Healthy and Sane

The wild blueberries’ journey from the bush to my belly

August 10th, 2010 · 29 Comments · baking, salad

On our drive back from our trip to Maine a few weekends ago, we kept seeing signs for wild Maine blueberries everywhere. I definitely wanted to stock up before we crossed the border and when we finally saw a sign that said “We’re wild but we’re clean” I knew we had to stop right then and there. I mean seriously, how hilarious (and cute) is that? 😆

I was very happy eating the blueberries straight out of the container for a few days but then decided to actually incorporate them into something more exciting. Salads are usually my catch-all vessel for fruits, nuts, cheeses and veggies and these wild babies were the perfect sweet touch to a savory lunch one day.

Organic mesculin greens, grape tomatoes, pecans, goat cheese and wild Maine blueberries

Ok salad. We’ve seen it all before I guess. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a recipe with blueberries? My mind goes straight to MUFFINS! I love muffins. They are such a great breakfast on the go and anytime snack. They also lend themselves beautifully to whole grains, nuts and yes you knew that one was coming… wild Maine blueberries. :) I followed this recipe for oatmeal blueberry applesauce muffins, using 1/4 cup agave nectar as sweetener (just like Lauren did in her strawberry oat muffins adaptation of the recipe) and also added 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. I like a little crunch in my muffins + the staying power that nuts provide. :)

Aren’t they pretty? The muffins had a little photo shoot 😉

Maine blueberries are tiny, in case you’ve never seen them, so they are really great for baked goods (while I prefer their plumper counterparts in salads and on their own). This particular recipe yielded very moist and subtly sweet muffins. I enjoyed them as they were but I think I actually would up the sweetener amount back to the original 1/2 cup.

Gorgeous, if I do say so myself! 😎

For my last blueberry “project” I decided to make a blueberry almond cake with lemon drizzle (recipe here) to bring over to a dinner at my parents’ house. I make cakes maybe once a year and it’s really a shame. This cake gave me another reason for why I must change this immediately. I mean, just look at it…..

We had 7 people for dinner so I knew it would be the perfect event for everyone to sample it (since obviously making a cake just for myself is a dangerous proposition). This is a lemon/almond cake with a cheesecake layer, topped with blueberries, almonds and finished with an optional lemon drizzle. The whole thing is just amazing. I used nonfat yogurt and reduced fat cream cheese but otherwise followed the recipe to the T and couldn’t get over how delicious it was. The bottom layer was well balanced and moist, the cheesecake layer definitively lemony yet light and the blueberries and almonds added some freshness + crunch. I don’t say this often about non-chocolate desserts if you know me but this was the bomb. Even better the next day (ok, maybe not “better,” just amazing in a slightly different way) when it had time to cool further in the fridge. I will definitely be making this again but I think I’ll omit the drizzle next time. I couldn’t really taste it and it was too thin to see. Skip that extra step and you can even save a calorie or 2… although I wasn’t counting while going for a second sliver of this beauty 😉

Have you had wild Maine blueberries before? What’s your favorite recipe starring berries? What non-chocolate dessert blew you away recently? Yes, I want to know all of this! 😀

Related Posts with Thumbnails

29 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

    My favorite way to have blueberries is in a really simple, lightly heated sauce with fluffy pancakes. A squeeze of lemon really brings out the berry flavor, too!

  • #2 - Nutritioulicious

    That salad looks amazing! I’ve never been blueberry picking, but I know if I did there are so many things I could do w/ them!!

  • #3 - Kerstin

    You need to bake cakes more often – it looks amazing! There’s nothing like wild Maine blueberries :)

  • #4 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    Mmm I love blueberry muffins! It always takes me forever to make something out of an in season fruit or veggie because I seriously just eat them straight up for a long time.

  • #5 - Lauren

    I LOVE wild Maine blueberries, and you chose some excellent ways to use ’em. Berries on a salad are the perfect finishing touch, the muffins are beautiful, and the cake looks phenomenal! I might have to try that recipe ;).

    In terms of recipes using berries, I’m always a fan of crisps, and I recently made Ellie’s Blueberry Coffee Cake – which was a big hit during our vacation to NC. Also while down in the Outer Banks, I enjoyed a peach crisp that was divine! I adore chocolate, but typically prefer fruity desserts during the summer months. I’m planning on making vegan Carrot Cake Ice Cream from The Vegan Scoop, and I will let you know how it turns out!

    See you later today at the luncheon :).

  • #6 - Heather

    I’ve never been blueberry picking – I wish!

    And that cake looks to die for!!!! Send the leftovers my way! :)

  • #7 - Jen @

    The cake looks great. Glad you liked it! We just went blueberry picking last weekend and have been loving just eating them from our hands. I’ve never put them on a salad, I’ll have to try that.

