Monday, 4 February 2013

RECIPES: Buzzing with Blueberries

My mum brought home a BIG bowl of blueberries last week and I got so excited like a little kid, I started thinking of all the yummy healthy foods I could make with them. Blueberries are very nutritious and count towards you 5-a-day, one portion is about a handful. Blueberries like most berries are high in antioxidants which help to keep your body in balance and a healthy immune system. They also contain vitamin C, B3, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and folic acid. Blueberries are a great body cleanser and improve circulation in our body giving you a healthy glow to your skin.



Here are a few of the things I made with the blueberries, why don’t you give them a try and don’t forget to let me know how they come out.

Smoothies
Smoothies are such a diverse drink as you can experiment and make it to your own taste buds and liking. So easy to make it’s great to have for breakfast, as a snack or for dessert. Here’s how I made mine:
  • Blueberries (250g)
  • Greek Yoghurt (2tbsp)
  • Big Splodge of Honey
  • Semi-skimmed or orange juice– enough to make it drinkable.

Just whizz it up in a blender and pour into a nice tall glass, pop in a colourful straw and enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins
When I went to Dubai in 2010 for a short trip with my parents I tasted the most amazing blueberry muffins which the hotel served at breakfast. For the 4 days I was there I has one (or maybe two, they were mini-muffins) every day. They were the best I have ever tasted and I wanted it so badly that I emailed the hotel to let them know and ask them for the recipe. They said they would send it, but after a long wait I realised they weren’t going to send it. But it didn’t stop me dreaming about them!
So, since then I have been looking for the something that would come close to that yummy Dubai muffin. And I have to say with a big smile on my face, I think I have made something close to the perfect blueberry muffin. :D

I researched some recipes online and looked through a few recipe books I have at home getting a general idea of how to make blueberry muffins, from that I put together my own recipe. So here’s my take on the all favourite blueberry muffins.

How to make blueberry muffins:
1.       Melt 75g unsalted butter and set aside to cool.
2.       Lightly cover 200g blueberries in flour.
3.       Combine the dry ingredients:
·         200g whole-meal self-raising flour
·         ½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
·         2 teaspoons baking powder
·         75g Demerara sugar
·         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4.       In a measuring jug mix:
·         100ml semi-skimmed milk
·         1 small pot of blueberry Activia (or plain yoghurt 100g)
·         1 egg
·         And the cooled melted butter

5.       Slowly add half of the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and fold 5 times (keep the mixing to a minimum to make it more soft and yummy).
6.       Add the rest of the wet mixture and fold 5 times.
7.       Add the blueberries and fold 5-10 times, until evenly combined.
8.       Spoon the mixture into muffin cases.
9.       Bake for 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven 200’C.
1.   Cool on a wire rack and enjoy.

Taste great when they are still slightly warm. If you want you could just warm in the microwave for 10 seconds, just before you dig into them. These muffins will keep for 2 days in an airtight container (if they haven’t already finished by then!).

Blueberry pancakes
I cannot resist a nice pancake breakfast in the weekend. With some extra blueberries left over I decided to make some pancakes.
Ingredients:
·         150g Wholemeal Flour
·         1 tsp baking powder
·         1 medium egg
·         300ml of semi-skimmed milk. 
·         ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon powder (optional)
·         150g blueberries

Making the mixture:
1.       Sieve the flour, cinnamon and baking powder into a bowl.
2.       Whisk the egg in a separate bowl and mix with the milk.
3.       Pour in half the milk into the flour and whisk (I whisked mine with a fork).
4.   Then gradually add the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth. I left mine aside for 30 minutes, not intentionally, I don’t know if that made a difference to the texture of the pancakes.
5.       Fold in half the blueberries.

Then, simply pour some of the mixture onto the middle of a hot pan and let it cook (without swirling the pan). Drop some extra blueberries onto the pancake (if you want), small bubbles should appear on the surface. Once the edges are cooked or slightly brown, flip the pancake and let it cook on the other side. Put it on a pretty plate and dust with a little icing sugar or drizzle with honey.
Enjoy with a glass of orange juice!

A H Nutritionist
4th February 2013