 2 cups plain kefir (or other cultured milk)
- 1¼ cups frozen wild blueberries + extra for garnish
- 1 ripe pear, halved and seeds and stem removed
- 1 cup baby spinach, packed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ - 1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons lingonberry jam (or 4 teaspoons honey)
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into 2 glasses. Garnish with a few extra blueberries. Enjoy!
Make it a smoothie bowl by topping with ⅓ cup of your favorite granola or muesli.
Make it a treat by topping with a dollop of coconut or dairy whipped cream.