Posts Tagged 'blueberry'

Blueberry Goat Cheese Muffins

I have been meaning to make these ever since they appeared in Coconut and Lime’s blog some time ago. But every time I bought vast quantities of blueberries because they were in season and on sale, they’d be eaten before I got around to buying the goat cheese. Or I’d buy the goat cheese, but not get around to buying blueberries in time, so I’d have to eat the goat cheese before it went bad.  This time I bought blueberries, and before they all disappeared in my cereal bowl, in fruit salad, or mixed in sour cream, I made a determined effort to buy the goat cheese. Then I had to think of a way to lower the fat a bit so I could eat them with reasonable abandon.

These muffins have two of my favorite foods – blueberries and goat cheese.  How could they possibly be bad!  And, in fact, they were great. But quite unexpectedly, they did not have a goat cheese flavor – which was just fine, since they were the lightest, most tender muffins I have ever made. I took some of them to a meeting, still warm, and when I passed them around there were moans of ecstasy as my fellow attendees bit into the muffins.  The original recipe also called for 1/2 cup blueberry puree. I thought that this would make the muffins rather purple, which was not an effect I wanted, so I substituted the applesauce.

Blueberry Goat Cheese Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, at room temperature
2 cups blueberries
optional: demerara or turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Grease or line 12 wells in a muffin tin. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, mix together butter, applesauce, goat cheese, egg and vanilla until blended. Add the dry ingredients. Mix the batter thoroughly (batter will be thick) then fold in blueberries. Fill each well about 3/4 of the way and sprinkle with demerara sugar if using. (I used turbinado sugar, which gave the tops a nice little bit of crunch.) Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean or with just a few dry crumbs. Remove to rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Makes 12 wonderful muffins at just under 4 grams/ muffin.


Blueberry Corn Bread

The blueberries are finally gone. And when I went to Safeway to get the 2 pound bargain box of blueberries, they were sold out.  I have been saved from myself. Of course, I got a rain check, but seasonal items usually don’t come in again, so this probably is the end of compulsive blueberry cooking.  It’s a good thing.  My plum tree has gone wild, and I will soon have to compulsively cook plum things.

This recipe is just my old fashioned sweet southern cornbread with blueberries added. I’m a big cornbread fan.  There’s hardly any meal that doesn’t go well with warm homemade cornbread.  It’s easy to make, too.  And if you must butter it (it’s moist enough to go it alone), use light butter and your fat grams will be reasonable.

Blueberry Corn Bread

¾ cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup non-fat milk
¼ cup egg substitute
2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 cup of fresh or frozen (not defrosted) blueberries

Preheat the oven to 425. Spray an 8 inch square cake pan with cooking spray.  Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg substitute, milk, and melted butter, stirring until just blended. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out dry (the blueberries may still be wet, but the batter should be dry.) Cool. Makes 12 servings at about 2 grams of fat/serving.

blueberry cornbread 2

Variation 1: This also makes great muffins. Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among them. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out dry.

blueberry corn muffins

Variation 2: If you leave the blueberries out, you just have old-fashioned sweet southern cornbread, which is right tasty in and of itself.

Creamy Blueberry Torte

I still have at least a pound of blueberries to use – and I noticed they’re on sale again this week. You know I’m going to get more.  I can’t help myself. I need a berry intervention. This dessert tastes better than it looks. Mine came out kind of lumpy looking. It is sort of like a cheesecake with whole blueberries, but creamier.  It’s nice because it can be served warm or chilled, which means that you can make it ahead if you’re busy.  I think that the original recipe was from Cooking Light. I didn’t dust it with confectioner’s sugar to serve it, because I really don’t like things dusted with confectioner’s sugar.  It’s so messy and usually makes things too sweet.

