By Eileen Goltz
A Note about Blueberries:
Cultivated blueberries, the type most commonly found in the
supermarket, are generally insect free.
Still they should be placed in a strainer or colander and washed
thoroughly under running water.
Wild uncultivated blueberries, typically found
in mountainous areas, require special inspection due to the
prevalence of the 'blueberry maggot' (worm). Each berry should be
individually inspected for holes or other indications of worms.
It's June and the blueberry crop is looking very
good this year!
The blueberry is one of only 3 foods native to North
America (extra points if you guessed that the
cranberry and Concord grape are the other two). The
blueberry is by far the most popular of these 3 and has a special
section all to itself in my recipe collection.
When Europeans started to colonize the US in the
early 1600's that blueberries were discovered. The first recipes were
fairly simple and in many cases based upon Native American cooking
In the past 2 decades scientists have discovered a
myriad of health benefits to be gained from
eating blueberries. They are one of the richest sources of
antioxidants of any fruit or vegetable and they help fight cell
damaging "free radicals." (No, we're not talking
about the protesters of the 70's here but rather
certain specific unstable substances that our bodies produce as we
get older.) These free radicals damage human cells and our DNA. US
scientists have shown that the antioxidants contained in
blueberries actually help to slow the aging
process and reduce the risk of cancer. The antioxidants are contained in "Anthocyanins"
(Greek word meaning "plant" and "blue") these
anthocyanins are the reason why blueberries are blue.
Another extra added bonus that blueberries have to
offer us was found in several chemical studies
done by the Agricultural Research Service of the United
States. It was discovered that blueberries (as well as strawberries
and raspberries) actually contain
chemicals that decreased the growth of cervical
and breast cancer cells by a considerable percentage.
All this goodness (and taste) packed into one little
berry is why I try to incorporate blueberries
into my menu several times a week when they are
in season. The following recipes are all fast and easy to prepare and can
even be made with frozen berries in the middle of winter when you just
gotta have a little taste of summer.
1. Look for fresh blueberries that firm and dry.
2. The skin should be smooth and deep purple-blue, with a silvery-white
3. Store fresh blueberries covered in the refrigerator and use within 10
4. Wash the blueberries just before serving.
5. Make sure that there is enough fruit in your filing so that the fruit
6. Use dry and dehydrated blueberries in sticky dough's like bagels, as
will hold up to the mix!
7. Coat blueberries with flour or starch before integrating into batters.
This will prevent excess blue batters.
NOTE: If a recipe calls for a can of blueberries, you may make your own by
using 2-1/2 cups of fresh blueberries, 1 tablespoon of corn starch, 1-1/2
teaspoons of lemon juice, 1/8 cup of water. Cook until thickened and
Cool before using as a substitute.
BASIC BLUEBERRY PIE FILLING (pareve)
|Makes enough for 3 pies:
12 cups blueberries
3 cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup lemon juice
|Makes enough for 1 pie:
4 cups blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup lemon juice
The following recipe is very good to keep on hand in
the refrigerator. It may
be used in crepes, fried pies, regular pies, over ice cream, etc.
Combine the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan. Bring
the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. In a small bowl mix the
cornstarch with just enough water to make
a paste. Pour the paste into the boiling berry mixture, stirring
constantly the mixture becomes thick. Remove from the
heat and let cool. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 400
degrees for about 35 minutes or until crust is
BLUEBERRY ORANGE SAUCE
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup blueberries
|3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
In a saucepan combine the cornstarch and sugar. Add
the water, orange juice and blueberries. Stirring gently, bring the
mixture to a boil and then simmer for about 10
minutes. Cool slightly; serve over French toast or
pancakes and waffles Makes about 2 cups.
FAT FREE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
|2 cup Sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
|4 eggs whites
1 1/4 cup Skim milk
1 cup fresh or frozen Blueberries (thawed if frozen)
Preheat oven to 400. Spray twelve 2 to 2 1/2 inch
muffin pan cups. Into large
bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt... Mix and
aside. In a medium size bowl beat the egg whites sugar and milk together.
Add the egg mixture into dry mixture. With wooden spoon combine until
thoroughly mixed. (the mixture should be slightly lumpy). Gently fold the
blueberries into the batter Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups
and fill about 2/3 of the way to the top. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes. Makes
approx. 11-14 muffins
BLUEBERRY SALAD WITH HONEY NUT DRESSING
|Juice of 1 lemon
3 cup cantaloupe balls
1 cup pineapple cubes
1 cup fresh blueberries
|1 cup mayonnaise
8 oz. American cheese
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon sliced almonds
mixed salad greens
Arrange the salad greens in bowl. Cut peeled avocado
in strips. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine fruit. Add to bowl. Garnish
with avocado and cheese strips. For dressing,
mix the remaining ingredients. Serves 6.
BLUEBERRY CORN BREAD (dairy or pareve)
|1 cup corn meal
1-1/2 cups sifted four
1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
|1-1/2 cups milk or non dairy
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cups melted butter or margarine
1 cup blueberries
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9X9 pan. In a large
bowl combine the corn meal, flour, sugar and
baking powder. Mix to combine and then add the
milk, eggs and melted butter and mix well taking care not to over mix.
Gently fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter
into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25
minutes. You can, if you prefer, make this recipe as muffins.
BLUEBERRY SCONES (dairy)
|2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 cup butter
|1/4 teaspoon soda
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl combine the
flour, baking soda and baking powder. Cut in the butter until it is size
of blueberries. Add blueberries and mix lightly. Gradually add the milk
and molasses. Be gentle with dough so berries are not crushed. Pat the
dough to about a 1/2" thickness and cut in small triangles. Place the
triangles on greased sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve
immediately. Makes 8 scones. These are wonderful
when you split them in half while they are still hot and them
spread with butter.
BLUEBERRY-APPLE TORTILLAS (dairy or pareve)
|1 can (21 ounces) apple pie filling
1 cup fresh or frozen thawed blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
|1/2 teaspoon ground
6 large (7-inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet and set
it aside. In a medium saucepan over
medium-low heat, heat apple filling until warm. Stir in blueberries and
vanilla; cover to keep warm. In a small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon until
combined; set aside.
To assemble the tortillas: Brush each tortilla generously with the melted
butter. Sprinkle the top with the sugar-cinnamon mixture and place 1/6
blueberry-apple mixture down center. Fold bottom of the tortilla to
partially cover the filling; fold in side to
enclose filling completely. Place the tortillas
on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes, just to warm
the tortillas. Place the tortilla on individual
serving plates, garnish with additional
blueberries and confectioners sugar, if desired. Makes 6. This is great
served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
BLUEBERRY DESSERT WRAPS (dairy)
|3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice
1-1/2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries, divided
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
|1/4 cup confectioners
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Eight 7-inch flour tortillas
2 tablespoons butter
To prepare the sauce: In a small saucepan combine
sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the orange juice.
Cook and stir over medium heat, stirring until the sauce
is clear and thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup blueberries and
return to a boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remover the sauce
from the heat and set it aside. This can be made
a day ahead of time.
To prepare filling: In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add
confectioner's sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy.
To assemble the wraps: Spread a tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of the
cheese mixture. Place about 6 frozen blueberries across the center of each
tortilla. Roll jelly roll style. Repeat with remaining wraps. In a medium
skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat; place half of the
wraps seam side down in skillet and cook turning
occasionally until evenly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and
keep warm while cooking the remaining wraps.
Serve topped with hot blueberry sauce. Makes 8 wraps
and 1 cup sauce.
Eileen Goltz, a
professional chef and caterer, is the author of the new cookbook, Perfectly
© Eileen Goltz 2002