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Submitted by Pam on Fri, 07/31/2009 - 05:36
My sweetie in the garden fixin' breakfast! Blueberries! Very, very healthy food! Easy to freeze! Fun to pick! Yummy to eat!
I have said this before, but it bears repeating - if you have a u-pick farm near you, take advantage of the opportunity to spend a morning out in the fresh air picking your own produce and saving LOTS of money. And I mean LOTS!
And this applies to all u-pick produce, not just berries. But since it is berry season... well - let's do the math! One typical berry basket, like the one above, retails in stores and farmers markets for $3.00 to $4.00 each and weighs just barely over 1/2 pound.
U-pick farms sell their u-pick berries for $1.25 to $1.65 a pound. That means you save between $4.35 and $6.35 per pound when you pick your own! We picked 30 pounds of blueberries and saved ourselves $130.00.
We eat a lot of berries at our house - especially blueberries. We totally love them and they are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Most of those we pick, we freeze for use all year long. I use them in muffins, pies and smoothies. My sweetie eats them on his granola every morning.
While I was picking in the berry field, I over heard a woman tell her friend that she drops frozen blueberries into her cooked oatmeal every morning! The hot oatmeal defrosts the berries, and the berries cool the oatmeal! As soon as the weather cools down, I am giving that idea a try!
Wash your berries in lots of running water, drain in a strainer and then place on a rimmed cookie tray lined with several thicknesses of paper towels. Pat the tops of the berries gently with another layer of towel.
Pick through the berries and remove stems and dried blossoms.
Transfer berries to another rimmed cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Cover loosely with another sheet of wax paper and place the tray in the freezer until frozen solid - about three hours. Transfer to freezer bags.
BLUEBERRY SLUMP BAKED IN A CROCK POT
Introducing my very vintage, much loved crock pot!
It is just too hot to bake in the oven on these 100+ days. So, instead of making my traditional blueberry pie, I decided to try making a Blueberry Slump in my crock pot! Outside on the deck!
I used a recipe I picked up from the Pumpkin Patch which is very similar to this one from Cooks.com. Although their blueberry slump recipe is only available in the produce market on the farm, the Pumpkin Patch does offer other great recipies for fresh fruits and veggies right here.
Right in the crock pot, mix the cornstarch and sugar, and add a tablespoon of cornstarch.
Add the berries and mix. Cook on low about an hour and then cook on high for an hour stirring occasionally.
Berries will be cooked and liquid slightly thickened.
Mix up the "dumpling batter" adding 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and replacing the oil with 1/4 C. butter cut in small pieces. (I shred mine while it is ice cold). Drop the batter on top of the berry mixture in the pot.
(See... I told you that material I used to make my pinatas looked almost like biscuit dough!)
Cook on high for about 30 minutes and peek at the dumplings. The dumplings should be fluffy and cooked through. Leave them a little longer if needed.
Let cool in the crock pot about 45 minutes. Serve with ice cream if desired.
Enjoy berry season!