Thursday, June 30, 2011

blueberry bliss

I recently went blueberry picking with a friend.  We went to our local blueberry orchard, Moorhead's Blueberry Farm.  The owner, Sid, told us that his dad started the place 35 years ago and he worked there every summer as a kid.  Now he owns it and works there every day during the season.  They don't use chemical pesticides or fertilizers which is a plus in my book.*

These bushes were fabulous!  Over six feet tall and loaded with berries.  In just 30 short minutes I managed to pick two and a half pounds of plump delicious berries.  As I was picking I was hearing parents with small children scattered throughout the field.  I laughed to myself as I remembered blueberry picking with my girls when they were little.  The three of them were more interested in eating the berries.  They would pick for a while, eating as they picked, and then when they were tired of picking they would come raid my blueberry bucket for handfuls of sweet berries.  Quite frankly I never managed to pick enough to satisfy three hungry tummies and have some for home.  I often had to go back without them in order to have a reasonable amount of berries.

I consider blueberries super-fruits, very high in antioxidants they are one of the few native American fruits.  I've written about some of their health benefits in the past.  New research appears to show that higher consumption of blueberries may be helpful in warding off conditions such as Alzheimers and Parkinson's as well as improving general cognitive function in aging adults.

Whatever their health benefits, no one can deny that they taste wonderful.  After my husband and teenaged daughter plundered the batch I brought home I had just enough left to make a gluten free blueberry coffee cake.  Obviously I'm going to have to go back for more....I guess some things never change.

Gluten Free Blueberry Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F
grease and flour a 9 x 9 baking pan

1 C. buckwheat flour
1 C. gluten free oat flour
1 C. evaporated cane juice crystals
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 C. blueberries
1 C. chocolate chips
4 T. butter, cold
1/2 C. Greek yogurt
1/2 C. unsweetened almond milk
1 large egg
1 t. pure vanilla extract


1/2 C. gluten free rolled oats
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 C. evaporated cane juice crystals
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1 t. pure vanilla extract

Mix together all of the dried ingredients
Shred butter into flour mixture using the large side of a box grater
Mix butter into the flour mixture with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
Add blueberries and chocolate chips and toss well to coat
In a separate bowl mix together yogurt, almond milk, egg, and extract, blend well
Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and quickly blend together, do not overmix the batter
In a separate bowl mix together topping ingredients
Spread topping evenly on the coffee cake
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top of the coffee cake springs back lightly when tapped
Remove from oven and cool
Serve warm or room temperature

*Sid did share that he uses roundup for weed control (obviously not on the blueberries) because it is  a short-lived weed killer.  I'm hopeful that he will consider switching to something else like vinegar which is shown to be effective. 

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