Friday, June 1, 2012

Blueberry Cobbler

Southern California is awash in fresh blueberries. Big, fat, round, juicy berries. And while I consider the small, delicate wild blueberries to be the cream of the crop, they are nearly impossible to find while the larger cultivated berries are readily available in every supermarket from May to October. Not only that, but while they are at their peak, as they are right now, they're downright cheap. I couldn't be happier.

All berries are high in nutrition. They are loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, are low in calories and high in water and fiber. Yet of all the berries, blueberries stand out from all the others because they are not only the best source of antioxidants, but are widely available.

Wild blueberries on the left; cultivated on
the right
Most supermarket blueberries are known as highbush blueberries and are part of the plant family that includes flowering azaleas and mountain laurel. They grow on bushes that can reach to 12 feet high, though most stand around 6 feet. These fat, sweet, globes of purple juice are mostly picked by hand and then sent off to a factory to be washed, sorted, and packed.

The cultivated berries are full of juice, and range in color from almost a black to a sort of silvery color. They contain only 80 calories per cup and so little fat the nutritionists don't even count it. Just one serving supplies 14 mg of Vitamin C, which equals about 25% of your daily requirement. They are also an important source of manganese. Each tiny berry also offers up protein, fiber, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, panothenic acid, vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamins A, E, and K.  Blueberries are basically a nutritional powerhouse.

No wonder they are known as a Superfood.

While blueberries are available year round, it is still the best value to stock up when they are plentiful and freeze them yourself. Just lay them on a sheet pan with each berry separated from the others. Once frozen, move them all into a zip-lock bag for permanent storage. That way, when winter snows are blocking your doorway and the winds are howling down the chimney, and you get a craving for the taste of a sweet summer cobbler, you won't have to walk any further than your freezer. Now doesn't that sound good?


3 pints of blueberries
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (taste the berries for sweetness and add sugar accordingly)
3 Tbs. corn starch
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl put:

1 cup flour
2 Tbs. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cold vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance as it cooks and bakes great)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk

Cut the margarine into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks rather like coarse sand (I used my food processor and pulsed about 8 times)

Gradually add the non-dairy milk and stir with a fork until the mixture forms a dough. It should be a  bit sticky.


Bake uncovered
Pour the berries, juice and all into an 8-9 inch greased dish (I sprayed mine with Pam)
Drop  the dough by spoonfuls onto the top of the berries. Don't make the cobbler biscuits too large or they will not bake through.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and continue baking until the fruit is soft and bubbling and the cobbler topping is golden brown--about ten minutes.

I served my blueberry cobbler with tofu ice cream. I chose Cherry with Chocolate Chunks, which is quite sweet and paired nicely with the tartness of the berries.

Serves 3-4

Blueberries are indigenous to North America and were introduced to
the early settlers by the Native Americans

1 comment:

  1. This sounds soo good. I am a new follower