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Archive for the category “blueberries”

Drizzly Fruit Sauce

2015-07-04 21.14.01

There is no denying that fruit is naturally sweet, cuz it is full of sugars. Since the body does not really need much sugar, we have always resisted consuming much ourselves or giving it to Little B, whether natural or processed. She does eats fruit, and so do we sometimes, but it is usually whole, raw versions, not juice from concentrate or colored sugar water with a smidgen of processed juice from concentrate.

When Little B does come across such liquids they are overly sweet for her palate, for she is used to the sweet of real fruit, and in the realm of liquids, she is used to the slightly bitter taste of bubbly water (unflavored carbonated water). It is our fault. I love bubbly water and she liked sharing my beverage when little. Although some consider carbonated beverages (whether plain or flavored) not helpful to the body, I find that there are much more harmful things to drink. Tangent over, back to the drizzly stuff.

fruit sauceI was seeking out yet another light summer dessert for a crowd. We had flash frozen fruit in the freezer and I was reminded of a dessert I made regularly when I first started learning how to cook in earnest after college. It was berries and a splash of juice pureed and let to sit. I chose to be more expansive in this version, mixing the frozen stock and fresh stuff in our crisper. It is definitely a sauce to make the day before. The flavor magnifies when allowed to muddle around. I topped it with some cashew cookies (look for the recipe soon) and some lovely chocolate cashews I made a few months back. With some vanilla ice cream as a base it made for a not so heavy dessert on ANOTHER hot summer night.

Drizzly Fruit Sauce

1 cup chopped pineapple
1 cup chopped canteloupe
1 cup chopped peaches
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

In medium pot over medium heat add and combine the six fruit ingredients. Cover and let heat for about five minutes. When fruit begins to bubble, lower heat by half and continue cooking for 30 minutes, until fruit has released juices. Remove from heat, add vanilla, stir and let sit for one hour. Puree fruit with stick blender or food processor. Transfer puree to container with airtight lid and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Serve over ice cream and top with crumbled cookies, almond meal and/or dessert cashews.

Topped Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal cookies no wheat

We made these for Santa last year, topped with blueberries. We decided our house was the only one in the whole wide world where he would get blueberry oatmeal cookies. In the morning the cookies and milk were all gone! He must have liked them. I forgot to take pictures then, but recently made a batch with Little B and she wanted to top them with sugar free chocolate chips instead of blueberries. Wheat free and sugar free, these went with Little B to her last day with her daycare group in Maryland before we moved. The group gets so excited just being around each without any stimulation, why the heck would I put wheat or sugar in the treats?! They were soft and chewy and seemed to be a hit. We may make them for Santa again this year, and try again to make them memorable. Involving Little B in deciding the topping and standing back so she can stir stir stir makes for a great opportunity to practice measuring, mixing and creativity. Go crazy with the toppings – she was so proud to share her creations. I got the original idea here, but tweaked to my liking. Thanks Alton!

Toasted Oatmeal Cookies (no wheat)

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated stevia in the raw
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup optional toppers (raisins, blueberries, sugar free chocolate chips, etc)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread oats in a single layer on half-sheet pans and bake until lightly toasted, about 20 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Remove the oats from the oven and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Grind half the toasted oats in a food processor until they are the consistency of whole wheat flour. Add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cocoa, stevia and salt, then pulse to combine. Combine the butter, egg and vanilla in a mixer and mix on medium speed for about a minute. Slowly add the oat mixture and the remaining oats until just combined. Let batter sit and thicken if it is soupy and will not hold shape if scooped. Using a teaspoon, scoop batter and drop onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. If adding a topping gently push into the middle of each cookie. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes until they begin to brown around the edges. Remove the pans from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pans for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack until cooled completely – they should remain soft and chewy. Store in airtight container.


