A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blueberries are ready to pick!

We look so forward to the fruits of our labor following our annual trip to Wisconsin to pick blueberries.  The farm is called Rush River Produce, in Maiden Rock, WI (google it-- http://www.rushriverproduce.com).  It's about 1 to 1-1/2 hours from Rochester. 
Picking the berries is so easy:  They give you baskets to hold under the clumps of blueberries and you can gently hand-rake handfuls at a time into your basket.  (and they don't care how many you "sample")  You can also pick red & black currants and gooseberries.  I've not compared prices; but these are too big, juicy and flavorful for me to care whether they're more or less than shipped-in berries.

They're simple to freeze.  Don't wash before freezing--best to keep the "bloom" on. (white powdery coating)  Just bag or put in freezer containers and freeze.  I put them in inexpensive snack or sandwich bags, then put them in a gallon ziploc freezer bag to save on the cost of bags, and to double-bag.

My two favorite recipes for blueberries are both breakfast, brunch or snack items:  Blueberry Buttermilk Muffiins and Blueberry Protein Smoothie.  Just don't have them both for the same breakfast--they're both a bit rich.

A healthy, refreshing and filling drink!
Here's the recipe--This makes two servings.
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons Hemp Protein Powder
1 Banana
--Put all in blender on medium-high until smooth.  Thin with milk if desired.

Now, for the best blueberry muffin recipe I've ever tasted:

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
Mix up the following in a medium-size bowl:
2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoon soda
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch nutmeg
In a separate bowl, mix the following:
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the two bowls (dry and liquid ingredients) and stir just to combine.
Fold in:  2 scant cups blueberries (not quite full cups)
Fill muffin tins two-thirds full and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.  Makes 1 dozen (plus) large muffins.

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