April 26, 2005

Blueberry Pie

Blueberries are number one among fruits and veggies in antioxidants.

This blueberry pie is incredibly easy to make (at least, the way I make it with two serious short cuts).

This recipe is taken from Betty Crocker's 40th anniversary edition but has been modified by me.

pie crust -- i buy Mother Nature's Goodies Whole Wheat Pie Shells which have no trans fats, no preservatives, and have none of that pasty white flour. i've seen other healthy premade whole wheat pie crusts in stores, these are just the ones i'm able to find locally.

1/2 c. sucanut (Betty calls for 3/4 c. of sugar)
1/2 c. freshly ground red wheat berries (Betty calls for 1/2 c. of that white pasty flour that's been sitting on the store shelves for months before you bought it)
1/2 t. cinnamon (i think this makes a nice addition and is the reason why Betty's recipes is my favorite.)
3 cans Wyman's wild blueberries (Betty calls for 6 c. fresh blueberries. But by using the canned variety, I can eat these pies all year round. yum!)
a dash of lemon juice (Betty says 1 T.)
(and Betty sticks 1 T. butter on top of the pie. i generally skip this not because i'm trying to cut out fat but because i'm lazy and would rather skip that step.)

Mix everything together except the pie crust. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and if you want a top slap the second pie crust that came in the package on top of the first one. (Hey, like I said, I'm lazy. If you want to get fancy but still use store bought dough, you can take the pie dough from the second pan and roll it out all pretty like and then put it on top.)

Cook the pie at 425 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. (Or cook it at 350 like I do (because everything is supposed to be cooked at 350, right?) for 50 minutes or until the pie crust looks done.)


  1. Blueberry pie rocks! One of the first things I ate when I got to NJ the other weekend was a Tastykake blueberry pie. The second thing I ate was another one...

    BTW, what's sucanut? I've not heard of that before...

  2. Hi Meg, this recipe sounds good. I will have to try it. Pat

  3. sucanat is basically just freeze dried cane syrup. so it's the same stuff as sugar, but it's less processed and it's not bleached. (sugar is bleached with chemicals, btw, not by the sun or something else innocuous.)

    here's what a sucanat company says about the stuff. (i'd take the nutritional benefits with a grain of salt.)

    "Sucanat (Sugar Cane Natural) is made by simply evaporating the water from the cane juice and then granulating the remaining cane crystals. The result is a pure, delicious natural sweetener with all the nutrients of the sugar cane.

    Sucanat is rich in minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium) trace elements (chromium, copper, zinc, and other) and vitamins. Like other whole foods such as brown rice and whole wheat, Sucanat contains up to 3% mineral salts, while brown and turbinado sugars contain only 0.5%.

    Use Sucanat cup for cup where sugar is required.

    Sucanat was developed over 30 years ago by Dr. Max-Henri Beguin, and eminent Swiss pediatrician and medical researcher, based upon his belief that unrefined foods promote good health, For over a decade, Europeans have been using this unique sweetener."

    sucanat might be slightly better nutritionally, but sugars are sugars. they're primarily empty calories. the only sweetener that has any nutritional value that's worth mentioning is blackstrap molasses. it has iron and i think it has B vitamins that vegans, in particular, need (since they can't get it through animal products).

  4. Except for B12, which only comes from animal protein. I was reading in a book (or else in one of the cooking magazines) a few years ago a discussion on how vegetarians in southern India maintain a healthy balance while vegans tend to look malnourished. The discussion rolled around at one point to B12 and how vegans can't introduce it without either using a synthetic form or else introduce something non-vegan to their diet. I'll have to dig out the article and post it here...

  5. Are you a vegan Meg? I thought you were a Vulcan :-)

  6. i'm neither.

    i don't tend to follow the rules enough to be considered logical.

    and i like milk and cheese and eggs and all that good stuff too much to be vegan.

    however, there are some vegan muffins at Rainbow Grocery in san fran that kick heinie. yum!

  7. My sister and one of my nieces are both vegetarians. They both seem to get ill very easy. I don't know if it's because they don't get all the proper vitamins or not. I know my sister takes multi vitamins every day and other tablets that contain royal jelly or something. She wont take anti inflamitory's or antibiotics because she reckons they are no good for you. But she smokes, go figure. My niece also has a weight problem, so being vegetarian doesn't mean instant thin...*cough* she eats way tooo much chocolate and sweet biscuits (chocolate ones that is, like tim tams)... It's funny since I had my heart attack and have been off salt on my food I haven't been hungry, I just cant stomach food without salt. However today in town I was starving so I bought a salad roll for my lunch and it was yummmy. Trouble was I also bought two for Cliffy and he only wanted one so I ate his other one...sigh...now it's nearly tea time and I'm not a bit hungry and I am gunna have to cook something for our tea...I reckon spag bol (made with lean meat) will be the go....

  8. Antibiotics tend to be very abused. People seem to take them like candy (or worse, like recreational drugs), and doctors seem to prescribe them upon request without evaluating whether they're necessary or not. This repeated, aggressive overuse of antibiotics is definitely very bad, not just for the people taking them but for all humans in general, from both health and health insurance points of view.

