Friday, August 1, 2008

Blueberries!

I've never been able to decide on a favorite fruit as there are four that I absolutely love. Unfortunately around here all four are very seasonal. My fav's are cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and peaches.

All are subject to late frosts which can either drive the prices through the roof, or make the fruit virtually non-existant. This year cherries were extremely hard hit in this area. There were very few to be had and what there was was damaged by heavy rains. I have heard that the raspberries have suffered the same, but my bushes are fall bearing and quite sheltered, so I will have to wait and see if I get any this year.

Right now the blueberries are in season. I cheat however, and buy these at our local small town grocer. With the price of gas these days, it would cost me more to drive the almost 2 hours to go pick than to buy the ones shipped in from (across the continent) British Columbia. Remarkably, they are firm and as fresh as if I had picked them myself. One "clamshell" equals four cups -- enough to make blueberry jam, if you're using the powdered pectin. Mine all went in the freezer this year though, as we still have lots of jam. Yum! Blueberry muffins, pancakes, and coffee cake all winter.

Here's my favorite healthy blueberry muffin recipe:

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Grated rind of one orange
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup blueberries

In a large bowl, combine sugar, oats, whole wheat and all-purpose flours, baking powder, salt cinnamon, and orange rind. Beat together milk, oil and egg; pour over dy ingredients an mix until just moistened but not overmixed. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spoon into large greased muffin cups, filling three-quarters full. Bake in 400F oven for 15-20 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch. Makes 12 good sized muffins.

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