Creamy Blueberry Torte

1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup canola oil
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon melted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
¼ cup egg substitute
2/3 cup non-fat sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1½ cups nonfat plain yogurt
grated zest of one lemon
3 cups blueberries
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Add oil, egg whites, butter, and one teaspoon vanilla. Mix with a fork or your fingers until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg substitute, condensed milk, and cornstarch until smooth. Add yogurt and whisk until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest and remaining teaspoon of vanilla. Pour the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over the top. Bake the torte for 1¼ to 1½ hours or until the top is just set. Let cool in the pan on a rack. Loosen edges by sliding a knife around the torte, and remove the pan’s outer ring. Serve warm or chilled.  Makes 12 servings at about 6 grams of fat/serving.

creamy blueberry torte3

Blueberry Crisp

In my usual fervor to purchase fresh produce on sale, I bought four pounds of blueberries. Yes, you read correctly: four pounds. After all, summer is short, and soon blueberries will be sold in tiny containers for $4 a piece, making them a rare treat.  But four pounds is a lot of blueberries. I have had them on my morning cereal, sprinkled on cottage cheese, and mixed in fruit salad.  There are still a lot left. So when friends came by to help me load my little truck up with bookcases and the like to take to our garage sale, I knew what I had to do – blueberry crisp.  I bought 2 kinds of frozen yogurt to top the crisp: peach and lemon.  This recipe was originally for a cherry crisp, and it was posted by Veggie Belly. She made it in individual dishes, but I baked it in a pan.  I may make it again with cherries, since I bought too many of them as well.

I still have a lot of blueberries left. Be prepared for more blueberry recipes.

Blueberry Crisp

For blueberry mixture
2 cups fresh blueberries (I think frozen would work in this, too)
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons water (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon corn starch

For streusel topping

3/4 cup flour
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Spray an 8” square baking dish with cooking spray

Place the blueberries and sugar in a saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes or untill the blueberries are lightly softened. Mix the corn starch and water together and add it to the blueberries. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring, or till the mixture thickens.

To make the streusel topping, combine the flour, brown and white sugars, cinnamon and salt together. Mix well. Then pour in the melted butter. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it forms a crumbly mixture.  Spoon the blueberry mixture into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the topping has slightly browned. Make 6 small servings at 9 grams of fat/serving.  This is a little higher in fat than most of my desserts, so serve it with a light dinner.

blueberry crisp

Here it is topped with peach frozen yogurt.

Blueberry Brunch Casserole

The weather folks predicted temperatures in the 50’s by the end of last week, with breathless commentary on the coming of Spring .  Within a few days they had revised that to the 40’s, with some nights dropping into the teens.  Now it is snowing quite vigorously – giant fluffy flakes that are, in theory, pretty.  The weather folks are hyperventilating about beating the all time local winter snow record, which is only 4 inches away. Whoopee!! I am hyperventilating about the need to drive and walk on icy roads.

This Blueberry Brunch Casserole appeared in American Profile, one of those magazine inserts that come in your local paper.  It is very good, warm, and filling.  It is, however, mediocre at being reheated at half speed in the microwave.  I think it is best eaten mostly the same day, although I am reheating leftovers for breakfast, which are ok but not as good as the same day.  The advantage of this dish is that you can make it the night before (or several hours before), refrigerate it, and bake it in the morning when you need it.  The original recipe called for 2 cups of blueberries, with one incorporated and one cup sprinkled over it after baking.  I really didn’t need the garnish effect, so I increased the blueberries that were incorporated to 1½ cups. It also called for serving it with fat free whipped topping, but in my mind that makes it a dessert (blueberry bread pudding?), which might be ok.  Besides, I never eat whipped topping, although I have been thinking about measuring out some real whipped cream to top it one evening.

Blueberry Brunch Casserole

Cooking spray
1 cup egg substitute (or 6 egg whites)
2 eggs
1 cup non-fat milk
1 cup fat-free half and half (see note)
2 (6-ounce) containers nonfat lemon yogurt
¼ cup sugar
8 ounces day-old French bread (Mine was considerably more than a day old, but it worked), cut into ½ -inch cubes
1 (8-ounce) package fat-free cream cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
1½ cups fresh blueberries

Coat a 13 x 9-inch glass baking pan with cooking spray (I used my ceramic pan – I don’t have a glass pan of that size.).   Whisk egg substitute (or whites) and eggs in a large bowl until well beaten. Add milk, yogurt and sugar; mix well. Add bread cubes and toss to coat completely. Add cream cheese and blueberries and toss to blend. Pour egg mixture into pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove plastic wrap and bake 50 to 55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes. Makes 8 servings at 3 grams of fat/serving.  Does not appear to make it stop snowing.

