Saturday, July 16, 2016

Local Saturday - Blueberry Hill (And a Recipe)

It's blueberry time in upstate New York.

Blueberries have to be my favorite fruit.  They are nutritious, they last a long time in the refrigerator, and, if you live in blueberry growing country (which we do), they are so easy to pick.

Here's how.

Yes, I've blogged about picking blueberries before.

But we didn't know how good the crop would be.  Between a late freeze after a mild winter and a drought, we just didn't know.  So we visited a U Pick farm, not too far up a hill, and were delighted to see the berries.

I never get tired of blueberry picking.  Very little stooping.  No thorns. Friendly to the knees.  And you can really get into a rhythm, especially when the berries are abundant, as they were today.  The berries were ready to pick, with the white "bloom" that indicates full ripeness.  This bloom, incidentally, rubs off with a lot of handling.  But it is abundant on berries you are picking fresh off the bush.

The farmer spoke to us as he weighed our picked berries and said he didn't know how long he would be picking because the birds were attacking his fields.  Worse than ever, the attacks were, he said.  Nothing seemed to be discouraging the birds.  I wonder if that is related to our drought.

So, I hope we get another picking done later this month.  This time, we will be sharing with my mother in law, who we moved up here from downstate New York last August.

And maybe I'll even get her interested in some blueberry muffins.

Here's how I made them.  Spouse and I agonized over them for a while, as we wanted to make a low fat version, but we didn't have the ingredients handy.  So finally we settled on this (almost) tried and true recipe.  The coconut oil (instead of regular veggie oil) and unsweetened cashew/almond milk (I don't keep dairy milk in the house anymore, although I still eat dairy) were new, and we hoped the substitutions would work. I've substituted

Blueberry Muffins (with Cashew Almond Milk and Coconut Oil
Note, my substitutions are in ( )

As always, I apologize to my readers using the metric system. You'll need two bowls.  If one is larger than the other, use the larger one for the dry ingredients.  Also, prepare muffin tins (about 18 regular size) with either cooking spray or muffin liners.

2 cups flour (I used white whole wheat, which is a light colored whole wheat flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (I fresh grind mine)
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened cashew-almond; I suspect you could also use almond)
3/4 cup sugar (I decided to use light brown sugar)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used unrefined coconut oil)
1 cup fresh blueberries

Method.  
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
1.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in bowl.  Mix well.
2.  In other bowl, beat the two eggs lightly. 
3.  Stir in milk, sugar and oil.
4.  Quickly stir egg mixture into dry ingredients. You should only stir until blended, DO NOT OVERSTIR, DO NOT BEAT.  The less handled, the better the result.

5.  Carefully stir in blueberries.   Spoon into the tins.  Recipe called for 18 - I got 15, but I think I overfilled a little as some bubbled to the oven floor when I baked. (It's been a few years since I last made muffins.)  If you have empty tins, partially fill them with water so they don't warp.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes, until they spring back to touch.  Let cool.

Verdict:  I liked them.  Tender.  Not sure if a diehard muffin fan would, because (to me) they came out a tad bit oily.  I have a dirty oven floor now, so I would put a little less in the tins. 

Calorie count?  Well, these aren't weight watching type muffins - if you want those, you may want to investigate this site.  And, their regular blueberry muffin recipe.
 
Do you bake muffins?  What is your favorite?

14 comments:

  1. YUM. I love blueberry muffins, but I think strawberries are my favorite!

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    1. Strawberry muffins are delicious, too.

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  2. I also love blueberries and many baked goodies with blueberries, like muffins, coffee cake, and pancakes. Blueberries are great on cereal, oatmeal, and yogurt, too.

    I have many good memories of picking blueberries every year while growing up, because we had wild blueberries growing in numerous patches near our house.

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    1. Ah, wild blueberries - have not had them often, but they are certainly delicious.

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  3. I love bluberry muffins although the ones we get here don't have fresh blueberries.
    You got me thinking of the song and the rendering of it by Putin! Have you heard that?

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    1. Well, I didn't know about Putin's singing of Blueberry Hill for charity, but I listened to it today and - not bad! Pretty mellow!

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  4. When I was a little girl, my grandmother would spend her summers in a bungalow colony in the Catskills. I remember that she went blueberry picking in the woods near her bungalow -- wild blueberries. And she told stories about picking berries in her hometown in Poland when she was a child. Thank you for bringing back that memory.

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    Replies
    1. And thank you for sharing. What a wonderful memory of your grandmother.

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  5. I have never been to any picking... we have mandarin picking somewhere in Sydney but I missed this season too. The muffin looks delicious. :D

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    1. Mandarin picking. Now that is something I would love (except they aren't hardy here -too bad.)

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  6. I love blueberry muffins and blueberry/pecan pancakes! I use sweetened vanilla almond milk. Too sweet?? Shut yore mouth!! lol

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    1. The sweetened vanilla almond milk would work - so would the unsweetened. Actually, this muffin came out a tad less sweet than I would have preferred. It might do well with some of that sprinkling sugar crystal stuff that doesn't melt on top.

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  7. I tend to buy muffins. Usually of the chocolate variety. But I could do this, if I decided I wanted to.

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  8. OMG those Blueberries look so good and fresh. We don't get fresh blueberries in India, and the frozen ones or the dried ones are really sad and way too expensive. How I wish I got my hands on some fresh blueberries. I would first have a smoothie with it I guess! The recipe is super nice!Sharing it

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