Blueberry Banana Oat Bread

September 25, 2012

Yay! It is officially Autumn, my favourite time of the year. But last week, while it was still technically Summer, I bought some gorgeous Driscoll’s Blueberries. These berries were huge! Quite possibly approaching plum size, I kid you not! (well, perhaps I am exaggerating just a bit…). Anyway, I snatched them up right away and brought them home to make some as yet to be determined treat! I took the berries out of their little plastic carton, literally holding my breath, hoping that the outer berries hadn’t artfully arranged themselves as to obscur all of the moldy, yucky berries in the center of the package. Thankfully all of the berries in the carton were pristine, but I’m sure you’ve all experienced the disappointment of getting what you think is a great bunch of berries home to find that they are really a petri dish of various scary molds. I’ve always had great luck with Driscoll’s Berries, I usually buy their organic ones. They are always fresh and sweet. So that has become my brand of choice. And the folks at Driscoll’s have a great website which not only describes their business, but also provides some great berry recipes. It was there that I found this recipe for Blueberry Banana Oat Bread.

I’m always trying out different banana bread recipes and this was definitely a winner. The banana bread was very moist and had a great texture from the addition of the rolled oats. And those monster blueberries didn’t just look good, they were sweet and bursting with flavour!

A slice of this bread was great for breakfast as well as a welcome snack later in the day. And with all of those oats and berries, I’m sure it’s health benefits negate the calories! At least that’s what I’m telling myself…

Blueberry Banana Oat Bread

recipe from: Driscolls

yield: 1 loaf bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana, about 2 medium
  • 2/3 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cups canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups Driscoll’s Blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.

Whisk buttermilk, eggs, banana, sugar and oil in a large bowl until well blended. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl. Stir flour mixture into buttermilk mixture, mixing just until combined.Gently fold in blueberries. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake about 1 hour, or until browned and a pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Enjoy!

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Blueberry, Lemon & Chili Jam

August 11, 2011

I was so pleased with my Strawberry Balsamic Jam, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was back at it again. For my second foray into the wonderful world of home-made jams, I chose Blueberry, Lemon & Chili Jam. The blueberries this year have been every bit as good as the strawberries and Jay and I both love spicy chili flavours as well, not to mention that there’s cilantro in this recipe too – another favourite – so I was really excited to try this jam out.

The recipe comes from the blog Local Kitchen. If you haven’t been by this site, you should definitely check it out, wonderful, interesting recipes with an emphasis on eating locally, sustainably and seasonally. Oh and you will find some beautiful photography there as well. This jam was actually quite easy to prepare. There was one little mishap when I rubbed my eye after having chopped up some jalapeno peppers and Habanero chili…I highly advise that you take every precaution to prevent that from happening to you. Otherwise everything was easy-peasy. I did get a bit nervous while the jam was cooking. It seemed like it was going to be outrageously spicy judging from the eye-watering fumes wafting up off of the mixture. However, once it had finished cooking and cooled down, I found that the sweetness of the jam really offset the spiciness of the chilis and you were just left with a little satisfying heat in the finish. Overall a great jam. Highly recommended.

Blueberry, Lemon & Chili Jam

recipe from Local Kitchen

yield: About 4 cups (or four .25 l jars)

Ingredients:

  • 7 cups blueberries, divided, rinsed & stemmed
  • 2 cups raw sugar (organic turbinado)
  • 2 medium lemons (preferably organic)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 small green jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped to yield 2 tbsp minced
  • 1/2 small orange Habanero pepper, seeded and chopped to yield 1/2 tsp minced
  • scant 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

Combine 6 cups of blueberries and sugar in a large stockpot. Mix to coat berries and allow to macerate while you prepare the other ingredients.

Zest the lemons with a sharp vegetable peeler (taking care to remove only the yellow and not the white, bitter pith) and then cut the strips into a fine julienne. You should yield a generous 1/4 cup of zest (add more zest from another lemon if necessary).

Juice the lemons, straining out seeds & pulp (about 1/2 cup juice), and add juice & zest to the blueberries, stirring well.

Toast the cinnamon stick, either by holding with tongs over an open flame, or in a dry, heated skillet, for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and darkened.

With a potato masher, mash the blueberries until mixture is soupy and berries are well mashed.  Add cinnamon stick, chile peppers, and salt. Mix well and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until jam is thickened and begins to spit when you stir it, about 45 minutes (about 218 degrees F).

Meanwhile, sterilize your jars and lids.

Once you feel your jam has reached the correct consistency, either judging by the thermometer or place a bit of jam on a chilled plate, if it does not run down the plate when it is tilted, it is ready. Add remaining 1 cup of blueberries and chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust flavors; remove cinnamon stick.

Bring to a boil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes (to allow berries to heat through). Remove from heat and fill hot, sterilized jars to 1/4-inch head space; wipe rims, affix lids and place back in the boiling water in which your sterilized the jars for 10 minutes.

Remove filled jam jars from boiling water and allow to rest on countertop. Middle portion of lid will suck down as jam cools signaling you that jars have sealed.

Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year. Refrigerated, should last at least 1 month.


