Six blueberry recipes

On sale at the Monta Vista Market, June 1 – 6:

  • WHITE & BI-COLOR CORN
  • GREEN & RED CABBAGE
  • BABY BROCCOLI
  • PINT BLUEBERRIES
  • RED MANGO

My eyes fall upon the blueberries as I look at this week’s specials at the Monta Vista Market. The blueberries have been on my mind being that several local folks have broadcasted to me that the berries are ready to pick. YUM.

Buy bunches and freeze’m, learn how by following the link below.

Blueberries are a culinary delight because of their multi-purpose use — sweet jams, sweet syrups, tangy vinegars, savory sauces, thickeners for pies and pudding.

I ask myself — How can I choose just one recipe to share with you all?

My answer — Give them one cooking method with 4 recipes.

Below are 4 recipes for one cooking method, another recipe for blueberry vinegar and a link to “How to freeze blueberries.”

Here’s the cooking method:

  1. Mash or cut 1 cup blueberries, see TIPS, below.
  2. Put the berries in a medium-size saucepan, cook at medium-to-low heat until heated through, about 5 minutes, stir often.
  3. Add liquid and add flavorings, see RECIPES, below.
  4. Let cook on medium-to-low heat until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stir often.
  5. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
  6. Serve warm or chilled.

Recipe #1
Blueberry Port Sauce (for red meats)

  • liquid:
    • 1/2 cup port (or broth, see TIPS, below)
    • 1 tbls butter (optional)
  • flavors:
    • 1 minced shallot
    • 1 minced clove garlic
    • 1 tsp herbs de provence (or use laaaaahots of dried oregano, dried orange peel and a couple whole cloves)
    • pinch sea salt

Recipe #2
Blueberry Orange Sauce (for poultry)

  • liquid:
    • 1/2 cup whole yogurt or sour cream
    • 1 orange, zest and juice (see TIPS for liqueur alternatives, below)
  • flavors:
    • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and or ground ginger
    • pinch sea salt

Recipe #3
Blueberry Sweet-Spiced Pudding (goes well with yogurt or ice cream)

  • liquid:
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk (see TIPS for other non-dairy alternatives, below)
  • flavors:
    • 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
    • a couple drops of apple cider vinegar
    • pinch sea salt

Recipe #4
Sweet’n sour Blueberry sauce (for fish, salads)

  • liquid:
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (see TIPS for other vinegars, below)
  • flavors:
    • none (the vinegar is enough, or add an herb of your choice)
    • option: add feta cheese
  • NOTE: allow the cooked blueberries to cool before adding the vinegar. OR – skip the cooking step and follow the next recipe.

TIPS:

  • Mash the blueberries with a fork, or pinch them between your fingers one-by-one, or put them in the saucepan and use a flat-bottom glass to smush’m.
  • Liquid alternatives:
    • Broths: vegetable broth, beef broth, chicken broth,
      or broth made from 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp tamari, 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • Liqueur: Grand Marnier, Amaretto, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, Crème de Menthe, red wine, white wine. NOTE:  start with 1 tbls and taste, add more –a tsp or tbls at a time– until you reach desired flavor.
    • Non-dairy milks: almond milk, rice milk, oat milk
    • Nut butters: almonds, macadamia, cashew — add a tablespoon of water to thin it down, continue adding 1 tbls of water until you reach the desired consistency
    • Extracts: almond extract, vanilla extract, lemon extract
    • Vinegars: balsamic, red wine, white wine, champagne, umeboshi plum
  • Sugar? Contrary to popular belief, sugar is optional. If needed, it does not have to be an exorbitant amount in order to balance the sweet and tartness of berries. How do you know if sugar needed? Taste the berries first, if they are tart or sour then add a pinch of salt, that’s right, this is not a typo, add salt, but not too much. Too much salt will remove the blue coloring and you’ll end up with a ‘greenberry’ sauce, or a ‘brownberry’ sauce. Not good. The taste will be okay, but the “curb-appeal” will be gone.
  • ALSO — too much salt will remove the wonderful thickness that comes from the blueberries’ pectin. I’ve had a happen –it’s not pretty– to have thick-stand-up tall consistency and then, after adding salt, it falls. The full-body of the mixture is GONE. See more about ‘pectin’ as you read a bit farther down.
  • Too tart? too sour? — then add chopped dates or raisins or currants or molasses. These are much better choices than granulated sugar both in regards to health and taste.
  • Too thin? let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes and it’ll thicken. The jelling properties in blueberries (i.e. pectin) is with-out-a-doubt the best side benefit of this particular fruit. Adding an acid will thicken it more (such as a couple of drops of vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice or other acidic foods).

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Recipe #5

How to make blueberry vinegar

1 cup vinegar
1/3 smashed blueberries
Put smushed blueberries in a jar with vinegar, shake well and let sit for 1 hour up to 3 days (on the counter). Strain well, squeezing out as much liquid as possible and put the vinegar in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. IDEA: Keep the pulp and blend it with 1 cup sour cream or yogurt for a great tasting dipping sauce. I think it would go really well with an egg-white fish frittata.
TIP: Use plastic lids so that the vinegar doesn’t affect the metal.

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A ‘recipe’ for freezing blueberries

Click here to learn how to freeze blueberries.

Blueberries on baking sheets ready to put into the freezer.