Blueberries By The Peck

Or, what to do with 16 pints of blueberries.Blueberries

Living within driving distance to a Whole Foods is worth it even if you only visit for the sale items. I’m very fond of the one day sales on whole chickens (not living, of course). Sometimes the sale item is from the seafood department. That’s a great time to try out something you’ve never cooked before.

Anyway, once a year they have a phenomenal sale on organic blueberries. After being disappointed in myself last year by only purchasing 3 pints, I totally made up for it this year.

16 pints of blueberries. That, my friends (according to Wiki) is an entire PECK of blueberries.

I love you. A bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck…

So, what does one do with a whole heck of a peck of blueberries? Well…

I made pancakes.Hippie Cakes

The day after the big blueberry purchase, we had pancakes for supper. Whole Wheat Buttermilk Blueberry Granola Pancakes. The Man named them Hippie Cakes, and the recipe is at the bottom of this post. So there you go.

Of course, a little batch of pancakes isn’t going to put a dent in 16 pints of blueberries. So I did some other things, too.

I froze some.

Never wash your blueberries before freezing, as it makes the outside tough when they’re defrosted later. Just freeze them as they are. They don’t even stick together, but you can freeze flat before you toss them into a bag, jar, or tupperware if you’re concerned about that. Be sure to rinse the frozen blueberries in a little strainer before you use them in your recipes.

I made some jam.

Blueberry Jam with Biscuit, and Bacon

Not just any jam. I made my second best jam EVER. Blueberry Apple Jam. I used a recipe from Canning For A New Generation, by Liana Krissoff.
We put the jam on biscuits. I was fairly gentle with the blueberries, so there were still plenty that burst in your mouth. Oh man. That’s a delicious thing, there.

The little biscuits paired nicely with a bit of bacon for a snack that day.

I made another batch of jam.

Because it was that good.

I made some syrup.

I’d never made syrup before. I spent some time picking out a recipe that made a decent amount (even though I doubled it) and didn’t have corn syrup in it (what?!) The resulting syrup will make good teacher gifts this fall, as well as fancify our plain pancakes and possibly some homemade vanilla ice cream this summer. Mmmmmm.

The recipe came from Simple Bites. I’ve found that the discussions in the comments on that blog are as helpful as the posts themselves! Love that.

And last (but definitely not least)…

I made cobbler.Blueberry Cobbler

It was going to be pie, but time was tight. Cobbler is one of my Mama’s specialties, so I usually don’t bother making it at our house. But as far as I know, she’s never made it with blueberries!

I added a pinch of pie spices to jazz it up a little.

It was definitely worth it.

So now back to those pancakes…

My recipe is adapted from an adaptation I made of the recipe my Mama uses. Say that 5 times fast. I think the original came from Southern Living. It’s the same recipe I changed to make My Muffcakes.

The granola I used is my homemade granola. That’s another recipe I changed a little from my Mama’s original. I may share that another day. In the meantime, you can use any basic loose honey/oat granola. Not too crunchy. There’s a brand at Publix I like. Mom’s something or other? It comes in a yellow bag. Back to Nature makes a good plain granola, too.

Anyway…here are my Whole Wheat Buttermilk Blueberry Granola Pancakes. Now affectionately known as Hippie Cakes here at The Homestead.

Hippie Cakes
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Blueberry Granola Pancakes
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Ingredients
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  3. 2 T baking powder
  4. 1 t baking soda
  5. 1 t salt
  6. 2 T maple syrup
  7. 2 c buttermilk
  8. 4 T coconut oil, melted and cooled (vegetable oil is fine)
  9. 1/2-1 c fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
  10. 1/4 c honey granola
Instructions
  1. Beat eggs in a small bowl and combine with maple syrup and cooled oil.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
  3. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir.
  4. Add buttermilk and beat with a whisk until batter is smooth.
  5. Fold in desired amount of blueberries.
  6. For each pancake, pour desired amount of batter (1/4-1 cup, depending on pancake size) onto a hot, lightly greased griddle. I use an electric griddle set just over 300 degrees.
  7. Sprinkle each pancake with granola.
  8. Turn pancakes when there are bubbles on tops and edges appear cooked. The edges will stick to your spatula if you try to turn them too soon.
  9. Cook second side until golden and springy in the middle.
  10. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup.
Notes
  1. This recipe will make 5 plate-sized pancakes (like in a restaurant), or 12-15 saucer-sized pancakes. The big pancakes take a little longer to fully cook.
Queen Of None http://www.queenofnone.com/

No Box Muffcakes

“Nooo Daddy. It’s too early. Even the sun’s asleep.” 

One thing our family needs more of are on-the-go breakfast options. The kids are rushed out the door with a slice of whole wheat butter bread and a piece of fruit. Not bad in terms of nutrition, but getting them to eat the same offering each morning isn’t easy. They like surprises. They like “special”.

So, the Muffcake was born.NoBoxMuffcakes

I’d seen numerous links on the Pinterest for pancake muffins. Trouble is, every recipe seemed to involve pre-packaged, processed pancake mix as the main ingredient. I avoid knowingly eating pancakes that come from a box. I wasn’t using a mix to make miniature pancakes for my kids.

Enter my Mama’s fantastic Buttermilk Pancake recipe.

