East Texas experiencing great season of bountiful blueberries | Home & Garden
East Texas is blessed with fertile soil, wide-open spaces, and plentiful sunshine. Not only that, but we also have people who aren't afraid of hard work, who love to plant crops, and who love food!
This makes summer an especially wonderful time to be in East Texas. With our abundance of blueberry farms, peach orchards, and vegetable farms, we could all eat healthier and avoid processed foods for months, which would be a healthy change for everyone.
Blueberries are especially good in June and July in East Texas. I spoke with a worker at Echo Springs Blueberry Farm in Brownsboro, Texas, who told me that since the 2012 season started early, the blueberries may only last through mid-July. If you would like some fabulous, juicy berries, grab some buckets or bags and head to a blueberry farm this weekend!
Blueberries are undoubtedly delicious; they are juicy, sweet, and are just as good eaten out of hand as they are baked into your favorite cobbler or bread or frozen into ice cream.
While you are enjoying their sunny flavor, you can also feel good about what you're putting into your body and your family's bodies: the Blueberry Council tells us that the berries are loaded with fiber, vitamin C, maganese, and antioxidants. Also, at only 80 calories per cup, blueberries are a wonderful addition to your diet. Stir some into a half-cup of Greek yogurt for a vitamin and protein-packed breakfast!
KLTV viewers and followers of KLTV.com shared with us some of their favorite blueberry recipes. After your trip to one of tbe blueberry farms listed below, or your local farmers market, where berries are also in abundance, try out some of these great recipes.
Shea Bullard submitted this original recipe, saying, "I make this and serve over some mixed greens with blackened chicken, homemade croutons and feta or big shards of parmesan. It's yummy. Sometimes I will add sugar, as well, depending on how the berries taste. Can omit the red pepper flakes. I added that as well as changed to Dijon mustard as it called for dry. It also is good served over grilled romaine with fresh grated parmesan on top. Stores great in refrigerator for while if lasts that long."
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic minced fine
3 to 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (may omit but I added to recipe because I enjoy a little heat with the tart, tangy and sweet)
3/4 cup blueberries (use frozen if not in season, thaw until room temperature)
Combine all ingredients except blueberries in blender until thoroughly blended. Add blueberries and pulse a few times. I like it chunky with some texture but may blend until smooth.
Nella Featherston, a viewer from Golden, Texas, says "Here's a great recipe for blueberries. Really delish too!"
Blueberry Crunch Coffee Ring
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, firm
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pecan Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Mix the finely chopped pecans, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon with the melted butter.
Pat half of the streusel mixture into a greased, floured 9-inch tube pan with a removable bottom; set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gently stir in blueberries.
Beat egg lightly with milk and vanilla; stir into berry mixture just until combined.
Spread half the batter in streusel-lined pan; sprinkle with remaining streusel, then with remaining batter.
Bake cake for about 40 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove pan sides. Dust cake with powdered sugar.
Here's one of my original Mama Steph recipes that you might enjoy:
Mama Steph’s Blueberry Peach Coffee Cake
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or ¼ tsp almond extract, if you prefer, or a blend of both)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups blueberries, rinsed, picked over and drained (thaw and drain first if using frozen berries)
1 small to medium sized peach, halved, pitted, and cut into slices
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (or spray with Baker’s Joy) a 9-inch round cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Alternatively, use a 9-inch spring form pan, and grease and flour the inside of pan.
1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. Using a mixer, beat the butter on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Then add the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about a minute more.
3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well blended. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour, beating until smooth, but don’t over-beat. A minute should be adequate.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
5. Combine the berries and peaches with a teaspoon of flour and the lemon juice in a bowl. Spread the fruit mixture over the top of the cake, arranging in a pretty fashion.
6. Bake on middle rack in oven at 350°F for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
7. Use a butter knife to slide around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Transfer the cake to a cake plate, berry side up.
Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar before serving, or drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze, or even with maple or blueberry syrup at breakfast. It would also be perfect with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Dawn Klein contributed the follwoing recipes; one of them is sure to be your new favorite.
The 1830 Admiral's Quarter Famous Recipe For "Blueberry French Toast With Blueberry Sauce"
Servings: 10 to 12
16 slices of day old Bread. (white with crusts removed)
1 1/2 cup - Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
12 - Eggs
1 cup - Half & Half (or White Milk)
1/3 cup - Maple Syrup
1 pint - Hazelnut Coffee Creamer
1 teaspoon - Cinnamon
1 - 8 oz. pkg of Cream Cheese
Cube Bread, place half in a greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Cut Cream Cheese into cubes, place over Bread. Top with Blueberries and remaining bread. Beat Eggs, add Half & Half, Hazelnut Coffee Creamer, and Maple Syrup. Beat together. Pour over Bread mixture. Sprinkle with Cinnamon. Cover and chill over night. Remove from refrigerator 1/2 hour before baking. Bake at 350∞ covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for another 30 minutes. (Till center is set.) Serve with Blueberry Sauce
1 cup - Sugar
2 cups - Blueberries
2 tablespoons - Corn Starch
1 tablespoon - Butter
1 cup - Water
1 tablespoon - Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon - Cinnamon
Combine Sugar and Corn Starch, add Water, Butter, Lemon Juice. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Stir constantly. Stir in Blueberries. You may add 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon.
Chicken Pasta Salad with Blueberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 cups white vinegar
2 T. sugar
1 (9-oz) pkg. frozen French-cut green beans, thawed
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts(about 1-1/2 lbs.)
3 cups cooked spiral pasta (cooked without salt or fat)
1 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 T. finely chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup, plus 2 T. plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup plus 1 T. reduced-calorie mayonnaise
3 T. blueberry vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
Lettuce leaves (opt.)
Blueberry vinegar: Place blueberries in a sterilized 1-qt. glass jar. Combine vinegar and sugar in a non-aluminum saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour vinegar mixture over blueberries. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 3 days. Strain blueberry mixture through several layers of cheesecloth into decorative jars; discard blueberries. Seal jars with a cork or other airtight lid. Yield: 2 cups
Salad: Place green beans between paper towels and squeeze until barely moist. Combine green beans, chicken, pasta, blueberries, celery, green onion and oregano in a large bowl. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, blueberry vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl; stir well. Pour over chicken mixture; mix gently. Cover and chill 2 hours. Serve on a lettuce-lined plate, if desired. (Yield: 6 servings (about 1-1/2 cups) By: Cooking Light July/August 1991)
And finally, Lindsey Manley submitted the following recipe, saying "this isn't MY recipe, but it's one of my favorite cupcakes to make. I discovered this site through Pinterest; of all the cupcakes I've made from this website, it is my husband's favorite!"
Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes:
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cup sugar
2 egg whites
3 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
For the rest of the recipe, visit the beautiful blog My Cup of Cake by clicking here!
After seeing this great collection of recipes, you're probably ready to go blueberry picking, right? If so, here are some of the blueberry farms in East Texas that would love to have you come enjoy their beautiful produce.
We would love to see your pictures from the blueberry farm, farmers market, or of something you have made with blueberries. Send your pictures or recipes to MamaSteph@kltv.com. Thanks, neighbors!
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