HINT:  If you’re using frozen blueberries (which I did), rinse and drain well on paper towels before adding to egg mixture.

NOTE: The original recipe called for 2 cups of 2% milk, but the only milk I ever have in the house is non-fat milk. Whenever a recipe calls for something other than non-fat milk, I mix the milk with fat free half and half and it seems to work. You can use 2 cups  of 2% milk; it adds about .5 grams of fat/serving.

Blueberry-Lemon Bundt Cake

This moist cake, originally from Cooking Light, was already pretty low in fat – only 7.8 grams of fat/serving.  But I wasn’t really thinking about a nice dessert.  I wanted a cake that I could slice slabs off to pack in my lunch, or to eat as a snack when I get home from work.  I also, as usual, had an excess of produce – blueberries – and an aging lemon. This is very tasty, although not very lemony cake.  It actually tasted better the second day.

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

Cooking spray
2  Tablespoons  granulated sugar
3  cups  all-purpose flour
1 1/2  teaspoons  baking powder
1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1 3/4  cups  granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1  Tablespoon  grated lemon rind
1  large egg
¾ cup egg substitute
1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1  (16-ounce) container non-fat sour cream
2  cups  fresh blueberries, washed and dried

1  cup  powdered sugar
3  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°.  Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Set aside.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Place the 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, butter, and rind in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add applesauce, beating for one minute.  Add egg and egg substitute i1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 4 minutes total). Beat in vanilla and sour cream. Add flour mixture; beat at medium speed just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle over cooled cake.


Confession: I wasn’t very satisfied with the texture of this cake at first.  I expected it to be lighter, but it began to brown at the end, and even though the wooden pick wasn’t entirely clean, I took the cake out of the oven.  At first I thought it was under done, or that maybe my baking soda had gotten old.  But after a day, it seemed ok, and wa moist, not pasty.


Blueberry Muffins

Just one more blueberry recipe and then I’ll move on to other goodies.  I promise. A blueberry muffin recipe appeared in our local newspaper.  They were called The Ultimate Mazama Blueberry Muffins, and the recipe originally came from a small country inn in Washington State’s Methow Valley. Calling something the “ultimate” always makes me want to see if it is my ultimate, too.  Well, I don’t know if they are the ultimate blueberry muffin, but even with my taking most of the fat out, they are pretty darn good.  They have a nice light texture, moist without being heavy or dense.  Warning – don’t start eating these when they are still warm…you might not stop at one or two.

Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup rolled oats (not the quick kind)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons canola oil
6 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 cup fresh blueberries or huckleberries ( or frozen berries, thawed)
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare muffin pans for 12 muffins.  (The newspaper recipe called for using muffin cup liners, but I bought those nifty flexible muffin pans, so I just sprayed them with non-stick cooking spray.  I love those things!)

Combine orange juice and oats in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whick together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and soda.  Add to the oats along with the oil, applesauce, and egg substitute.  Stir until just mixed. Stir in blueberries.

Fill the 12 muffin cups evenly. Stir together the 2 Tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon, and sprinkle over the top of each muffin.  Bake for 18-22 minutes.  Each muffin has about 2.3 grams of fat.

Blueberry-Buckwheat Pancakes

It is the dog days of summer, although I don’t know why any dog with a big fur coat would enjoy temperatures in the 90 degree range.  I am too tired to really cook, so I made breakfast for dinner.  With blueberries, naturally.  I didn’t really even make a real blueberry sauce to go over the pancakes – just tossed some blueberries and real maple syrup in a pot to simmer while I made the pancakes.  It’s a really basic pancake recipe, similar to one that was printed in the Wellness Newsletter, and is about as easy as making them from a box, and a lot healthier.

Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 egg whites
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups low-fat buttermilk*
1 1/2 cups blueberries

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder and soda. Stir in egg whites, canola oil, and buttermilk until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Stir in blueberries. *Flours absorb liquids differently, so the amount of buttermilk you need depends on your individual flour.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk and see if the batter is thin enough (flows easily off a spoon). Add more if it needs to be thinner.  I also found that the batter thickened up as I cooked each batch, so I had to add a little more buttermilk half way through.  Coat a non-stick griddle pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat until a drop of water sprinkled on the griddle sizzles away instantly. Pour 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle for each pancake and lower the heat a bit. You know when to turn the pancakes over when little air bubbles appear on the top surface.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side.  This made 16 pancakes, with a 4 pancake serving having about 5.25 grams of fat.

