In my fondest memories of wild blueberries I think of the sweet juiciness that keeps you going when your hands are grubby. At the time, I was spending my days hiking the Francis Marion National Forest and the crew and I were often knee deep in swamp or thicket. Tough to tell which is worse. It was one of those projects that would test your spirit some days. We hit the field by 5am to beat the heat. Our days were spent walking miles in the forest and digging holes along the way. It could be brutal, but it could be beautiful and rewarding. One such day we had dodged stickers, spiders and snakes and were becoming mutinous at the prospect of wading the swampy lake in front of us. We worked through the thorny vines single file on our knees and, getting to our feet, walked into a relative clearing among the over growth and stumbled right into a small patch of blueberries! Little light green trees growing chest high were barely bowing with the weight of fruit. The lot of us descended onto the treasure and began to pick and eat with the crust of the workday deep in our fingers. Nothing tastes so sweet. Nothing could be so satisfying! When the days are hot and eating lunch becomes unappealing a nibble of fruit can help hydrate you and keep you going. It should be no surprise that the most satisfying time to eat blueberries is when they are growing there next to you, talk about seasonal! Best work distraction ever.
Blueberries themselves are part a super group being high in Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. There are loads of studies to promote the health benefits of these little jewels. Many of the benefits are lost or diminished when the fruit is cooked so be sure to eat large handfuls of the fresh fruit.
This breakfast or dessert is amazing because it uses a perfect amount of berries. Even a small patch of berries will give you almost 2 cups, and one pint of the finest store bought variety is rarely too expensive. This uses any berry fresh, frozen, ripe, under or over, pick up sale berries! Flavors such as lemon or maple pair well and ice cream or yogurt is a happy addition.
This recipe is enough to serve 2-3
Combine together in a small saucepan with a good lid:
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1/4c sugar, maple, honey…
- pinch sea salt
- 1/2c water
Bring to boil, and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for approx 5 minutes before stirring in 2ts lemon juice and covering with lid.
Mix dumplings in a separate bowl by whisking together:
- 1/2c flour
- 1ts baking powder
- pinch salt
- 2Tb sugar
cut into flour, 2Tb butter
add 1/3c cream or milk and stir until dough is formed.
Drop 1” balls of dough into blueberries, cover pan and simmer for 10 minutes without opening lid.
The dumplings will have turned blue and swollen up. Carefully stir in (or garnish with)
1tb of chopped fresh lemon herbs such as lemon balm, lemon basil, or lemony mint.