Blueberry Bonanza!!

bbThe easiest way you can save money on fruits and veggies is buy in season and stock up! Out here we are in prime blueberry season. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll see that I just scored a 10 lb box of spray/pesticide-free blueberries.  Now, the box didn’t look overly large but when I dumped them into the sink for a washing it filled it halfway. That’s a lot of blueberries!! There were so many things swirling in my head of what I could make with these gorgeous berries. I asked my husband what he wanted and he said “PIE!” Now, I don’t like to mess with a pie crust so this is the straight up full-fat, really tasty version. His brother actually sent me the recipe.  I usually use my Mom’s recipe, which I come to find out is just the recipe on the back of the Crisco container. Why mess with a good thing, right!? Plus it’s super easy, and no-fail.  I also whipped up a gluten-free blueberry crumble and a smoothie.  It’s been blueberry madness over here, and no, I’m not sick of them!

The first thing I did was go against the instructions on the box, which said “do not wash before freezing”. The reason they say this is because when the berries are wet and you freeze them, they clump together in a massive ball. So, they recommend not washing them and just freezing right out of the box, then when you’re ready to have some you thaw them out and wash.  I had planned on using a mass amount of these in my smoothies. I like my fruit frozen to keep the drink cold, so I washed them all, then laid them flat on a baking sheet with parchment paper, patted them dry with a paper towel, then froze them for about an hour or so, and transferred them to a freezer bag. This took a couple batches but I got it done!  Laying them flat while freezing will stop them from clumping together. I do this with all my frozen fruit.

First up was the pie. Again, I won’t share his brother’s secret pie crust recipe so here is the Crisco one that I have used many times before – double pie crust recipe. photo 3(22)For the filling, mix 4 cups of berries with 1/3 cup of sugar and 3 Tbsp of cornstarch.  Pour into pie crust. Cover with rolled out dough; don’t forget to make holes for the steam to escape! Bake on a low rack at 425F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and continue baking for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Nutritional Info for 1/8 of the pie
357 Calories, 43g Carbs, 19g Fat, 6g Protein, 300mg Sodium, 15g sugar

Seeing as that wasn’t really a “light” dessert I decided to make a blueberry crumble as well. This one is gluten-free!
photo 4(11)Serves 6

Filling
5 cups blueberries
1 Tbsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
2 Tbsp powder stevia

Crumble
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 gluten free oats (or regular oats)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp powder stevia
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup Earth Balance butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375F. In a medium bowl combine the ingredients for the filling and set aside. In another bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumble, using your hands crumble the butter with the rest of the ingredients until the mixture is well combined.photo 1(29)Add the filling to an 8 x 8 square baking dish, spread the crumble on top, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Serve this up with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!

Nutritional info for 1/6
258 Calories, 31g Carbs, 15 g Fat, 5g Protein, 68mg Sodium, 17g Sugar

I have one more quick smoothie recipe for you! This one is pretty low-cal so feel free to add protein powder or anything else you may like.

photo 2(31)Serves 1

1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp pHresh greens (optional)
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries (75g)
1/2 banana (50g)
1/4 cup pineapple (50g)
Scoop of ice

Blend on high until nice and smooth!

Nutritional Info
182 Calories, 39g Carbs, 2g Fat, 5g Protein, 108mg Sodium, 23g Sugar

So that was my blueberry bonanza weekend. Have you been buying blueberries lately? Do you buy fruit in bulk when they are in season?

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