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Posts Tagged ‘blueberries’

by Sarah Steimer

This certainly isn't our first banana muffin recipe we've ever posted, and I'm sure it won't be the last. As long as there are certain people in certain households who insist on buying more bananas than he/she can eat, there will be new banana baked good recipes.

This certainly isn’t the first banana muffin recipe we’ve ever posted, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. As long as there are certain people in certain households who insist on buying more bananas than he can eat, there will be new banana baked good recipes.


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by Sarah Steimer

The first time I turned my oven on in probably a month was to make these cookies. I normally bake something fairly healthy for my breakfasts, so it had been nothing but graham crackers and peanut butter with fruit for quite some time before these came along.

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed

In a small bowl, mix together the oats, flours, salt, cinnamon and baking soda.

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, egg, milk, vanilla extract and light brown sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Using a spoon, plop heaping tablespoons onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spacing the dough about 2 1/2 inches apart.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes or until the edges are set and the cookies are beginning to brown. Bake the cookies one pan at a time!

Remove the cookies from the oven (they will still be a bit soft to the touch) and let cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Store in an air-tight container for two days or for a week in the refrigerator.

Recipe from: Sweet Happy Life

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by Sarah Steimer

This summer I’ve frozen raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.

This time of year I tend to go a little overboard on the summer berries. I go to two farmer’s markets each week and somehow get more berries than I could possibly eat before the fruit goes bad. The best solution to the quick-aging berry? Freeze it. This way, you save yourself from having to throw out food — which is like throwing out money. Freezing berries now also means you can use your own, local fruit in the dead of winter rather than buying strawberries by way of Mexico at the grocery store.

Possible berries to freeze:

  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • cherries (may want to pit them first)
  • cranberries (fall)
  • raspberries
  • strawberries (hulled)

For the sake of this how-to I’ll focus on raspberries and blueberries, two of the easier berries to freeze.

Step 1:

Rinse and pick.

Rinse the berries in a colander under cool, lightly streaming water. Do not turn the water on very hard as the berries are delicate and can bruise. Pick out any sad berries or stems that made it past the farmer’s eye.

Step 2:

At ease, raspberries.

Place one or two paper towels on a cooling rack. Gently shake the berries in the colander to remove as much excess water as possible. Transfer the berries to the towels using your hands — do not pour the fruit directly from the colander as it will dump extra water on the towels. Arrange the berries in a single layer. Fruit such as blueberries and strawberries can be arranged on the racks at random, but I like to sit raspberries and blackberries upside down (as pictured above), so their insides have a chance to drip-dry. It takes a little more time, but will save you from having tiny icicles inside the berries later.

The berries should dry completely (or close to it) for about an hour or so on the counter.

Why make sure the berries are totally dry? Because if you toss them into a bag while they are still wet, you wind up with an icy block of fruit. Using this drying method, it will allow you to grab a cup of frozen fruit without having to thaw the entire bag.

Step 3:

Semi-frozen blueberries on a baking sheet.

Once the berries have dried fully, place them on a clean baking sheet in a single layer.

I also found it helpful to set the raspberries on end even while they froze. Raspberries tend to stay a little more soggy than blueberries, so the less they touch one another, the better.

Freeze for 1-2 hours, or until the berries are relatively hard to the touch.

Step 4:

Bagged and ready.

Label freezer bags with the date and fill ’em up! Berries can stay in the freezer for a very long time because they contain a high amount of sugar. From what I read online, some people have used frozen berries up to four years after freezing them. Of course, I would suggest using them within a year, that way you can freeze a fresh new round next season.

To thaw the berries, either leave them out at room temperature or in the refrigerator over night. Some recipes, such as blueberry muffins, actually work without ever needing to thaw the berries at all. Frozen berries also make excellent smoothies because they create an icy texture when blended with yogurt and other ingredients — no extra ice necessary.

If you have any additional questions about freezing berries — or other foods — leave a comment below!

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by Caitlin Saniga

So, the story behind this dessert’s nickname is that I brought it to a recent get-together with some friends, and when people started asking what it was, another friend was quick to call it “Jello salad.” Only everyone else heard “jungle salad.” So I’m not sure what everyone was expecting when I cut into it … wild berries, plantain leaves, tropical edible flowers? Nope, this is red, white and blue pretzel salad: sweet, salty, creamy and light. And I’m naming it my signature dessert of the season!

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup crushed pretzels (I used stale ones, and popped them in the oven for about 8 minutes before crushing them. I like the new flavor a lot.)
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon + 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 ounces strawberry gelatin dessert mix
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small pan, melt the butter slowly, and add the pretzel crumbs. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, then transfer the mixture in a 7″x7″ glass baking pan. Use a piece of wax paper to pat down the pretzel mixture into a flat layer at the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then transfer to the fridge so it can cool quickly.

