Friday Five

Friday Five: Blueberries

Guest Author: Ariel Knapp

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I recently went to Reenders Blueberry Farms for some U-pick blueberry fun. I did this for the first time last year, going only once and soon realized that once was not enough. I quickly went through most of the blueberries and then went into panic mode thinking I didn’t have enough left to get me through the year until the next blueberry season. While I was picking blueberries this time I was already planning my next trip to Reenders. I might have a problem. But that’s okay because they’re blueberries and blueberries are good for you with all their antioxidants and what not. So I thought I’d share five recipes using blueberries in case anyone out there finds themselves with 20 pounds of this delicious fruit like me and doesn’t know what to do with them.

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1. Blueberry Lime Jam
Caitlyn and I both made this jam last year. It was really delicious! The lime was an unexpected flavor combination with the blueberry but it worked well. Of course,if you don’t like lime you could always substitute lemon for a just as amazing jam.

2. Blueberry Crumb Cake
Leave it to Martha Stewart and her team to come up with a flavorful cake showcasing blueberries. The buttermilk used in this recipe makes a rich, moist cake. The tip to toss the blueberries in flour before adding them to the batter so they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake works great!

3. Dried Blueberries
Spread blueberries on a parchment lined baking sheet and put in the oven at 225 for 3 and a half hours for a home made version of those expensive store bought dried blueberries. You could drizzle honey over the berries before drying to sweeten them if you like. These are great to throw into a trail mix, have with granola, or use in oatmeal.

4. Frozen Blueberries
Frozen berries can be expensive so whenever possible I like to freeze my own. I put a single layer on a rimmed metal baking sheet and put in the freezer for 24 hours. Then I just put them in a freezer bag and I’m able to enjoy blueberries all year. These are good in smoothies as a way to thicken them without having to use ice cubes.

5. Blueberry Syrup
If you ever get tired of using regular syrup, why not make your own fruit syrup?

Do you pick your own blueberries? What are some of your favorite blueberry recipes?

~Ariel

Food & Cooking

Fruit Cuties & Blueberry Pie (recipe!)

I was really missing summer today because the weather in Michigan was hideous. As I longed for the warmer season, I decided to look for some pretty pictures I took back in August when I went blueberry picking with my mom and nephew, and to share them with you here!

….Then I remembered I lost nearly all of my pictures from the summer *cries*

Here is the bright side to horrid weather and losing pictures: I had an amazing conversation with a friend who I am very lucky to know today, as well as a day filled with shopping fun. Also, although I don’t have my pretty blueberry picking pictures, I discovered Fruity Cuties!

167-cartoon-blueberries-jokesI started off looking for images of blueberries and summertime on google, and then I wandered off into a land of cuteness. I found Fruity Cuties, a website with cute games, wallpapers, a shop and even a blog!

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radish-santa-xmas-wallpaper-previewAren’t these two wallpaper examples above adorable?

Cute things always make me feel a little better, but sweet things do, too. With all of this talk about blueberries, I thought I’d share our family’s blueberry pie recipe (with permission from my mom, of course!). I’ve always been told that this pie recipe is “the best” because it isn’t runny like many blueberry pie recipes. We luckily had frozen blueberries left from picking back in August, so I felt like I was bringing a little summer out in the midst of the snowy winter when I used the recipe on Thanksgiving 🙂

Too-Too’s Blueberry Pie Filling

1-1/2 cups blueberries
1-1/4 cups water

Boil 1 minute.  Add:

1-1/2 cups sugar
3/8 cup cornstarch stirred into 1/4 cup water until smooth
3/8 tsp salt

Boil until thick.  Add:

1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1-1/2 cups blueberries

Pour into crust.  Bake at 375° for 35 minutes.  (For two pies, it’s an exact double of all ingredients.)

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Although I didn’t take any pictures of the filling, I did manage to take a picture of a completed pie I made using this recipe on Thanksgiving. What sorts of things cheer you up on gloomy, bad-weather days? Hope this delicious pie filling brings a little cheer, at the very least! 🙂