Katie Green's Food Blog: Blueberry Bonanza
I had been waiting many months for this moment. Blueberry season. Some people get excited about getting married, others about winning the lottery. For me, it's blueberries. If only I had a larger freezer, as 10 pounds just wasn't enough.
Blueberries are one of the "superfoods" as they're packed with anti-oxidants, Vitamin A, C, E, and B-6, folic acid, potassium, fiber, manganese, iron, and zinc, among many others, and help to lower blood sugar levels. The best way to freeze blueberries (and other berries) is to rinse/clean and dry, lie in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen, remove and pour berries into plastic Ziploc bag or Tupperware container and store in the freezer. Frozen fruit works great for smoothies in place of fresh fruit and ice.
After my white water rafting adventure on the Wenatchee River the previous weekend (who can't use a little water up the nose?), I packed my blueberry muffins and jam in the car and headed to the Oregon Coast to take the high performance machine out for a ride. I know what you're thinking. But no, I'm not talking about me, but rather taking my bike out for 60 miles over 2 days. (This may have been slightly optimistic considering I'd never biked more than 16 miles at one time. But hey, that's how I roll.) However, as they sometimes do, our plans fell through when we realized we would be biking down the shoulder of a highway with cars rushing by and not the quiet scenic route we had envisioned. So, we changed things up and biked the back roads of the coast on Saturday, went to the beach (almost took a picture of the muffin on the beach, but there was so much wind, the sand would have blown all over it and these muffins are too good to be wasted), flew a kite, visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory (apparently more popular for its ice cream than cheese) and headed to Portland on Sunday to bike 35 miles of the Springwater Corridor. Three hours and two very sore butts later, neither of us felt capable of driving home.
I didn't believe it would be possible to top the sea kayaking with the orcas, the rafting or the hiking. But I think I'm about to do it. I'm off to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for a week to frolic with the prairie dogs, partake in some curling and drink some maple syrup. Straight up.
Blueberry Lemon Muffins
Blueberry muffins typically resemble more of a cupcake without icing than a muffin. These muffins, however, are incredibly tasty but non-cupcakeish, and I'm looking forward to seeing how I can make the recipe even healthier without taking away from the taste (too much). Here is the original recipe with the possible modifications to make it more nutritious if you feel adventurous.
1 cup all-purpose flour (or whole-wheat flour)
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 7/8 ounce applesauce (one snack pack, no sugar added)
1/2 cup sugar (or 1/4 cup sugar with 1/4 non-fat dry milk powder)
1/4 cup canola oil (or 1/4 applesauce with 3/4 cup ground flaxseed meal)*
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 2/3 cup skim/1% milk mixed with vinegar to equal 3/4 cup, let sit 10 minutes)
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (mixed with 1 tbsp whole-wheat flour)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with Pam. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside: flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk the applesauce, egg, sugar, dry milk powder (if using), canola oil, lemon zest, vanilla extract and flaxseed (if using).
Fold dry ingredients into above mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix only enough to combine, not more. Fold in blueberries.
Pour batter into muffin cups (a mechanical ice cream scoop works well to portion this out). Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops of the muffins spring back when touched. Let cool for 10 minute before removing from pan. Turn upside down to cool on rack when removed.
*When baking, in general, ground flaxseed meal (1/2 x3) and applesauce (1/2) can be substituted for the oil. For example: 1 cup oil = 1 1/2 cups flaxseed and 1/2 cup applesauce.
Blueberry Spiced Jam
From Alton Brown, Good Eats
Jam is surprisingly easy and quick to make. Freezing it instead of canning allows you to skip the more complicated steps and equipment we already know you don't have. The anise seed and nutmeg make this jam taste better than anything I've bought in a store. Jam requires pectin, a natural product coming from apples, to allow it to thicken and set. Pectin enables jam to set after a short cooking time, rather than cooking it for hours and sacrificing flavor. "No-sugar" pectin reportedly produces better jam that requires less sugar than the recipe calls for and tastes better when compared to using regular pectin. By adding a little more pectin than your recipe calls for, you can thicken your jam more if desired. Making your own jam allows you to control how much sugar you add. Continue to taste it as you add the sugar, and stop when you've reached the desire sweetness. Do not increase jam recipes (e.g. add more fruit, or double) to make more as they can only be made in small batches. This is due to the pectin possibly being overcooked and losing its thickening properties. Lemon juice is also typically added to aid the thickening process.
2 (12 oz) bags frozen blueberries
1 (1 3/4 oz) packet, dry pectin
1/4 tsp star anise, ground fine
10 to 20 grinds fresh nutmeg (or 1/4 tsp pre-ground)
2 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of one lemon (optional)
5 tbsp (2 1/2 oz) cider vinegar
3 cups sugar (I used 2 1/4)
1/2 cup water
Put blueberries in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add pectin, anise, nutmeg, lemon juice, lemon zest (if using), and vinegar. When liquid begins to gather in bottom of pot, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly to maintain a gentle boil for 5 minutes. Occasionally mash the mixture using a fruit or potato masher.
Add sugar to pot and mash with other ingredients. Add water and boil for 1 minute. Let cool and transfer to small containers (about 5 or 6). Use within 2 weeks or freeze.
TrackBack URL: http://cstv.collegesports.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/21732
MOST RECENT POSTS