We are spoiled here on the Island, where the climate (especially in the area right south of us called the Cowichan Valley, Cowichan meaning “Warm lands”) resembles that of the Mediterranean. This lends itself to an excellent growing season for berries and melons, beans, lettuces and peppers. Some folks are even growing olive trees, in hopes of being able to make local olive oil. (The influence of the 100 Mile Diet). We are fortunate to have blueberry farms (even an organic one) right near by, so during the season, I fill our freezer with those little blue gems, make jam with them and we eat many many fresh ones. At this time of the year, the kids start to see the fresh ones in the store (mm, from Chile and Mexico), so I kick it back up with frozen blueberry yogurt shakes and German Blueberry Cake and of course, blueberry muffins. The bear will even eat them frozen for breakfast. She also enjoys them fresh, but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon (last price I saw, 5.99 for about 9 berries in a plastic box, uh uh).
We have a standing favourite Blueberry muffin recipe. It is an adaptation of a recipe from the Joy of cooking, and it makes a great loaf as well (grate a little lemon zest into it and you are all set for a great coffee treat!)
Preheat oven to 400F, grease or spray 12 cup muffin tin, or line with papers.
3 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Whisk together dry ingredients in large bowl (ideally a glass one if you have one), set aside.
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Place blueberries in a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of the dry ingredients, shake lightly to combine. Set aside.
3 eggs, beaten,
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 Tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (fat content is up to you)
1/2 tsp vanilla
In medium bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix well with fork. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix just until combined. If using a glass bowl, check underneath to see that most of the dry has been incorporated. Fold in blueberry flour mixture. Scoop into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, until muffins are golden and tester comes out clean. Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan, then shake out and serve immediately. Once cooled completely, these muffins freeze quite well, but we never have any around that long.
A link for the letter B :Brits in the USA , is another Blog from the A-Z Challenge.
Some blueberry notes from Canadian Living Magazine:
• Nutritional value (1/2 cup/125 ml): 41 calories, 1.5 g fibre, rich in antioxidants
• Disease-fighting factor: Blueberries rank No. 1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 60 other fresh fruits and vegetables. Blueberries may help lower the risk of developing age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s