Tag Archives: Blueberry

Use Seasonal Fruits for Banana Berry Scones

This past weekend, I found myself looking at three bananas on the counter that were very ripe. I considered making a banana bread although I wanted to make something that also used some summery fruits. I cruised the Internet and found a great recipe from Fit Foodista for Low Fat, Whole Wheat Banana Cinnamon Scones. I already had the ingredients, including some fresh blueberries, and the preparation seemed easy so I decided to give this a try. Instead of using turbinado (cane) sugar, I used coconut palm sugar, and the result was just right and free from refined sugars. If you don’t have the palm sugar, you can use 1/4 cup of maple syrup instead and sprinkle the top with maple sugar if desired.

Yum! These scones are chewy and really moist, and the pieces of banana and blueberry add some nice sweetness. You could use any berries that are in season, or try chopped apples or pears and nuts in the fall. What a nice treat to enjoy with a cup of tea any time of the day or evening.

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup chopped, very ripe banana
1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt
1/2 cup low fat milk

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk together.

Slice butter and drop into dry ingredients. Use a knife or pastry cutter to cut the butter into tiny pieces and mix it into the flour.

Add bananas and gently stir.

Mix in milk and yogurt.

Form dough into a circle that is about an inch deep all around. Cut the circle into 8 slices.

Separate slices and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or foil.

Sprinkle the tops of the scones with a bit of sugar.

Bake for 18 minutes or until light brown.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage and Food Trip Friday.

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Cool Blueberry Gazpacho for the Hot Summer Weather

Good day, everyone! Are you taking advantage of the very summery weather? I am enjoying all of the beach days although my air conditioner is cranked on full blast nearly all of the time.

When I saw this recipe for “Royal Blueberry” Gazpacho with Lemon and Mint in the July 2012 issue of Cooking Light, I have to admit, I was interested. The hot summer weather makes a cool fruity soup sound like a great idea. Plus I had a plethora of blueberries since I came home from the grocery store with two pints (who can pass by a “buy one, get one free” deal?), and then later that week I received another pint from my farm share. Needless to say, I was looking for a good blueberry recipe. This one pairs the blueberries nicely with red seedless grapes. I served the soup, as the recipe suggested, as a sweet starter to our dinner of grilled salmon, potatoes and vegetables. It was great! This mixture would also make a tasty popsicle – just freeze the liquid into some molds. SensitiveHusband and I also agreed that it would be a delicious simple syrup to add to a refreshing beverage with vodka and ice.

To make the recipe a bit simpler (it was just too hot to dirty a food processor), I stirred the mixture and directly poured into a mesh sieve. I was also sure to use 100% grape juice to exclude the cane sugar from this dish.

Ingredients
1 pound red seedless grapes
12 ounces fresh blueberries
1/3-1/2 cup white grape juice (100% juice)
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation
1. Remove stems from fruit. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Place fruit in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add grape juice and honey; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.

2. Place blueberry mixture in a food processor; process until almost smooth. OR Stir the blueberry mixture briskly until all of the blueberries and grapes have split.

3. Strain; discard solids. Chill 2 hours.

4. Stir in rind, juice, and salt. Ladle about 1/2 cup into each of 5 chilled bowls.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Gastronomical Sovereignty, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Food Trip Friday and Cybele Pascal Allegen-Friendly Cook.

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

As I write my latest post, SensitiveHusband and I are roasting kohlrabi to have alongside tonight’s entree. “Kohlrabi?” you might ask…which is just what I thought last week when I found it in our farm share box. This variety looks like a purple turnip. I’ll write more once we taste it…

Now I’ll talk about the lovely cake featured in the photo. It’s a blueberry-lemon bundt cake! I was inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe, and knew that FIL* would like the lemony, pound cake-like creation. Since we were going to MIL^ and FIL’s house for dinner, I decided to treat them with this dessert.

I substituted the sugar with agave nectar – I thought the neutral taste of the agave would work well with the light lemon and blueberry flavors. The original recipe called for two sticks of butter, so I lightened up the recipe by using one stick of butter and 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. And instead of 1 cup of sour cream (not my favorite), I used what was in my fridge – 1 cup of plain yogurt (much better). The dusting of confectioners’ sugar as a finishing touch can be simulated with coconut palm sugar in order to have no refined sugars in this recipe.

The cake was a hit – everyone around the table enjoyed the dessert, including FIL and my littlest nephew! They shared two pieces, although I think my nephew may have eaten all the blueberry-filled pieces that my FIL had! This is a great dessert that could also be eaten for breakfast since it’s not too sweet, and it would go nicely at a summer picnic. Enjoy!

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/3 cup agave nectar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Coconut palm sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and agave nectar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of yogurt. Mix until fully incorporated.

In a bowl, toss blueberries and zest with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan (or two loaf pans) with cooking spray or a light coat of butter. Spread batter in prepared pan(s).

Bake cake on bottom rack of oven until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up. Dust with coconut palm sugar before serving, if desired (sure!).

Key
*FIL = father-in-law
^MIL = mother-in-law

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky and Food Trip Friday.