  • #8 - Michelle

    That cake looks fantastic! I had a delicious berry tart last night from Cafe Vanille!

  • #9 - Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    I’m drooling over those muffins! They look so good! We have a ton of blueberries right now (unfortunately not wild Maine ones) so I think we’re making whole wheat blueberry pancakes for dinner tonight. :)

  • #10 - Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

    I went blueberry picking myself a couple of weekends ago. I love fresh blueberries and I end up just eating them by the handful until my poop turns blue.

  • #11 - Marina

    “Salads are usually my catch-all vessel ” – you crack me up.

  • #12 - emily

    hi elina! thanks for the salad idea! your salad here looks great, too, and I love your recipe for blueberry muffins (another fruit that I have too much of right now). :-)

  • #13 - kayli @ Running on Sunshine

    Hey Elina! Thank you for checking out my blog! You are so right, finding balance is the key to being healthy. These blueberry muffins look divine and you’re a girl after my own heart- chocolate desserts usually always win :) I do love Mama Pea’s blueberry crisp though…

  • #14 - One Healthy Apple

    Gorgeous salad, muffins, and cake! I do not bake, but may have to make this because it looks so good!

  • #15 - dawn hutchins

    Blueberries are definitely my favorite fruit. Lovely recipes!

  • #16 - Lara (Thinspired)

    What a cute sign. I love fruit in my salads! I have never had wild Maine blueberries before, but I love buying frozen wild blueberries to throw in yogurt messes.

    Bananas foster in Vegas. Oh my gosh. No chocolate needed.

  • #17 - Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    I actually saw that exact same sign in Maine when I was there this past weekend! I love blueberries, especially in baked goods!

  • #18 - Laura

    Those blueberry muffins look delicious….the bluberry streaks look amazing! Definitly the best way to consume bloobs! Yumm!
    I’m not a huge fan of fruit in savoury salads (except apple), however, that picture of your creation looks glorious!! xx

  • #19 - Erika @ Food, Fitness, & Fun

    You take beautiful pictures! Your muffins look so good… :-)

  • #20 - Kelly

    Looks gorgeous. I’ve only ever had maine blueberries from the freezer section of Trader Joe’s. I love that sign. Yo ushould have taken a picture!

    While we don’t have maine blueberries here (obvi.) a local farmer did do the cutest thing. He sold his blueberries to whole foods, but still had a lot left so he allowed people to rent one of his bushes for the summer and all the berries off the bush were theirs. I had a friend who did it and she had giant bowls full. They also put a sign next to your bush marking which one was yours. How cute.

  • #21 - Daisy

    i love how you incorporated blueberries into so many great dishes. A non chocolate dessert that blew me away – well I was at Myers+Chang the other night and quite a few infact did. There was the coconut lime pie, the lemon ginger mousse and the vanilla parfait with orange granita. so many amazing non chocolate treats!!

  • #22 - christina

    “we’re wild but we’re clean” – so cute! i would definitely have to stop and get some!

    love the bb projects! the blueberry almond cake looks scrumptious! i love love love making blueberry ricotta pancakes. oooooh my god they’re good.

  • #23 - sister inna

    that cheesecake almond cake WAS da bomb ;). i also looove blueberry bagels, but they’re always so hard to find. maybe next time you can make a batch and send em over my way?

  • #24 - Sami

    mmm! i think you could bake for a living! they look dlish.

    ps- you were the inspiration for my breakfast yesterday morning!! 😀

  • #25 - Megan

    I love Maine blueberries! I’d rather eat them and bake anything with them than the plump counterparts. :) Something about their tiny size. And I think they make for amazing pancakes. All of your blueberry creations look so tasty! I just made some blueberry muffins this week. They’re nowhere near as healthy as yours, but they were delicious.

    I had a grapefruit dessert at Bergamot that was really lovely. I also had a strawberry dessert with warm madeleines at Oleana that was so good! I love chocolate, but non-chocolate desserts can be incredible too!

  • #26 - Jo

    I seriously love. blueberries. so. much. I actually did a post earlier this summer with my favorite recipe ever for them — lemon blueberry frozen yogurt. It kinda makes me swoon just thinking about it :)

  • #27 - Dominique

    What a great use of blueberries. I was over at my friend’s house a few days ago and we made banana blueberry muffins. The recipe includes cornmeal and honey and we decided to add some flax to the mix. It’s a great recipe since it doesn’t have any sugar or butter and you can use any berry you like (I’ve made it with raspberries in the past).

  • #28 - Shannon

    love wild blueberries :) and that cake! my my, heaven!!!!

  • #29 - Shannon

    oh, and i don’t know if i could pick one favorite, but those raspberry-fig bars were pretty tasty!