Tag Archives: blueberries

Yogurt with Mixed Berries, Walnuts, and Dark Chocolate

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?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday.

Blueberry and Buttermilk Scones

Blueberry and Buttermilk Scones @ NancyC

Have you ever been to an afternoon tea? I’ve been to two–one was at a hotel and the other was at a bed and breakfast. They were both such a treat! Having tea with friends and tasting fancy little tea sandwiches, cakes, scones, and pastries was such a wonderful break in the day.

51AHe0DsRfL._SX416_BO1,204,203,200_My tea time memories came to mind as I was looking through my review copy of Afternoon Tea at Home by Will Torrent. Just looking at the cover photo will make you want to treat yourself to a special tea time or host your own afternoon tea!

The book has a wide selection of recipes–scones, spreads, tarts, cakes, tea sandwiches, cookies–everything you could ever want for tea time. And there are beautiful full-color photos of the recipes.

I decided to try the Blueberry and Buttermilk Scones since I had already been thinking about making some scones. The book also includes instructions for making Honeycomb Butter to serve along with these scones, but I just made the scones. I really liked them–they’re slightly sweet and moist, with lots of blueberries. I’ve had scones before that were too dry, but I thought the texture of these was just right!

BLUEBERRY AND BUTTERMILK SCONES from Afternoon Tea at Home

Makes 16 small scones

  • 2 3/4 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 stick butter (125 g), chilled and diced
  • generous 1/3 cup (75 g) granulated sugar (also called caster sugar)
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup (175-200 ml) buttermilk (I used 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/4 cup (150 g) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons turbinado or demerara sugar (these are raw, unrefined sugars; you can substitute granulated sugar if you don’t have these)

Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Note: I also lined a baking sheet with parchment paper for the scones.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the chilled, diced butter and rub into the dry ingredients using your hands (I found it easier to use a pastry blender rather than my hands). When the mixture resembles sand and there are only very small pieces of butter remaining, add the granulated sugar and mix to combine.

Make a well in the middle of the mixture, add the buttermilk and blueberries and stir to combine using a rubber spatula. One the dough starts to come together, use your hands to form a rough ball.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Very lightly knead for about 30 seconds to bring the dough into an almost smooth ball but do not overwork the dough. Cut in half and flatten each half into a round disc each about 6 1/4 inches (16 cm) in diameter. Using a long, sharp knife cut each disc into 8 triangular wedge shapes.

Arrange the wedges on the prepared baking sheets and brush the tops with a little milk, scatter with turbinado sugar and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until well-risen and golden.

Cool on a wire rack and serve slightly warm with butter or honey butter.

These scones would be great not only for tea time but for breakfast or brunch, too!

Have you been to an afternoon tea? Or hosted one?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday. Show and Share, Create It Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Blueberry Ginger Smoothie

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We’ve had a few little tastes of spring this winter–several days of 50 and 60 degree sunny weather, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed! And on one of those days, I made this smoothie. It has a rich blueberry flavor and the fresh ginger gives it an energizing zing. It’s a pretty thick smoothie, so you’ll probably want to use a straw when you drink this. Even if the weather isn’t warm and sunny, it’s still a wonderful smoothie to make!

BLUEBERRY GINGER SMOOTHIE by NancyC

Makes 1 (10-ounce) serving

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low fat milk
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2 to 3 ice cubes

Add blueberries, yogurt, milk, honey, ginger, flaxseed, and ice cubes to blender; blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.