Recipe Appreciation & MaryAnn’s Gluten- and Sugar-Free Muffins

Later this week I will celebrate one year with this blog! I have learned so much about food during the past twelve months including many new, delicious recipes from a number of family members, friends, colleagues and blog writers. So many of you have taken the time to adapt your favorite foods to be free of yeast and refined sugar, and have shared your results with me. I appreciate your help tremendously! A sample of the wonderful contributors to this blog so far include:

–MIL and FIL have shared Garlic Shrimp with Pasta, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Peach Ice Cream and Apple and Raisin Stuffing
–A tasty Spinach Gratin from Rachel
–Refreshing Salad Dressing from Natalie
–Healthy Baked Squash, Popovers and Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes from Bree
Homemade Yogurt from Leslie and Rick that’s a great idea
–Bill’s creative Triple Nut Mix
–Wonderful Oatmeal Pancakes from Beth
–SensitiveHusband made delicious Peanut Butter Cups and Agave Chocolate Milk
–MaryAnn created some excellent Oat Bran Muffins

Thank you for all of your efforts and ideas…I appreciate you tapping into your “sensitive” side to create delicious yeast-free, refined sugar-free food!

Let’s celebrate a year of collaborating with a recipe: MaryAnn has created another great muffin and this time it is gluten- and sugar-free. You can get creative with the fruit additions to this tasty treat.

Ingredients:
–1 1/4 cup Pamela’s Muffin Mix (this is a gluten-free flour blend)
–1/4 cup water
–1/3 cup honey
–1 large egg
–1 teaspoon vanilla
–1/2 cup fruit (such as bananas or blueberries) OR 1/2 cup dried fruit (such as raisins) with 1/4 additional cup of water

Preparation:

–Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
–Grease muffin pan.
–Mix all of the ingredients together.
–Pour batter into muffin pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.
–Yields 6 muffins.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Food Trip Friday.

The Blueberry Industry and Crumb Bars

Did you know that the U.S. leads the world in blueberry production, at almost 200,000 metric tons in 2008? North America certainly dominates this market since the next largest producer is Canada with almost 95,000 metric tons. Poland is distantly in third place with almost 8,000 metric tons.

The states that cultivate the most blueberries are Maine and Michigan with the Great Lakes State slightly edging out the Pine Tree State. Maine’s lead is in the wild blueberry market; virtually all of Maine’s cultivated blueberries are processed while about half of Michigan’s are used fresh and the other half processed.

The acres of land harvested for blueberries has about tripled between 1980 and 2009. The grower price for fresh blueberries has doubled during the last fifteen years while the price for processed has plummeted. Perhaps this is evidence of the increased demand for these sweet and healthy little fresh gems of goodness?

For those of you who would like to learn more about the blueberry industry, the USDA has a great web site with lots of interesting data like the facts above. If however, all of this talk about blueberries has you ready to eat some, below is a fabulous recipe for crumb bars that I adapted to make refined-sugar free. It’s a great time of year to use blueberries! And if you still have a few fruits left over, might I suggest making some blueberry oat bran muffins as well. Happy native blueberry season!

Blueberry Crumb Bars

2/3 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup agave nectar
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon maple sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together 2/3 cup agave nectar, both flours, and baking powder. Mix in salt and cinnamon, if desired. Mix in the oil and egg. Dough will be slightly crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

In another bowl, stir together the agave nectar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer. Sprinkle with maple sugar, if desired.

Bake for 40 minutes or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares (about 16).

Adapted from Jam Hands and AllRecipes.

I am also sharing this recipe with Joy of Desserts, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays, Lady Behind the Curtain, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky, Food Trip Friday and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

MaryAnn’s Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins

This blog post is contributed by MaryAnn of Oatmeal Bread fame. MaryAnn baked the muffins using the original recipe with cane sugar and then tried a version with agave nectar and some other revisions.

After baking the already healthy (and delicious) blueberry oat bran muffins courtesy of the blog Chocolate & Zucchini a couple of times with regular granulated sugar I decided to try them out with agave. I had never baked with agave before, so I had no idea how they would come out – I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised!  The first thing that I noticed was the difference in the batter – it thinned it out a little bit, which I actually found to be a good thing because the batter is quite thick and heavy (probably partially to do with the fact that I am using Greek yogurt, which is far thicker than regular yogurt). The original version of the muffin is not overly sweet, so I decided to do a 1 for 1 swap of the sugar and agave, and it turned out perfectly – my husband said he didn’t notice a difference in the taste what so ever. I thought that the taste was slightly less sweet, but in a very subtle way, and that the texture was a bit lighter, but overall they tasted very similar and baked up beautifully. This will be a recipe that I will be using often and can feel good about eating. Next time I might have to bake a double batch because they don’t last very long in our house!

Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins
– 1 cup oat bran
– 1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– a good pinch salt
– 1/2 cup agave nectar
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup plain yogurt (I used plain/fat free Greek yogurt)
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 2 eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 360°F (I lowered the temp by 25 degrees because I had read that agave browns faster than regular sugar, so the bake time was a little longer – I think in my oven it ended up being about 19 minutes) and grease a 12-muffin tray really well.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until no lumps remain. Add the blueberries and toss gently to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, vanilla, eggs and agave. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, and fold it in gently with a spatula until no trace of flour remains. The mixture will be lumpy, but resist overmixing.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tray, filling each muffin mold by about three quarters. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes (possibly longer if using lower temperature) until set and golden. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 muffins.

This recipe is also being shared with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Food Trip Friday http://www.foodtripfriday.net/ and This Chick Cooks and The Lady Behind the Curtain.