Meanwhile, use the whisk attachment of an upright mixer or use an electric hand mixer on high to whip the whipping cream and 1 teaspoon sugar. When the cream has stiffened some, after about 1 1/2 minutes, transfer the whipped cream to another bowl. Add the cream cheese to the bowl of the mixer and beat until it softens, about 1 minute on high. Add the whipping cream, and beat to combine, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate.

Bring the water to a boil in a small pot. Pour the boiling water into a medium glass bowl, and add the gelatin mix. Stir with a whisk for 1 minute, or until the gelatin mix dissolves completely. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

When the gelatin has just started to set, it’s time to assemble the layers of this dessert. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the pretzel crust, and use a spatula to carefully spread the mixture over the crust. (Try to work from the center of the mound of cream cheese mixture out. It’s easy for crumbs to surface as you spread.) Next, arrange the blueberries in a single layer over the cream cheese mixture. Pour the gelatin over top, and refrigerate for 1-4 hours before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

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by Caitlin Saniga

I’ve made this French toast recipe a million times. Mom taught me how to make it when I was young, and I’ve been making it ever since. I got the idea for the syrup from her, too. Any time we had fresh berries on hand, mom would make a syrup on the stove so we could have it with breakfast, whether it was pancakes, waffles or my favorite, French toast. And this syrup is awesome. I served the French toast and syrup recently as an afternoon meal for me and Eddie, and when he was done with his French toast, he went back to the stove for the pan of sauce and ladled a few more scoops onto his clean plate.

For syrup:

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For French toast:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 slices bread, halved
  • butter for greasing the pan

To make the syrup, combine the the blueberries, 1/2 cup water, lemon juice and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, stir together the 1/4 cup cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the boiling blueberry mixture and stir gently. Let the sauce cook until it thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove the syrup from heat and add the almond extract and cinnamon. Stir gently to combine, and reserve.

To make the French toast, whisk together the eggs, milk and cinnamon in a deep, medium-size dish. One piece at a time, dip the bread in the egg mixture to coat, flipping if necessary. Add a small pat of butter to a large pan over medium-low heat, and add a few slices of bread to the pan. Cook 1-2 minutes on one side, or until the underside turns a speckled golden-brown, then flip to cook the other side about 1 minute longer. Continue this process until all the bread has been cooked. Serve immediately with the warm blueberry sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Syrup recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

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The traditional Memorial Day picnic spread is great – it’s hard to argue with tradition. This year, however, we decided to keep the menu but ditch the recipes. Remember our Thanksgiving Twist guide from 2010? This is the summer version. We’re taking four traditional picnic menu items — fruit salad, potato salad, iced tea and hamburgers — and adding a new spin.

Although trying all of these new variations at a single party may upset a few people, you could just try one or two. Go ahead — shake things up a bit over the Tupperware this season.

Three-berry fruit salad with basil-mint syrup

by Caitlin Saniga

I love the idea that some of these ingredients can likely come from your very own garden. For me, I just had mint this time of year. But give it a couple of weeks, and I might have been able to use my basil and wild raspberries from the yard. I thought about using the mulberries from behind the house, too. This dish is very flexible. Use berries that are in season.

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries or blackberries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Whisk together the honey, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the fruit, basil and mint. Pour the syrup over the mixture, and stir gently to combine. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to 6 hours before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Gal Time

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Layered citrus-apple salad with honey-ginger syrup

by Sarah Steimer

A little sweet and very sour – thanks to those grapefruit. If you’d rather people not have to pull the grapefruit rinds off themselves, be sure to slice those off before serving.

  • 1 grapefruit, sliced horizontally
  • 1 granny smith apple, sliced horizontally
  • 2 clementines, peeled and separated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling if desired
  • 1/4 cup water

Layer with alternating grapefruit and apple slices. Add the clementine sections throughout.

Whisk together the minced ginger, honey and water. Sprinkle the syrup over the fruit. Refrigerate for at least one hour so the syrup has time to soak into the fruit.

Serve drizzled with additional honey, if desired.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Alfresco Refreshed is our spin on four traditional picnic staples: fruit salad, potato salad, iced tea and hamburgers. You can find all the recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

Just to note: I used a darker quinoa for my cookies. Using a lighter quinoa may result in lighter-colored cookies.

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups dried blueberries or other dried fruit such as raisins
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, large flaked coconut
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans or walnuts

Combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter, sugar and honey using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, giving the dough enough time to incorporate the first egg before adding the second.  Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest and cinnamon and mix to combine.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour, mixing just until incorporated.  Hand-stir in the quinoa, oats, blueberries, nuts and coconut.

Spoon the dough in 2-tablespoon portions onto two baking sheets, spacing them about an inch apart.  Bake at 375 degrees until golden, 12-15 minutes (these cookies are soft and chewy – not hard).

Makes about 24 cookies.

Recipe: Oui, Chef

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