Anyone taking a country drive through rural Pennsylvania or the Pocono Mountains must have noticed the brimming blueberry bushes along side of the road. The region’s early summer must have agreed with the many varieties of wild blueberry crops. Our neighborhood roadsides have been a blue haze for weeks.
One member of our family became obsessed with picking blueberries. One Saturday, he disappeared down the driveway for hours. Six hours to be exact! When heading out to town that morning, I passed our open mailbox stuffed with quart containers of high-bush blueberries, but the fantom blueberry picker was nowhere to be found. Upon returning home, still with no blueberry picker in sight, but a telephone message revealed that a man had been spotted dragging a ladder down the road.
Weeks later, the family freezer is now stuffed with blueberries and the local deer and turkeys have a little less to eat. Of course, this created a need to search for healthy and quick blueberry recipes more interesting than the standard blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes and blueberry bread.
Foodgawker.com comes highly recommended from my daughter residing in Russia as a recipe resource for anything. A quick search on Blueberries yielded some unusual new recipes to experiment with in the kitchen. Here are two success-story recipes that fit my healthy and quick criteria (including some substitutions, because some people just can’t leave things alone):
Blueberry Avocado Salsa: Initially, the combination seemed scary, but the photo on the website was so beautiful, it could not be passed up. Being a work-with-what’s-in-the-fridge type of person, simple substitutions were made (parsley instead of cilantro, miscellaneous fresh peppers instead of jalepanos). The yield was probably a milder and less aromatic salsa, but it was amazing! It is by far the best salsa that has shown up in this household. Definitely worth making again, but with the recommended ingredients for the sake of conformity.
Chocolate Blueberry Cake: A little goes a long way with this rich, dense cake. It’s fabulous served with a warm blueberry glaze on top or a little scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt. The recipe calls for “white whole wheat flour”. Not something kept on hand in the Cantor kitchen. I used a substitute of whole grain oat flour and it worked just fine. The recipe makes a few sweetener recommendations. Maple syrup was on-hand in the test kitchen on this day, although Agave is another popular choice for us. Flax seed was not in the pantry either. Some finely ground almonds were used instead. Not the same health benefit, I’m certain, but I didn’t want to totally skip an ingredient. This is another recipe worth revisiting. Simply wonderful!
Nutritionally speaking, one cup of blueberries contains 84 calories. They are packed with fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Blueberries are known as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
By the way, this blueberry kitchen experiment did not even put a dent in the freezer stockpile. Guess what we are going to be eating all winter?