2016-08-12 / Columns

Cooking on Purpose

Go wild with blueberries this August
By Connie Wendell Special to the Post

Blueberries are one of the most powerful fruits as far as your health is concerned because of the antioxidants.

Wild blueberries have at least double that power. So, get busy and try these recipes as soon as you can. I believe you will love each one.

Wild blueberry crisp

5 cups wild blueberries, fresh or frozen; ¼ cup sugar; ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest; 1 cup (2 medium) diced and peeled apples; ½ cup light brown sugar; 2 teaspoons cinnamon; 1 teaspoon nutmeg; ½ cup white flour; ½ cup chopped pecans (optional); ½ cup rolled oats; 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened; and 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the wild blueberries, sugar, lemon rind and apples. Mix well and place in a well buttered 8x8x2 pan.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, pecans, oats and salt and rub in the butter with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Spread evenly over the wild blueberry filling.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is brown. Great with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Serves six.

Wild blueberry baked doughnuts

¾ cup wild blueberries, fresh or frozen; 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour; ½ teaspoon baking powder; ¼ teaspoon baking soda; ½ teaspoon salt; ½ teaspoon nutmeg; 1 cup buttermilk; 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature; ¼ cup canola oil; ¾ cup sugar; and 2 eggs.

Sugar coating

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted; ¾ cup granulated sugar; and 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter two doughnut pans or lightly grease them with cooking spray.

If you’re using frozen wild blueberries, rinse them in cold water until the water lightens from dark purple to very light. Place the berries between layers of paper towels to drain while you work (this will help keep them from discoloring your doughnuts). Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

In a small bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Use an electric mixer or by hand. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the flour mixture in three additions, mixing alternately with the buttermilk.

Be careful not to over mix. Gently stir in the berries. Spoon the batter into your prepared doughnut pans, filling them to the rim. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the tops.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, melt the ¼ cup butter for your coating and set aside.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl or pie plate and place near the butter. One at a time, remove each doughnut from the pan, brush it with butter, then toss it in the cinnamonsugar mixture.

Let them cool on a wire rack, or eat them warm.

Makes 12 doughnuts.

Wild blueberry chicken breast

½ teaspoon cajun spices (add more to taste); 4 halves, boneless, skinless chicken breasts; 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped; 1 medium onion, finely chopped; 2 teaspoons olive oil; 1/3 cup red wine; 2 cups wild blueberries; 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind; and ¼ teaspoon salt (optional).

Dust chicken breasts with cajun spices. Sauté in olive oil until brown and almost cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes.

If thick, cover and cook for 3 or 4 more minutes. Remove chicken breasts from pan and keep warm.

In same pan, sauté garlic and onion until transparent, scraping remaining bits of chicken from bottom of pan. Add red wine and cook down until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the berries, lemon rind and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. If berries are frozen, until berries are heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Let sit for 5 minutes, heat off, for flavors to meld. Spoon over chicken breasts and serve.

Serves four.

If you make these recipes you, your family and friends will be wild about blueberries. Until next time, keep Cooking on Purpose.

Connie Wendell can be reached at conniewendell27@gmail.com

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