Blueberry Cornmeal Spoonbread

July 21, 2011

Heavens! I knew this recipe was going to be great the moment I saw it on Food on Fifth and I sure was right! Spoonbread is a slightly sweet cornmeal based dish popular in the southern U.S. I don’t know why it’s mostly popular there. They must be keeping it a bit of a secret cause it is super tasty. Jay and I just finished scarfing down our first servings, and it will be time for seconds any moment now! Spoonbread is really not so much “bread” but more like a soufflé or an airy cornmeal bread pudding. When you add in those fresh blueberries…it’s just unbelievably yummy. I couldn’t even figure out how to classify it…is it for breakfast or is it a dessert? I do declare, the answer is that it is for both and probably several other meals of the day if you’re lucky.

Blueberry Cornmeal Spoonbread

recipe from Food on Fifth

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint fresh Blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup yellow self-rising cornmeal
  • 2 Tablespoon cream
  • 2 Tablespoon softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs – separated
  • 1 teaspoon salt – the original recipe called for 1 teaspoon of salt, which is what I used. My husband totally digs salt, so he was quite pleased with it. If you don’t like as much salt, you could probably reduce it by 1/2.
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling over the top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F

In saucepan bring buttermilk and sugar to low boil. When the buttermilk begins to bubble around the edges of pan, slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Turn heat down to low and stir with the whisk for 8 minutes. Mixture should be mushy. Remove from heat to cool slightly.

Beat egg whites with salt until stiff. Set aside.

Whisk butter and vanilla into cooled cornmeal mixture.

Add egg yolks to mixture and whisk until blended.

Stir in cream with whisk.

Gently fold in egg whites.

Pour 1/2 mixture into buttered baking dish and top with 1/2 blueberries. Spread the rest of cornmeal mixture over berries. Top with a scattering of the remaining berries.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is golden brown and it is firm but wobbly in the center. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.

* This recipe doesn’t make a whole mess of spoonbread. The dish I used is an 8×10 oval gratin style dish. An 8×8 dish would likely work fine. Or individual ramekins might be nice.


Buckles & Crisps & Crumbles…Oh My! Blueberry Buckle

June 29, 2011

Now lets see…there are Cobblers, Crisps, Crumbles, Buckles, Grunts, Slumps, Brown Bettys and Pandowdies. “Oh my”,  indeed! What do all of the aforementioned things have in common? They are all rustic, regional fruit desserts, made with whatever fresh fruit ingredient is available at the time. There are a few differences however. Please indulge me as I describe each dish as best I can, though I’m sure regional differences abound. What some folks might call a crisp, I’m sure others would know as a crumble. Yet, here we go…

Cobbler: An American deep dish fruit dessert with a pie or biscuit crust. The dish can be either entirely enclosed in pastry on dotted with drops of biscuit, giving it an appearance similar to a cobbled street.

Crisps & Crumbles: A dessert which has fruit on the bottom with a crumbled topping consisting of flour, butter, brown sugar, oatmeal and/or nuts. This dish is baked. What Americans call a crisp is often referred to as a crumble in Britain.

Betty or Brown Betty: This fruit dish, most commonly made with apples, is similar to a crisp. However, instead of placing all of the fruit on the bottom and covering it with a topping, this dessert has layers of the fruit alternating with layers of buttery bread crumbs.

Grunt or Slump: These fruit desserts are very similar. They are both dumpling like puddings. A Slump is cooked on the stove top whereas a Grunt is steam cooked.

Pandowdy: This dessert is like a cobbler, but it’s crust has been broken up and pushed down into the fruit so that it can soak up the fruit juices. The result is that it becomes more like a bread pudding.

Buckle: A buckle is very similar to a coffee cake. It is a cake with berries folded into the batter that has a streusel topping. This topping gives it a buckled appearance.

What we’re dealing with here in this post, as you can clearly see now that all the definitions are out-of-the-way, is a delicious Blueberry Buckle recipe. Blueberries are in season now. Everyone is looking around to see what fabulous tasty treats they can make with all those bushels of blueberries they’ve just picked. I’m telling you…you’ve got to make this buckle! It is literally bursting with blueberries.

The cake merely serves as a thin matrix to hold all those berries together. It is really easy to prepare and every single person you feed it to will go crazy for it. I know all of my various descriptions above indicated that these fruit dishes were desserts. I can definitely see that. However, the Blueberry Buckle, being similar to a coffee cake is great for breakfast, or tea, or a midnight snack even.

Sure if you pop some whipped cream on the top or a scoop of ice cream down next to it, it’s also a most welcome dessert. I’m just saying its very versatile.  Don’t miss out on this one!

Blueberry Buckle

Recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures who found it in Cook’s Illustrated

Makes one 9″ Buckle

Ingredients:

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, softened

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (4 3/4 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries (about 20 oz)

Directions:

To make the streusel: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, both sugars, cinnamon and salt on low to combine and break up any brown sugar lumps.  With the mixer still on low, add the butter and beat until it is completely incorporated into the dry ingredients, about 2-3 minutes – the mixture will resemble wet sand.  Transfer the streusel to another bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch round pan with a round of parchment, then spray the parchment and the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Dust with flour.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together then set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add the eggs, on at a time, beating well after each addition.  With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just about incorporated.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish stirring – the batter will be very thick.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan; spread in an even layer.  To top with the streusel – pick up a handful of streusel and squeeze to form a clump.  Break this large clump into smaller pieces and sprinkle over the batter.  Continue until you’ve used all of the streusel.  Bake for about 55 minutes, or until the streusel is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool for 15-20 minutes.  Run a thin knife around the edges of the cake then invert it onto the rack.  Remove the parchment then turn the cake streusel side up and let cool on the wire rack.

Enjoy!


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