Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blueberries! Blueberries!

Blueberries! Blueberries!
They bounce in my bowl,
Blue little blueberries,
I love each jolly blue soul.
Blueberries! Blueberries!
Once I see them, I can't stop.
Into my mouth, they go plop, plop, plop.
Blueberries! Blueberries!
I could eat them all day.
So sweet and so juicy, in a lip-smacking way.
Blueberries! Blueberries!
Glowing in a beautiful bright hue.
I wish I could color all my
pictures in blueberry blue.
Blueberries! Blueberries!
My mom has such a great fright,
when she peeks in the kitchen to see such a sight...
Blueberries! Blueberries!
On my fingertips and nose,
I'm covered in blueberries, from my head to my toes.
But mom doesn't mind, she just giggles from the door,
As one more blueberry blueberry
bounces down along the floor.
by Kathy Patalsky

Here's the berry scoop...

Over 200 million pounds are grown every year with Michigan and New Jersey producing 66% of all blueberries in the US. Did you know that blueberries are the second most popular berry in US and strawberries are number one? It was interesting to note that Blueberry muffins are the official muffin of Minnesota and blueberries are the official state fruit of New Jersey. Talk about healthy...a cup of blueberries is only 80 calories and it has virtually no fat! This fruit offers noteworthy nutritionally benefits with one serving get 14 mg of vitamin C and it rates near the top for antioxidant activity per serving. So enjoy the following recipes that feature "the blueberry" as the star!

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Crust: 2 cups flour, 1 cup regular oats, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 tsp. salt, 3/4 stick of butter and 3/4 stick of margarine, 2 TB. cinnamon

Directions for crust: Grease a 8 x8 glass pan preheat oven to 375

Whisk flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt, cut butter and margarine into small pieces and work into flour mixture. May have to use fingers to thoroughly mix. Add almonds and press 2 cups of flour mixture into pan (save rest for topping) and bake 20 minutes-cool

Filling: Mix in a bowl 3 cups blueberries, 1 cup blueberry preserves, 1 TB. flour, 3 tsp. grated lemon zest

Pour over crust and sprinkle rest of topping mixture on top bake 27 minutes. Let set 15 minutes before serving

Blueberry Pie

Crust: Make your own crust or use prepared crust ( I have used Pappy's brand with success. Use two of the four pie crust pieces for bottom crust and two pieces for top crust. Roll thin and there will be some extra left over and can refreeze.

Filling: 6 cups fresh blueberries, 2 tsp. lemon zest and 2 tsp. juice from one lemon, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 2 TB. tapioca, 2 TB. butter

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 and adjust oven rack to lowest setting

In saucepan place 3 cups blueberries and mash with a potato masher, cook stirring frequently till thickened, and mixture reduced to 1-1/2 cup about 7 minutes-cool slightly

Add to rest of blueberries, lemon zest, cinnamon. juice sugar, tapioca, pinch of salt to cooked blueberries

Pour into bottom pie crust, scatter butter on top few in little pieces

Top mixture with rolled crust, crimp strips of foil around edges to prevent over browning

Mix a little sugar and cinnamon, moisten crust with a little milk using a pastry brush and sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture. Make 5 large slits.

Bake 30 minutes @ 400 then reduce temperature to 350 and bake about 20 to 30 minutes more until juices bubble and crust is brown. Let pie set several hours before cutting.

Blueberry French Toast

Ingredients: 1 loaf of french bread sliced into 1 inch slices, set aside on a cookie sheet

Egg mixture: 6 eggs well beaten, 1-1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. vanilla- beat well and pour over bread slices to soak them

Directions: Spray with PAM a 9 x 13 pan

Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. cornstarch into 2- 1/2 cups blueberries

In pan start with blueberry mixture on bottom, layer wet bread/egg mixture on top of blueberries

Drizzle 1 Tb. melted butter on top of egg mixture

Cover and refrigerate overnight

Bake uncovered @ 400 for 25-30 minutes

Let sit 5 minutes, cut pieces and invert on plates,sprinkle with powdered sugar

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