Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest

30
July
2009

The Real Blue Angels . . . Blueberries

Blueberries, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or give us the vigor to do so. Superfood? Though blueberry’s uber-healthy status is common knowledge, superfood designations in general are presently under scrutiny. Whatever their official status at the moment, it’s one of the sweet things in life that something so delicious is so good for us. And they’re not as noisy as those other blue angels.

blueberries-on-the-bush

blueberry-galette

A superfood might be defined as any whole (unprocessed), local/seasonal food. Dontcha think?

A decade ago, when she was ninety-nine, my grandmother bought two blueberry bushes for us. She insisted that we have two varieties so that we’d have a long season of berries. One bush begins ripening two or three weeks before the other, the second one continues producing when the other has finished. Collaboratively, they provide blueberries for our household starting in early July through mid-August.
In addition, we shop for the best deal on blueberries at the Farmers Market and freeze local blueberries for winter smoothies and hotcakes.

A few ideas for bringing these angels into your culinary life . . .

First of all, eat them by the handful off a bush somewhere. After that . . . a blueberry smoothie for two.

blueberry-smoothie

Recipe for Blueberry Smoothies

Enough for two servings.

1 C fresh or frozen blueberries
1 1/2 C low fat yogurt
1/2 banana
1/4 C apple cider
1 T honey (optional)

Optional supplements: teaspoon or tablespoons of hemp and/or chia seeds, protein powder . . .
Place all ingredients in a blender, process until blended and serve. To make this super frosty and cooling, use all frozen fruit, including the banana, and place the glasses in the freezer for fifteen or twenty minutes before serving.

blueberries-greek-yogurt

Blueberries & Greek Yogurt

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but The Greek God’s Greek Yogurt (also ice cream) is a PNW product and it’s FABULOUS. I’m still a little miffed at my friend Carmen who introduced their honey-flavored decadence into my life a year ago, like I need another lavish food indulgence. (Knowing that I usually have a stash in the fridge, my niece Roz heads straight for it whenever she’s around, has a small bowlful and is a happy camper. An auntie’s secret weapon). Anyway, Greek yogurt isn’t exactly low fat – that’s the point – and it’s the perfect easy, delicious backdrop for any summer fresh fruit. Instant healthy dessert.

blueberry-galette-2-2

Recipe for Blueberry & Peach Galette

Swanky and rustic, or is that an oxymoron? Making the dough takes just a few minutes and then prepare the fruit while the dough chills. This recipe makes two 10-ounce disks of dough, enough for two small or one large Galette, two 11-inch tarts or one double-crust 9-inch pie. This can be mixed in a food processor very quickly, or by hand in about 5 minutes. Alice Water’s Tart & Pie Dough recipe, from The Art of Simple Food.

Ingredients & Directions for pastry: Prepare 1/2 C ice-cold water and set aside/ Mix together 2 C all-purpose unbleached flour, 1/2 t salt (omit if using salted butter)/ Add 12 T (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small cubes/ Pulse together in a food processor to form a crumbly texture often described as pea-sized clumps – this happens quickly in a food processor/ Pour in 3/4 of the water and pulse several times/ When dough forms a mostly solid ball it’s ready – add a little more of the ice water and pulse again if needed/ Important to mix and work the dough as little as possible to keep it tender/ Pat dough together into two disks, wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more.

Rinse and drain 2 C blueberries, pit and slice 2 peaches/ Toss with 1/2 C sugar, 2 T flour and 1 t each lemon juice and zest if you have it/ Set aside.

Use one disk of pastry for this Galette or all of it for a larger version (in which case you’ll need to increase fruit mixture). Using a rolling pin, create a roundish shape about 1/8 inch thick, remembering that rustic is part of the deal, no need to be too careful/ Prick the center portion several times with a fork/ Place the fruit in the center, leaving a two-inch border/ Roll the wide edge border all the way around, creating a broad rim/ Brush the exposed pastry with a mixture of egg and 1 T water, then sprinkle it all liberally with granulated sugar.

Bake in a pre-heated 375º oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until pastry is golden and fruit is bubbling. My convection oven required about 35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and serve with sprigs of fresh mint, ice cream or a dollop of the decadent Greek yogurt.

blueberry-galette-1 blueberry-galette-2

John’s Blueberry Compote:
John’s recipe came via a comment from my cousin, Connie, a few weeks ago.
1 pint fresh blueberries simmered with just a touch of powdered sugar and a dash of lemon juice. This is super fast and delicious with waffles, pancakes or ice cream.

Whip Up Blueberry Hotcakes & Nix the Mix

Mark Bitman, Another Way to Elude Pie Crust

Blueberries — Antioxidant Superfood

Wikipedia, Superfood


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4 Responses »

  1. What great ideas. I’m drowning in blueberries now too (a good thing!) and will certainly try these ideas. I like the compote idea in particular, it sounds like it is very versatile.
    This morning I made blueberry handpies – basically cooked down fresh blueberries with a bit of honey for the filling. The dough was a basic whole wheat flour, ice-water, and a Tbsp of oil. Stiff dough, chill in fridge, roll out, filling in the middle, fold over into half-moon shape (like a calzone) and bake. And enjoy 🙂 Very portable too.

  2. Mangochild, your handpies would have been perfect last night. Bob successfully completed an amazing bicycling fete yesterday (RAMROD) so a bunch of us celebrated on the beach last night with pizza, salad, & blueberry galette. It worked out, but handpies would have been the deal. I must remember this option in the future – great picnic food.

  3. Nummmm! That smoothie looks fabulous. I love that Nanny insisted on giving two varieties, what a wonderful gift and memory of her. XO

  4. Sally, I feel like such a culinary superhero having introduced you to one of your favorite indulgences…and now you are returning the favor…Blueberry Gallete! I’m probably safe, as it looks like this might require a little more time in the kitchen than the Greek Gods Yoghurt. However, I am pretty sure your smoothie is going to become a staple. I’ve been searching for the perfect smoothie recipe for about a year now and it looks like this is it! Thank you!!
    Ramrod! Wow, congrats to Bob.