Buckwheat pancakes don’t photograph well, no matter what color plate you put them on.  The buckwheat makes them kind of grey – in this case grey with purple berry splotches.  But they taste good.

The item next to the pancakes (soaking in blueberry syrup) is Garrett County Farms Uncured Turkey Bacon.  It is the best turkey bacon I have eaten, all natural turkey raised without antibiotics, all natural Ingredients – no nitrites, nitrates or preservatives.   I got it at Costco.  It gets reasonably crisp and has only one gram of fat/slice.

For your information, the phrase Dog Days or “the dog days of summer”, refers to the hottest, most sultry days of summer. The term “Dog Days” was used by the Greeks as well as the ancient Romans after Sirius (the “Dog Star”), the brightest star in the heavens besides the Sun.  It was popularly believed to be an evil time “when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid…”

Karen’s big dog not enjoying the dog days, although he did enjoy his pancake.

Smoked Cornish Hen with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

I have a smoker – a useful item when it is hot and you want to make something interesting without heating up the kitchen.   It is an electric smoker, which I purchased because it seemed safer than my old charcoal smoker in this fire-prone region.  You soak wood chips in water – I used apple wood this time – and then place them around the electric elements before plugging in the smoker. The beauty of a smoker is that you can get that smoke-penetrating-the-meat flavor without the added salt that most commercial smoked products have.  It is also inherently a low-fat way of cooking. Any small amounts of remaining fat drip into the water pan below the racks.  I have smoked fish, leg of lamb, pork tenderloin, turkey, and later this year I plan to smoke a duck.

Given that it was a record-breaking 103, I decided to smoke a couple of Cornish hens that I was planning originally to bake.  I did not marinate or brine them, although I have marinated smoker-bound meats in everything from beer and wine to orange juice. I planned to make a hearty barbecue sauce, and I thought that the flavor of the marinade would be overwhelmed by the sauce. So I just cut them in half, took off the skins and fat, and put them in the smoker, filling the water pan that sits below the racks with a mixture of water and leftover wine.  I smoked them for about 2 1/2 hours. (You could also smoke them with the skins on, but it is sometimes harder to remove the skins after smoking.)

What you see on the rack below the hens are mushrooms.  I like to fully use the smoker space, so I usually tuck mushrooms or other smokable vegetables like eggplant around the main course.  Smoked mushrooms are good on sandwiches, and in salads and pilafs.

The smoked hens develop a beautiful color.  I used to think that Cornish hens were very high fat, and with skin on, they are a higher fat entrée.  But without skins, a half of a hen, the usual serving size, only has 4 grams of fat.

I am somewhat obsessed with blueberries. At this time of year, I buy them by the pound and try to work them into everything. The barbecue sauce originally came from Eating Well, another magazine you should consider reading. I left the jalapeno peppers out because I didn’t want a very spicy sauce, but added a little black pepper for some warmth.  This makes a fairly assertive barbecue sauce.

Blueberry-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Canola Oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup bourbon (confession: I didn’t have any bourbon so I used Southern Comfort)
2 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoon of brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of molasses
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
a few grinds of black pepper

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat (In retrospect, I would have used a non-stick pan).  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden (about 3 minutes).  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add bourbon. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in blueberries, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, allspice, and black pepper.  Return to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.  This makes 2 cups.  They list the serving size as 1 Tablespoon, and 0 grams of fat/serving.  Realistically, you’d use more than this on your entrée.  I think I used about 1/4 cup.  This would make it about 2 grams of fat/serving.

And what is underneath the hens: a quick pilaf of brown and wild rice mix to which I added chopped up smoked mushrooms, green onions, and a handful of dried blueberries.  I estimate that the whole entrée had 8 grams of fat, including 1/2 hen, a cup of pilaf, and 1/4 cup of sauce.  I took the pilaf the next day for lunch with some chopped Cornish hen mixed in.


I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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