    That said, antibiotics definitely have their place. I have a friend who didn't see the doctor and take antibiotics when he should have, and he was sick on and off for over half a year. Eventually, he suffered congestive heart failure. I think he had just turned 30 at the time. He didn't smoke, he didn't drink alcohol, he exercised regularly, and by all statistics, he should've been a very healthy person. It's just that (as far as I understand it) the disease was unchecked for so long that it attacked his lungs and heart and made a huge mess of things, and his body started getting weaker instead of being able to fight off the invasion. Luckily, he was otherwise healthy, so he survived, but taking a week of antibiotics earlier might've prevented half a year of symptoms and several more years of treatment (starting off with antibiotics, of course), and the episode probably still cost him many years off the end of his life.

    I believe the quoted figure for a normal illness is two weeks, and people seem to be getting put on antibiotics within two days, so that's just way too early (not to mention rather pointless since the antibiotics probably take about as long to squash the bugs as the natural immune system when things are working properly). The very young, the very elderly, and the very unhealthy might need antibiotics sooner than that, but in general, I think the standard flu is too normal to require antibiotics. I think I've only done one course of antibiotics in the last decade, and I don't expect to need antibiotics again for the next three decades or more. It strikes me as very wrong that some people who are supposedly in their prime seem to go on antibiotics annually (or even more).

    There is no question that antibiotics have saved very many lives, but they keep becoming less and less effective because they're being abused so badly. The drug companies have to keep coming up with new ones because the abuse of antibiotics is creating stronger germs. It's become an arms race between the germs and the drug companies, and it's our health getting caught in the middle.

    So, your sister might be wrong for smoking in spite of trying to be otherwise health-conscious, and she might be wrong if she's completely dead set (pun intended) against antibiotics in all situations, but there's still some merit to saying that antibiotics are no good for you, at least in the way they seem to be rampantly overused by the majority of the population.

    Besides, since blueberries are high in antioxidants, it might turn out that a nice slice of blueberry pie might work just as well as antibiotics for the garden variety of annual illnesses. ;-)

  9. Hey don't get me wrong, I agree with all that you say. But smoking is undermining any good she is doing to her body by not having antibiotics etc. That is the point I was trying to get across. In other words she is wasting her time and money (vitamins etc cost a small fortune) by still smoking.

    I'm afraid I am one of those people that tends to leave things to do with my health until I am that sick I can hardly walk. I once had a sore throat for two weeks only going to the docs because the pain had worn me down that much. When I got to his room he asked what was wrong, I told him that I had a bit of a sore throat. He looked at it and said a bit, Barb, you have green puss oozing from your toncils.....two days later after taking some very strong antibiotics the pain had eased considerably. I finished the course and touch wood haven't had a sore throat like that since.

    Yes doctors abuse the system by handing them out too readily but not taking a full course of antibiotics is where the problem arises with the germs becoming immuned to the meds and that is why they don't work the next time they are used. That is when they have to make them stronger. There are inoculations for the flu and pneumonia that people susceptible to either or both should have. Hopefully that will reduce the use of antibiotics

  10. rob jokes about that very thing. there are many vegetarians and vegans in SF who smoke. it seems an awful odd juxtaposition.

    there's just as much fat and sweets in the vegetarian's world as there is in the carnivorous world. i knew a gal who was vegan who was rather plump due to a prediliction for avocados (among other things). i still drink two percent milk and can't seem to cut back any further. and that ganache... well, enuf said there.

    antibiotics usually make me sick to my stomach so i take acidophilous. i try to avoid them but when strep comes around, i'm quick to take the kids in. a gal that used to babysit me when i was a kid had strep and it went to her heart and she's had a weakened heart ever since. of course, i suspect lung cancer will kill your sis before strep does.

  11. I'm a bit worried about that too but she assures me that her lungs are fine. She has them xrayed every now and again. She is in her 60's and skinny and has never had any children. She has had one hip replacement and is on the waiting list for the other one to be replaced. She is very active, quite the opposite to me in every way.

  12. I suppose that, if someone is vegan to protest the inhumane treatment of animals or for religious reasons rather than for health reasons, then it might make sense since burning leaves isn't obviously oppressing any animals and probably isn't violating most religious doctrines. Besides, maybe there's a correlation? Many people seem to claim that smoking suppresses appetite (and I find it plausible; I know I tend to lose my appetite when people are smoking), so smoking might make it easier for people to become vegan/vegetarian.

    I worry about what they've been doing to make newer and newer antibiotics. My parents medicated me often, so I've probably been through most of the antibiotics that were approved in the US over a decade ago with no problem. However, the one time I went in last decade, Levaquin had apparently recently caught on, so the doctor prescribed it, and it turns out that I'm very allergic. I had to spend the night (or was it two nights?) in the hospital because of it. I'm all for progress, but medications that make people worse just don't seem like progress to me.

  13. Hmm, Betty. I think another factor is with less eating while smoking is that you are already entertained with a consumptive activity. Then again, thats never stopped anyone from drinking, smoking and eating all at once lol.

    Ive had my roundabouts with antibiotics because Im highly susceptible to sinus and lung infections. Ive actually waited a month or so with sinus infections because theyre very easy to fake normal through but the wear on your body eventually kicks ya in the arse. Lungs, on the other hand, let you know asap. Thats probably the main reason I got rid of all my fish tanks when I was younger. The humidity they cause isnt good for living conditions (keep in mind that I dont snoke and hate smoke). However, I dont think living in Oregon helps me. Luckily, I have not had a viral since I was 7 or so.


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