Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blueberries for Al.

There are a few things I enjoy more than the summer. Specifically, the fact that all these delicious fruits and vegetables become seasonal in the summer! I'm such a fan of fresh, seasonal berries, that taste delicious (seriously better than dessert sometimes!), and are good for you too. One of my favorite summer breakfasts is vanilla Greek yogurt, mixed with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and walnuts. Yummo!

I can remember summers on the Cape at my uncle's estate, where there were millions of these wild blueberry bushes. Patrick and I would scour these bushes with huge silver buckets, filling them at least halfway, and stopping to eat our way through. Once we got stomach aches from eating too many, and our faces/clothes were stained with blueberry juice, we would relinquish our buckets back to my parents, and uncle and aunt who would turn out buckets of the tiny berries into delicious blueberry tarts, pies, or pancakes in the morning.

We would them finish up our blueberry day with one of our favorite children's books Blueberries for Sal. Did anyone else read that as a child? (Robert McClosky, the author was our family favorite. He also wrote Make Way for Ducklings, which my parents LOVED reading to us since they went to school in Boston and knew a lot of the locations...I digress, as usual).

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At that young age, I didn't even know all the health benefits of eating berries (they can boost your metabolism!), but now that I'm trying to eat healthy and lead a healthy lifestyle, eating fresh and seasonal foods has become a huge part of my life!

Martha lists some of the basics of blueberries on her website, which I thought were really helpful for picking and storing one of the healthiest berries around! These tips are adapted from Martha's website!

1. In Season - Berries are "in season" from July - August (this is also when they're the cheapest!). Locally grown/wild berries will only be available during these months, otherwise you can find them all year round (for a much higher cost).

2. What to Look For - The berries should be firm, the same size, and deep blue with a silvery/white shine to them. *Avoid any packages that appear stained or damp!

3. Storage - You can store blueberries in their original containers for up to 5 days. Before storage, throw away any blueberries that are rotten or moldy, and remove any stems. When I'm ready to eat them, I usually stick them in a colander and wash them all, and then pat dry - that's proven easiest for moi!

4. Alternatives for Winter/Off Season - Trader Joe's sells organic, frozen blueberries for really cheap (a package for $2.99) - cheaper than you can buy fresh ones! I love these in the winter time, especially since they're organic!

I'm always looking for new/different recipes for my favorite ingredients, and luckily, Martha has posted a ton of recipes for blueberries on her site! These are some of my favorites, but make sure to check out her site, especially if you're a blueberry fan!

Blueberry Muffins.
Always a favorite! Surprise your boyfriend/girlfriend/parent/anyone with these for breakfast some morning!

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Blueberry Jam.
I LOVE toast. I eat toast constantly, and I can't imagine anything better than blueberry jam to top my toast in the morning! I will definitely be attempting this one :)

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Lemonade with Blueberries.

I made this for me and J the other night to drink out by my pool, and it was so delicious and perfect! It was easy-peasy to make, and so refreshing. J has requested it for our next swim/tanning session :)

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Blueberries with Maple Whipped Cream.

It's like having blueberry pancakes, without the heavy pancake. Why yes I will be making this for breakfast tomorrow, thank you very much Ms. Stewart. Plus it's ready in fifteen minutes!

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Blueberry Crisp.

Yummo, I think I'd make that maple whipped cream and have it with this! I love any type of crisp, and blueberries are no exception!

Blueberry crisp

Blueberry Topping.

Yummm, this seems like the perfect way to spice up plain, boring vanilla ice cream, fro yo or yogurt this summer!

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Blueberry Mini Tarts.

These blueberry tarts kind of look like the dutch apple petite tarts I made for my friend C's bridal shower. I bet that you could use the same basic pre-baked pie crust for the tarts, and then just use the filling inside!

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Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle.

I personally think that trifle is one of the easiest desserts to make. My family absolutely loves when I make trifle. I do it differently than Martha though - I use poundcake, vanilla pudding, and Cool Whip - along with whatever berries I have (usually blueberries, strawberries, and banana - but I've varied). You do a layer of each - I don't even mix the fruit, I do a separate layer of each type of fruit. Also, Martha's recipe says to refrigerate for at least an hour, but I'd say refrigerate for at least 5 hours so that the pudding and Cool Whip will sink into the pound cake and make it really soft and delicious.
I also use a pretty glass bowl, because this really can look pretty with all the layers! I've made this the past few summers at our annual July 4th pool party at my house and it's such a crowd pleaser!

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Blueberry-Buttermilk Scones

Yummm, with the blueberry jam, I can't even imagine how delicious these would be!

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All images from Martha Stewart's website.


I know it's a bit of a blueberry overload, but to me there is just nothing better during these summer months! :) Do you have a favorite summer ingredient to cook with?


Currently listening to: Bright Eyes - First Day of My Life

19 comments:

KC said...

Yum yum, the best however is blueberry pie!!
We must catch up soon, shoot me an email! have muchos to tell you!

xxx

HiFashion said...

Mmmm, I am such a blueberry fan. I do love how summer brings out all the best fruit. I'm living on strawberries and mangoes these days.

Gracey said...

I used to LOVE that book! But my sister drew in it and cut the pages..grrr.
All of those blueberry things look amazing! I'm totally going to try the lemonade with blueberries!

正玲正玲 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!......................................................................

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

Oh my gosh I love blueberries!

daisymay said...

As yummy as all that looks im just not a blueberry fan! Pity!

Daisy Dayz Home

Couture Carrie said...

Love that book and this post, darling!
I think I need to go blueberry picking now!

xoxox,
CC

LiLu said...

Blueberries for Sal was my absolute FAVORITE growing up. Thanks for the heartwarm :-)

xshumzx said...

Lemonade with blueberries!

Gracey said...

sorry for the double comment, but I just wanted to let you know that you won an award on my blog :)

Haven and Home said...

Love that book. We just brought back bags of blueberries from my in laws last weekend and I have been loving having them in everything!

Kristin said...

Looooove blueberries...and I've always adored that book! Delicious post lady!

▲my• said...

Oh my gosh. All that wonderful blueberry food looks so amazing!!!
I HAVE to try lemonade with blueberries! I'm a tad too lazy to make my own, but I love Trader Joe's cartons of lemonade so I think a trip to the store is in order :)

陳芳 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼.................................................................                           

陳隆 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。......................................................................

Pop Champagne said...

blueberries are so good for you since they contain a bunch of antioxidants. lovely and yummy post!

Le garçon avec les lunettes said...

Love those pictures... they are so gorgeous!!!

Elisa, Croatia said...

oh boy, all these recipes sounds delicious and the one you prepared for fourth of July LOOKs so good!

have a happy and safe 4th of July

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