By Sherrie Norris
Who doesn’t love being turned loose in a blueberry patch in the middle of summer? I know, it’s hard not to eat as many as you toss into your bucket, but hopefully you won’t overdo it, especially if you are paying for what shows up only in your bucket.
The High Country is blessed with several pick-your-own blueberry fields, and this year’s crop seems to be abundant. Like most seasonal delights, however, they won’t be around very long, so get them while you can. And make sure you freeze enough to do you through the winter. They are not only good, but they are also good for you with lots of vitamins and nutrients that we all need — well, before the sugar is added for those delectable cobblers and muffins!
Blueberry Pie Filling
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
In a heavy, medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar until there are no cornstarch lumps. Add the water, blueberries and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick. Remove from heat and cool. Use as desired. It stores tightly covered in the fridge for one week.
Delicious Lemon Blueberry Muffins
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable or canola
1 large egg
1/3 – 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
I cup fresh or frozen blueberries
One lemon for zesting
Heat oven to 400. For big-topped muffins, line 8 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners. For standard-size muffins line 10 muffin cups.
Add about 1 Tbsp. lemon zest to a small bowl with most of the sugar, leaving some for muffin tops, if desired. Mix zest into the sugar.
Whisk flour, lemon sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Add oil to a measuring cup that holds at least 1 cup. Add egg, then fill the cup to the 1-cup line with milk. Measure 2 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice and then add it, along with the vanilla. Whisk until well blended.
Add milk mixture to bowl with dry ingredients. Stir with a fork.
Do not over mix. Batter will be thick. Fold in blueberries.
Divide batter between muffin cups. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each muffin, if desired.
Bake muffins 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are no longer wet and a toothpick inserted into center comes out dry.
Cool and store in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. To freeze, wrap muffins tightly in aluminum foil or place them in freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Note: If using frozen berries, do not thaw.
If the batter is dry or too thick, add a little milk, until desired consistency.
If making mini muffins, less baking time required, watch careful, starting around 10 minutes in.
Blueberry Skillet Dump Cake
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup flour all purpose
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk (regular, skim, almond other dairy free milk, if desired)
1 pint blueberries
Preheat oven to 375, heavily spray or otherwise grease a skillet.
In a bowl, melt butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Add flour, sugar and milk and whisk to combine, until clumps disappear. Pour into prepared skillet.
Sprinkle the blueberries evenly around the top of the batter.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until edges start to turn slightly brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Best when served warm with ice cream or whipped topping, but also good when cold.
Healthy Fruit Smoothie
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk, maybe more if too thick
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 cups spinach
1 tsp. chia seeds
Add everything to a blender and mix to consistency desired, adding more coconut milk, if needed.
Summer Blueberry Salad
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1⁄4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. pepper
1 red onion, thinly sliced
6 cups shredded kale or choice of mixed greens, stems removed
1 cup fresh blueberries
1⁄3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
In a large bowl for dressing, whisk together oil, lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper.
Add greens and onion to bowl; toss with dressing until well coated. Toss in blueberries, Parmesan, and pine nuts.