It’s so nice having a little touch of spring weather to break up the winter blahs. The weather did get cold again, but now it’s starting to warm up some more…so I’m sure I’ll be making more smoothies! They remind me of spring and summer because I make them often during the warm weather seasons–my favorite times of the year! Are you looking forward to spring as much as I am?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner, and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Spinach, Blueberry, and Blue Cheese Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

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I took a short break from the internet at the end of August, and I can’t believe we are into September already! But it’s still officially summer and the weather is still warm for many of us, so I thought I’d post a recipe for a fruity, cheesy salad. Salads make great light lunches on hot, humid days and it’s even more convenient when you can make them ahead of time for work or just to have handy at home. I found lots of great grab-and-go ideas in Mason Jar Salads and More by Julia Mirabella. The salads are made by layering the ingredients vertically in Mason jars (the 9781612432892.011dressing usually goes on the bottom–this salad is an exception). In addition to recipes for salad lunches, the book includes some breakfast smoothies and oatmeal you can make-and-take in mason jars, as well as other healthy lunch options that include pasta and rice. There are some snack ideas, too, and lots of great homemade vinaigrettes to try out.

I decided to make the Spinach, Blueberry, and Blue Cheese Salad and instead of using the Red Wine Vinaigrette that the original recipe calls for, I made the Blueberry Vinaigrette. I thought the blueberry-spinach combination was really good, and I loved the taste of blue cheese with it, too. The Blueberry Vinaigrette was great on this salad–it added even more blueberry flavor. If you like fruit and cheese, this salad is a great way to enjoy those mix of flavors. Some of you may not be crazy about blue cheese, so if that’s the case, you could try substituting feta cheese. This is a really easy salad to put together–hope you enjoy it!

SPINACH, BLUEBERRY, AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD WITH BLUEBERRY VINAIGRETTE from Mason Jar Salads and More

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3 cups spinach leaves, divided
  • 1/4 cup shaved or sliced almonds
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Blueberry Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • 1 quart-size Mason jar

Place the blueberries, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil until it is the right consistency.

Place the blueberries in the bottom of the Mason jar. Next make layers of 2 cups spinach, the almonds, and the remaining 1 cup spinach. The final layer should be the blue cheese. If you’re eating this right away, you can pour the vinaigrette over the salad and serve. If you’re storing this in the fridge for later, see below…

On top of the blue cheese, make a parchment paper cup (cut a square of parchment paper to an 8×8″ size; place it over the jar and push down to form a little cup). The edges of the parchment paper should extend beyond the edge of the jar; bend edges downward over the outside of the jar.

Pour the vinaigrette into the parchment paper cup and twist on the lid, making sure it is tight. Refrigerate until ready to eat and mix the vinaigrette in with the other ingredients in your salad. Note: !f you’re going to eat this salad on the same day you make it, you can put the dressing in the bottom of the jar and eliminate the parchment paper cup. Otherwise, the salad will last longer if the blueberries don’t sit in the dressing.

BLUEBERRY VINAIGRETTE

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 to 5 Tablespoons olive oil

Place the blueberries, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil until it is the right consistency.

I love using fresh fruit in salads–it adds so much extra flavor! What fruits do you like using in your salads?

Blueberry Oat Banana Bread

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When blueberry season comes around, I love baking with those fresh berries! So I thought I’d try combining blueberries and bananas in a bread, and I also decided to add a little oatmeal–I thought oatmeal would give it a nice texture and make a nice quick bread for breakfast.

This bread is so moist and packed with blueberries! It’s sweet, but not overly sweet–and the ripe bananas add just the right amount of sweetness and moistness to the bread. I actually didn’t taste my loaf until the day after I baked it, and it was wonderful the day after! I’m not sure what it tastes like while still warm, but I’m guessing it’s pretty good. The flavor of the bread is so good you really don’t need to put anything on it–but you can always add a little dab of butter on a warm slice, or lightly spread some cream cheese on a cooled slice if you want.

BLUEBERRY OAT BANANA BREAD by NancyC

Makes one 8 x 4″ loaf

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3 bananas, depending on size)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour an 8 x 4″ loaf pan.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In medium bowl, blend olive oil, milk, and egg, blending well, then add vanilla and mashed bananas, blending everything well. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in the blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350˚F for 50 to 52 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

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Fresh blueberries are the best! What types of treats do you like to make with them?