Blueberry Coconut Flour Muffins

Little B used to not like blueberries at all. We stopped even offering them to her, then suddenly, they were the best thing since sliced bread! They still come after blackberries, but they rank pretty high with her these days. When we celebrated Lammas a couple of weeks ago we wanted to honor the day with what is typically use of traditional first harvest items, and the recognition that days are getting shorter and cooler. Well, not cooler yet, but linger in the anticipation. First harvest is usually grains; more specifically, wheat. Since we are avoiding wheat there was a need to focus on a more creative symbolic dish. We mixed up some grain free muffins with a different seasonal harvest item – blueberries! They were wonderful accompaniments to the other harvest items on which we feasted: apples, zucchini, pork and wine. We had a lovely evening releasing regrets and looking towards autumn – what I consider my favorite time of year. I used coconut flour again, which has become a favored ingredient in my baking lately – it does not take much to go a long way and it is good for you! I hope you enjoy the muffins, for we did, in all their bluberry-ness.

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

6 eggs
4 Tbsp plus 2 Tbsp (or 12 1/2 tsp) butter
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 drops liquid stevia
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup powdered erythritol
1/2 tsp baking powder
8 ounces blueberries

Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare muffin pan with liners. In mixing bowl blend together wet ingredients. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Divide batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for about 15 minutes until tops begin to brown. Let cool for about ten minutes before serving.

Update 11/26/12: Little B and I made a batch of these muffins tonight. A tweak made some doubly delicious muffins! We threw all the wet ingredients, along with the blueberries into a blender and whipped them all up together before combining with wet ingredients. We also added juice from half a very juicy lime – about 1/5 cup (very juicy lime). The tweaks made them more moist and the sweet and tang of the berries and juice worked great together. Everything else remained the same in the recipe.

Blueberry Muffins Gluten Free!

The other day I asked Big D what he wanted me to cook, or if he actually wanted to use the kitchen himself. I never mind getting out of the way to watch him do his thing. I kind of took over the kitchen since starting this blog and had not really ask how my invasion was fitting in with what he wanted to do food-wise. I know him well enough to be confident in his ability to – readily and eloquently – speak up if he feels like doing so. He is a darned good cook himself, but was busy with work recently and had not done much in the kitchen. He was certainly eating my offerings, so I made assumptions based on his words of praise and looks of contentment, along with empty plates and bowls. Fortunately I was correct. He said he was very much enjoying the food and was happy to see me enjoying myself. He did say he was interested in something spicy with curry. Oh, and some blueberry muffins. I concluded he did not want to eat them together, so I am starting with the muffins while developing future plans for the curry and spicy. In seeking guidance for making said muffins (since wheat free is a must), I of course turned to other food bloggers for ideas, since I am very new to wheat free baking. Although I made some tweaks to it, I found the discussion and recipe here very helpful.

One funny thing happened when the muffins first started baking. They sputtered! I started smelling a slight burning smell about eight minutes into the baking time. I flipped on the oven light but kept my eyes shut at first, hoping that what I saw when opening them was not some kind of rare chemical reaction with the flour and oatmeal. I HATE cleaning ovens! I slowly opened my eyes and was instantly relieved. I saw bubbles rising to the surface of the muffins and popping, leaving a layer of little spots of batter glurping onto the pans. The sputters were browning quickly and giving off the smell. No harm done to the muffins, though. The rest of the baking went smoothly and was sputter free…

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

¾ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown rice flour
2 cups instant oatmeal, uncooked
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Fill muffin tins with liners*. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350F. Place oatmeal in a food processor and blend until it is a rough powder. Combine flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a mixer bowl using a flat paddle cream together cane sugar and butter just until blended. Add eggs one at a time, making sure one is combined before adding the next. Add a third of the dry ingredients, then a third of the yogurt/applesauce. Continue alternating until all is incorporated. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin tins about ¾ full. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on top of each muffin. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are brown and beginning to harden. Makes 20-24 muffins.

*In my current kitchen I only have one muffin pan that makes 12 muffins. Since the recipe makes more than 12 muffins, I used my back up baking cups on a cookie sheet. They are aluminum muffin cups that have white paper liners inside them. You don’t need a pan for them, so they are great to have around for overflow. The result of the two different baking tools was doneness. The pan muffins cooked a little darker than those in the aluminum cups, but they all came out good and moist.

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