Depending on where you live, blueberry season may be here already or getting close. Baking with fresh blueberries is the best, and that’s why I chose to try a recipe called Continue reading
I found some blueberries at a really good price at my local market, so it was the perfect time to make this Blueberry Almond Pound Cake! If you like blueberries, you will need to try this–it’s so moist, dense, and rich! You can also use frozen blueberries in this cake, but the baking time will be slightly longer. I prefer using fresh blueberries because the frozen berries tend to give the batter a blue-ish color. The almonds and almond extract give this pound cake a really nice flavor and the glaze adds a little extra sweetness. Serve it for dessert at dinner or at a brunch with coffee or tea.
BLUEBERRY ALMOND POUND CAKE by NancyC
Makes one 10″ bundt cake
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup sliced or coarsely chopped almonds
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream), depending on desired consistency
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 Tablespoons sliced or coarsely chopped almonds for garnish (you can lightly toast them if you prefer)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10″ bundt pan; set aside.
In large bowl, blend butter, cream cheese, almond extract, and sugar until mixture is creamy and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and blend well after each addition.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to creamy mixture and mix well.
Stir in sliced almonds, mixing to evenly distribute in batter and then gently fold in the blueberries and blend evenly into the batter. Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake 50 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean (do not overtake, or cake will be dry).
Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan onto a serving plate (you may need to loosen the edges of the cake from the pan a little with a knife). Let cake cool completely.
While cake is cooling, mix the glaze ingredients and after cake cools, drizzle glaze over the cake. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Makes about 8-10 servings.
Have you been enjoying fresh blueberries this summer too? What kind of blueberry baked goods have you been making lately?
This is such an easy and healthy recipe for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! it’s from a new book called The SirtFood Diet. Before I received my review copy, I had never heart of “Sirtfoods.” In a nutshell, what I read in this book was that polyphenol nutrients from certain plants are good for us. And plants that have “noteworthy amounts” of sirtuin-activating polyphenols are called “Sirtfoods.” I know this sounds pretty technical, but the book gives a good explanation about all this. It also provides information about the top 20 Sirtfoods, along with other foods that are beneficial. I found that I actually like a lot of these foods, which include Arugula, Garlic, Green Tea, and even Cocoa!
This book explains that Sirtfoods, rich in special nutrients that help activate the same “skinny genes” in our bodies that fasting triggers, can help in effective weight loss–and so the Sirtfood Diet was created by nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten. I haven’t tried the diet, so I can’t endorse it, but I’m sharing what the book says about it. The diet includes a plan for losing 7 pounds in seven days, along with keeping the weight off. There’s a recipe section that includes a good variety of healthy dishes–some even include chicken and beef. The authors also recommend having a good juicer to get the most benefits from this diet.
After looking through the recipe section, I decided to try this yogurt recipe because I loved all the ingredients and it was so simple to make. Simple as it is though, I actually made this recipe the wrong way! I put the berries over the yogurt instead of the yogurt over the berries! it does work better to put the yogurt over the berries as the recipe says, so be sure to layer the ingredients right! Even though I made this wrong, it does look pretty, doesn’t it? 🙂
YOGURT WITH MIXED BERRIES, CHOPPED WALNUTS, AND DARK CHOCOLATE from the SirtFood Diet
Makes 1 serving
- 1 1/3 cups mixed berries (I used some organic fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries)
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or vegan alternative, such as soy or coconut yogurt)
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa solids), grated
Add the mixed berries to a bowl and top with the yogurt. Sprinkle with the walnuts and chocolate.
That’s all there is to it! I’m so glad dark chocolate is good for you, even if it’s the 85% cocoa solid kind; I actually like the really, really dark chocolate better than the sweeter varieties.
Are you a healthy eater and have you heart of Sirtfoods?
I don’t have a veggie garden of my own this summer, but friends and coworkers have been so nice to share from their gardens with me! That’s how I ended up with some zucchini. Since I also had fresh blueberries just waiting to be used, I decided to make these muffins that I first made several years ago. The zucchini and blueberries make these muffins really moist and the cinnamon gives them a great flavor. If you like, you can top the muffins with a homemade cream cheese frosting and fresh blueberries (you can use fresh or frozen blueberries in the batter). You can also try substituting blackberries, raspberries, or chopped strawberries for the blueberries.
BLUEBERRY ZUCCHINI MUFFINS by NancyC
Makes 24 to 25 regular-size muffins or 12 to 13 jumbo muffins
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two 12-cup regular muffin pans or two 6-cup jumbo muffin pans with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini.
In large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Add the egg mixture from the medium bowl to the flour mixture in the large bowl; stir all ingredients together until moistened. Gently stir the blueberries into the batter.
Spoon batter into the muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Bake regular muffins for 22-24 minutes and jumbo muffins for 32-34 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean (if using frozen berries, your baking time may be a few minutes longer).
If you want to get a little fancy, you can top these muffins with some cream cheese frosting and garnish with a few fresh blueberries. Here’s a frosting recipe I’ve used with these muffins before:
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1 8-oz. block of cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- fresh blueberries for garnish
In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and butter together, then add the powdered sugar a cup at a time. Blend well. Using a rounded scoop about the size of a tablespoon, put a dollop of cream cheese frosting on the center of each muffin. You should have enough frosting to put big dollops on if you want to. Then add some fresh blueberries to the top of each muffin.
That’s pretty easy, isn’t it? If you’re not going to eat these until later, store in a covered container in the refrigerator to keep the blueberries fresh. This recipe is a great way to use your garden zucchini! Are you growing zucchini this summer?
I’m looking forward to blueberry season when I can pick my own berries! Until then, I have to settle for buying them at the store. I prefer using fresh blueberries when I bake, but the two markets I went to were totally out of them! So I had to use frozen, but this muffin recipe works well with either fresh or frozen berries.
Some muffins are dense, but these muffins have a lighter, more cake-like texture. They also have lots of juicy blueberries and a simple cinnamon sugar topping. So there’s nothing real fancy about these–they’re just good, basic blueberry muffins. And this recipe makes 24 muffins, so you’ll have plenty to go around!
BLUEBERRY BUTTERMILK MUFFINS by NancyC
Makes 24 regular-size muffins
- 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk
- 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
- 1 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.
In large bowl, mix flour and baking powder.
In medium size bowl, cream softened butter and sugar (it will be more crumbly than creamy), then add eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk, blending well. Add this mixture to the flour mixture in the large bowl, mixing just until everything is moistened. Fold in the blueberries.
Spoon batter into muffins cups, filling 2/3 full. Make sugar topping by blending the sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle topping over the top of the batter in each muffin cup (you’ll probably have a little topping left over).
Bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
I really like how these muffins puff up with rounded tops as they bake. Do you have a favorite blueberry muffin recipe?