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Tag: blueberries (page 1 of 2)

Summer Berry Parfaits

These summer berry parfaits are a light and refreshing dessert, filled with fresh blueberries swirled in strawberry jam, a creamy Greek yogurt-melted marshmallow filling, and a homemade crumble topping.  When it’s hot outside, a chilled, fruity dessert is the perfect way to cool off.  I especially love this dessert because it encompasses so many different textures, all in one cup.  The tender burst of flavor from the blueberries, the thick creaminess of the sweet-tart filling, and the sweet crunch of the topping all combine to make a very pleasant treat.

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Cherry Berry Cobbler

Luscious tart cherries, blueberries, and black raspberries are baked with a biscuit topping until the fruit is sweet and bubbling and the topping is fluffy and golden in this delicious cherry berry cobbler. This recipe is a classic that never goes out of style. The fresher the fruit, the better this cobbler tastes.

cherry berry cobbler with holders 4The sweetness of the blueberries and black raspberries (and some sugar) balance the tartness of the cherries to make a mouth-watering fruit filling full of flavor and those much-sought-after antioxidants. The biscuit topping is golden and moist, pairing beautifully with the fruit.  I really notice a difference in taste when I bake with high quality butter, and butter from grass-fed cows is gaining popularity as a relatively healthy fat.  With just a few basic ingredients, this cobbler is easy to make and tastes impressive.

cherry berry cobbler in handMy favorite thing about this dessert, aside from the luscious flavor, is that much of the fruit came from my very own yard!  Our wonderful cherry trees gave us even more fruit than we expected, allowing me to make two cobblers, a few batches of breakfast jars, and a smoothie with them, and our black raspberries are coming along nicely!  I wish I could say I picked the blueberries in this cobbler, but those I did buy from the grocery store, yet they were still sweet and juicy.  In any case, seasonal fruit tastes better than candy in my book, and it reminds me to savor the moment, because each season is fleeting.

cherry berry slump with spoonI hope you are all having a great summer so far.  It has been very sunny, but much drier than usual here lately.  We finally got some rain last night, and the air smells so fresh, especially since the storms cooled things off.  We had an interesting Fourth of July–we got to go for a sail with my brother’s family in his boat, out to a sandbar near a small island.  He put down the anchor and we all went swimming off of the boat in gorgeous, cold, clear water.  That evening, we hiked a mile at dusk to the top of a hill in a nature preserve, overlooking a lake.  Someone from the preserve had a campfire going, and we roasted marshmallows and ate s’mores while the fireworks showered dazzling colors over the lake.  Then we hiked down in the dark woods by flashlight.  It was amazing to be surrounded by so much natural beauty, up in northern Michigan for a few days.

Now it is good to be home, though a little bit tough getting caught up and back to reality, and though a lot of our flowers need some more rain, the sweet peas are thriving!  I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m a bit late, but looking forward to joining Fiesta Friday , co-hosted this week by Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Jess @ Cooking Is My Sport. cherry berry cobbler in loft 1sweet peasDSC_1201

Cherry Berry Cobbler

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of tart cherries, washed with the pits removed
  • 2 cups of mixed berries (I used blueberries and black raspberries)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Wash the fruit and remove the pits from the cherries.  Place the fruit in a 2 quart baking dish or casserole.  Add the sugar and 3 tablespoons of flour to the fruit and stir gently to combine.

For the topping, combine the cup of flour, the salt, and the baking powder in a large mixing bowl.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the milk and vanilla extract and stir just until a batter forms.  Drop the batter by the spoonful on top of the fruit, distributing it as evenly as possible.  Bake in your 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the biscuit topping is golden.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or just with itself, which is the way I like it best. Enjoy!

Cherry Berry Breakfast Jars

Tart, juicy cherries and sweet blueberries are layered with Greek yogurt, granola, and chia seeds to make a healthy, beautiful breakfast bursting with flavor.  Mason jars make this not only pretty (I love how they show the colorful layers), but they are also practical–just screw on the lid, put the jar(s) in the cooler, and you have a portable breakfast or snack.

cherry berry breakfast jars on porchSummer fruit really is a special treat. There is just nothing like being able to walk out the door and pick fruit right in your own yard, or pick it up from a nearby farm stand.  You can taste the bright sunshine in every bite, and something with that much fresh flavor and naturally bright color has to be loaded with beneficial nutrients!

