August 18, 2010

What to do with a Bucket of Blueberries

This summer we've been getting these incredible blueberries by the bucket from a local farm called Berry Patch Farm, a little south of Nevada, IA. We've been purchasing the berries through our food cooperative, IFC. They have been unbelievably good quality and have a very distinct, sweet flavor. Besides eating them right from the bucket, it's been fun to find other ways to use them too.

Next easiest to eating from the bucket was floating them in our Cheerios - what a start to the day...mmmmmm.

We tried an unusual use of blueberries - baking them into cornbread. Here's the recipe from Tasty Kitchen. This was very good, not sweet, and it complimented a BBQ meal so well.

A more traditional way to enjoy the blueberries was this Blueberry Buckle recipe. Also from Tasty Kitchen, but I made some changes - substituting butter for the shortening in the cake (coconut oil would have been a good sub as well since it's more the consistency of shortening), and as usual I used whole wheat pastry flour in place of all the all-purpose flour. This is really just a blueberry coffee cake, but the name Blueberry Buckle is so much more alluring!

And when we can't hold one more berry, we freeze them for another day. We just freeze them in a single layer on cookie sheets, then dump them into freezer bags. It's especially nice to have our own frozen berries this year, since there have been reports lately of commercially frozen blueberries being one of the most likely sources of high pesticide concentration. See this article about possible links in certain pesticide treated fruits to ADHD. The more we support farms that don't use extreme methods to control pests and weeds, the more we'll have these healthier foods readily available. And for now, it's worth the effort to find the better choices.

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