Her recipe is our go-to. If you remember to purchase the buttermilk, they are delicious. If you forget the buttermilk and use milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice? They are still quite good.

I have adjusted my Mama’s original pancake recipe a bit for the Muffcakes. I switched out sugar for pure maple syrup (upping the ante for more yummy maple flavor while taking away another processed ingredient), and substituted coconut oil for vegetable oil (while reducing the oil by half). The type of flour is really up to you. They are best with whole wheat pastry flour (but our bag got leaked on in the last thunderstorm). This particular batch was made with unbleached all-purpose. Ah well.

You can add extra stuff to your taste. I’ve added bananas, peach, bacon, blueberries, and sausage. Bacon is a family favorite. I want to try granola. Today I went with blueberries.

The result is a slightly tangy (that’d be the buttermilk!), just sweet enough, portable pancake that is (almost) just like Mama makes.

Go buy some buttermilk. A small one is ok. Our Whole Foods has non-homogenized buttermilk in bottles that hold just under 2 cups. You’ll have enough for this and then some left over to soak a chicken breast in.

Gather your ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or a combination of what you’ve got on hand)
1 T baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 good egg (beat it anyway. with a fork)
4 T pure maple syrup (the real stuff)
1 T coconut oil
1 cup buttermilk

@ 1/2 cup bacon pieces, sausage brumbles, blueberries, banana bits, granola or other fantastic pancake accompaniment
2 mini muffin tins (or one, if you have access to one with 24 cups!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F)
  2. Combine the flour, powder, soda, and salt in a bowl. A medium sized bowl is adequate. Whisks work nicely for this.

    2. The dry stuff

    2. The dry stuff

  3. Add the beaten egg to the bowl with the dry stuff and stir it up. It will be lumpy. That’s ok. 
    3. Add egg

    3. Add egg

    3. lumps ok

    3. Lumps ok

  4. Warm the maple syrup and coconut oil in a small saucepan on low heat. (I suppose you could use the microwave. I always forget I put stuff in my microwave.) Remove the pan from the heat. Warming the the syrup with the oil will help keep the coconut oil from solidifying when we add the buttermilk. It took a great deal of trial and error for me to learn that.

    4. Warming the wet stuff

    4. Warming the wet stuff

  5. Slowly pour the buttermilk into your warm syrup mixture while you whisk like mad. This cools the syrup, but your buttermilk won’t get icky.
    5. Pour the buttermilk slowly

    5. Pour the buttermilk slowly

    5. Whisk while you pour

    5. Whisk while you pour

  6. Add your wet stuff to the medium bowl with the dry stuff. Whisk, whisk, whisk until it’s pretty smooth or you get a cramp. The buttermilk makes for a thick batter.
    6. Adding wet to dry

    6. Adding wet to dry

    6. Whisk, whisk, whisk

    6. Whisk, whisk, whisk

  7. Fold in your extra ingredient of choice.

    7. Fold in extras

    7. Fold in extras

  8. Grease your muffin pan and fill the wells. Not over the tops. You’ll have a little batter left over.

    8. Fill her up

    8. Fill her up

  9. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes. The edges will brown a little bit and you can touch the top of a muffcake to be sure the centers are cooked. Don’t poke too hard, though. You don’t want to smoosh the delicate little things.

    9. All baked

    9. All baked

  10. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes before trying to get them out. Removal may take a little whacking and coaxing with your fingers, but they should come out just fine. Then let the removed Muffcakes cool on the rack. Or eat them. 

    10. Cool and remove

    10. Cool and remove

  11. Enjoy them alone or add butter and syrup to a plate to smear them in. I usually refrigerate or freeze the Muffcakes if they will be with us for more than 24 hours. (I separate in layers with parchment paper) Warm if desired.

    11. Eat or store

    11. Eat or store

 

Muffcakes
Tangy buttermilk pancakes made portable. Lightly sweetened with maple syrup. Great for kids and church brunches. Freezable.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 c whole wheat pastry flour (or whatever you've got)
  2. 1 T baking powder
  3. 1/2 t baking soda
  4. 1/4 t salt
  5. 1 good egg, beaten anyway
  6. 4 T pure maple syrup
  7. 1 T coconut oil
  8. 1 c buttermilk
  9. Extra additions: like bacon or sausage (cooked), blueberries, strawberry pieces, granola, bits of banana, or chopped peach.
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. 2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk.
  3. 3. Add egg. The mixture will be lumpy.
  4. 4. Warm maple syrup and coconut oil on low heat. Remove from heat.
  5. 5. Slowly add buttermilk to syrup mixture, whisking as you go.
  6. 6. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture, whisking like mad until it's all pretty smooth.
  7. 7. Fold in extra ingredients.
  8. 8. Fill a mini muffin tin with the batter.
  9. 9. Bake approximately 12 minutes, until edges start to brown and middles look done.
  10. 10. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then turn out on a wire rack.
  11. 11. Enjoy alone or with butter and syrup!
Notes
  1. *The maple syrup and coconut oil are warmed together to keep the coconut oil from solidifying when the cold buttermilk hits it.
  2. *Rinse your blueberries if you don't want purple/blue muffcakes.
Adapted from Mama's Buttermilk Pancakes
Adapted from Mama's Buttermilk Pancakes
Queen Of None http://www.queenofnone.com/