I wanted to do a post in honor of our cherry trees this week, because they have given us such great fruit this season!  We planted them a few years ago as tiny little trees, and over time we have nursed them, protected them from hungry deer, and watched them grow.  This is the first summer we have been able to harvest more than a handful of cherries from them, and I am so excited about it! Tart cherries have been a favorite of mine since I was a child.  Lots of good childhood memories are mixed in with the pursuit of good cherries and cherry pies. To have them now growing in my own yard feels like a huge luxury, and I know how my dad would love it.

cherries in white bowl 3Our two cherry trees, though still not large, are just loaded with bright red tart cherries! So far, we have been eating them too quickly to make a pie filling, but these easy breakfast jars are perfect.  The sweetness of the blueberries helps balance the tart flavor of the cherries, and really, you could substitute any seasonal fruit if you don’t have cherries or blueberries.

cherries and berries 2This recipe is so simple, yet it is so delicious and so pretty that it is worth remembering and sharing.  My kids, who were definitely in a breakfast rut, have been loving these jars the past couple of mornings.  I think it has to do with the freshness of the fruit and the novelty of the layers instead of everything just mixed up in a bowl.  You can use your favorite yogurt and favorite granola, and sweeten it all with honey if you are using unsweetened yogurt.

cherry berry breakfast jar overview 2I hope you are all enjoying some summer air and summer fruit! We went camping last weekend, and it was just what we needed.  To be away from routines and to be surrounded by nature, getting back to the basics.  It felt like time kind of stood still for us for a couple of days, and we had some good family exploring new territory and sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and listening to the fire crackle and pop.  The trees, the lakes, the fresh air and stars at night all soothed my soul.  And the juicy, tart cherries give vitality and hope.  I hope you are all having a good week! I am going to share this tasty recipe at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, where lots of great food bloggers gather to trade recipes and inspiration.cherry berry breakfast jars in hands 3cherry berry breakfast jars with stripescherry tree

Cherry Berry Breakfast Jars

  • Servings: 4 half-pint sized jars
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of fresh tart cherries, washed and pitted
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries, washed
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups of your favorite granola
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of honey (use if your yogurt is unsweetened)
  • 4 half-pint sized mason jars

Directions:

Wash the fruit and remove the pits from the cherries.  Set out the yogurt, granola, chia seeds, and mason jars.  In each mason jar, spoon in a layer of yogurt, fruit, granola, and a 1/4 teaspoon of chia seeds. Repeat the layers.  Serve immediately or cover with the mason jar lids and refrigerate or take with you in a cooler.  Enjoy!

Classic Blueberry Muffins

With just a few basic ingredients, these blueberry muffins come together quickly and easily, offering that classic blueberry muffin taste that is so comforting and sweet, with a hint of  zing from some lemon zest.  This recipe works with fresh or frozen blueberries, so you can make these crowd-pleasing treats at any time of the year.  Plus your kitchen will smell amazing as they are baking!

Last weekend, we had a cherished (and rare, these days) lazy Saturday morning, and I asked the kids if they wanted blueberry muffins for breakfast, since we had some blueberries in the freezer.  Yes, they definitely wanted them. “But,” said my daughter, “can you not make them too healthy this time?”  Oh…by healthy, I guess she was referring to the wholesome blueberry muffins I sometimes make, which are really tasty, but are more crunchy, (probably more nutrient-rich), and less like cake.

