Monday, May 31, 2010

Berry pickin'! And recipes, too!

So today, to celebrate Memorial Day, we went to take advantage of a local farm chock full of our favorite blue fruit..


We have a great little place right up the road where you can pick your own berries, and blueberries are in season. I love picking my own, so we took a little field trip this morning to get in touch with nature and enjoy some fresh, local produce.

Blueberries are one of the best-for-you fruits out there! Thanks to Reader's Digest, I'm able to tell you blueberries have the following health benefits:
  • Good source of dietary fiber.
  • Excellent source of antioxidants.
  • Provide some vitamin C and iron.
  • May help protect against some intestinal upsets.
  • May protect against urinary tract infections.
  • Anthocyanins may help protect against heart disease and cancer and may help prevent memory loss.
And, they're freakin' tasty! I didn't bring my camera along, so you don't get to see me with a bucket strapped to my waist, or skipping merrily down the rows and rows of berry bushes.

But you do get to see the end product...


FOUR pounds of berries! (Carrying them around my waist as we picked them was great cardio!) So, what do you do with four pounds of berries?

You make the most epic blueberry muffins ever.

I'm going to share with you my recipe for the yummiest, cake-iest, most decadent muffins I've ever made. It really is the best recipe I've tried yet. Here's whatcha need:

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line your baking cups with paper liners.

Combine your flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder until well mixed. Add your vegetable oil, egg, and milk and mix with dry ingredients until just moistened. Your batter will be VERY THICK!! It's supposed to be; it holds the fruit in place in the muffin cups so all your berries don't sink to the bottom of your muffin.

Fold in your blueberries gently and then fill your muffin cups right to the top. Since the batter is so thick, I used my hands for this step, but you could use two large spoons. I was able to fill 10 of the 12 cups on my tin, so if you want more, you can double the ingredients.

Bake for 20 minutes, and voila!



SUPER tasty. You could make these muffins with anything; blackberries, cranberries, chocolate chips... and you can bet I'll try this with chocolate chips!

And after that? Yanno what I made?

Blueberry iced tea.

First I made a pitcher of regular iced tea. (I like Lipton cold brew!) Poured myself a big old glass when it was done, into the blender, along with a handful of blueberries. Blend on puree. Voila!


You can leave the skins (like I did) or strain them out; personally, I find them v. tasty. :)

And that, my friends, is fun with blueberries! Hurrah!!

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