Well, it’s all about balance in life, so I indulged her and made these yummy, fluffy, and classically delicious blueberry muffins.  And yet they are not really unhealthy, much healthier than some muffins, in that they are homemade, with high quality ingredients, including fruit, and no preservatives.  And we enjoyed every last one of them!  If you are looking for a basic, simple, reliable, and delicious recipe for blueberry muffins, this is a great one.  Even better when you can enjoy them warm, right out of the oven, in a warm, cozy room or on a sunny porch.

classic blueberry muffins on plate 2The recipe I use for these muffins is based on one from my well-loved Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Tenth Edition, that I have had for many years. The only thing I change when I make these, is that I use melted butter instead of cooking oil, because I really like the flavor of butter from grass-fed cows.  Frozen blueberries work great, when fresh ones aren’t available.  And the lemon zest adds a great blast of flavor, which we really appreciate.  If you don’t like lemon, you can certainly leave that part out.

We are getting closer and closer to feeling like spring here.  The temperatures have been warm and cold, changing almost daily, but those warm days feel so good.  And the colors outside are starting to brighten. The sunlight is more vivid, the grass is starting to turn a fresh, bright green, and the daffodils are starting to bloom.  I hope you are all having a great week!
classic blueberry muffins on porch 4classic blueberry muffins in tinclassic blueberry muffins 5

Classic Blueberry Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups of all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon peel (lemon zest), optional

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a muffin tin, or line with paper baking cups.

Heat the butter in a small pan on the stove until just melted.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center of the bowl.  In a medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredient mixture all at once into the well in the center of the dry mixture bowl.  Stir until all the ingredients are just combined.  The batter will be a little lumpy.  Fold in the blueberries and lemon zest, and stir gently until just combined.  Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden.  Remove the muffins from the tin to cool.  Serve warm. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, Tenth Edition.

 

 

Revitalizing Berry Smoothie

Treat your body to a smoothie full of vibrant flavors and important nutrients.  Frozen blueberries, tart cherries, and cranberries give this smoothie lots of flavor and antioxidants, not to mention a naturally beautiful color.  Ground flax seeds and hemp seeds add Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, protein, and lignans, among other nutrients, which is probably why these little seeds are sometimes called “super seeds.”  Just add a splash of cranberry juice and a handful of ice, blend it all up, and you have a bright, tasty beverage full of anti-inflammatory properties.

berry smoothie with purple 6There is a lot of talk these days about chronic inflammation and how it contributes to a lot of health problems, including arthritis, heart disease, auto-immune disorders, and depression.  And apparently, in our modern society, many are at risk of developing chronic inflammation with our processed foods, high sugar intake, and fast-paced lifestyle.

berry smoothie with glassI am definitely not an expert on inflammation in the body, but what I read makes a lot of sense.  According to Paul DiCorleto, PhD, in an article for the Cleveland Clinic, inflammation is the body’s natural way of fighting an illness or injury.  When the illness or injury is healed, the inflammation response is supposed to shut off.  However, sometimes the body’s inflammation response does not stop, due to chronic anxiety, diet, or other factors. “Over time, you can end up with too much of a good thing. With chronic inflammation, your body is on high alert all the time,” says Dr. DiCorleto.  This can cause lots of problems within the body.

DiCorleto and other experts recommend making lifestyle choices that will help reduce the risk of developing chronic inflammation. These include regular exercise and eating and drinking lots of plant-based foods, which contain anti-inflammatory properties.  Berries, flax seeds, and hemp seeds are all considered anti-inflammatory foods.

berry smoothie on towelSometimes when I am very stressed out and not taking good care of myself, I can feel like my body is out of balance. That is when I reach for things like this smoothie, and I feel like I am putting good things back into my body, soothing it and energizing it at the same time.  It’s all about striving for that balance.

We may not be able to hold ourselves in balance for long periods of time, but we can continually try to keep bringing ourselves back into balance.  It’s in that process that we feel alive.  According to poet and philosopher Rumi, “Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”

I hope you all have a great weekend! One of the things I am  looking forward to is Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Steffi @ Ginger & Bread and Andrea @ Cooking With a Wallflower.berry smoothie on towel 2berries and seeds berry smoothie on towel 3

Mixed Berry Revitalizing Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of frozen tart cherries (preferably tart Montmorency cherries)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on your taste) of ground flax seeds (you can buy them already ground, or you can buy them whole and grind them in a coffee grinder)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on your taste) of hemp seeds
  • 2 cups of cranberry juice
  • a handful of ice

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into glasses and enjoy!

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