Summer is in full swing, with June rounding the bend as we ease into the heat of July. Perhaps the best part of summertime is the bounty of fruit that presents itself. Here in East Texas, the array ranges from peaches to berries. Nuts are plentiful as well. Seemingly, the best things in life are free—growing wild amidst the flora and fauna all around us. Welcome to the banquet!
Here at Intuitive Journey, I have been in search of an easy way to take advantage of this season’s fruit, and blueberries deserve a special tribute. They may qualify as the simplest ingredient for any baker. You pick or buy them, wash them, dry them (preferably just air dry), and use them. They require no other preparation. And their flavor is never bitter. Remember, the bluer the berry, the sweeter the taste.
Medical science also works in favor of using these little guys. Blueberries help block cholesterol, fight cancer, and strengthen collagen. The anthocyanins (the phytonutrients responsible for their hue) neutralize free radicals and improve the integrity of the vascular system. So, they may look innocent enough, but these tiny drupes are extremely powerful and good for us both inside and out.
As a child, one of the first things I learned to bake was a white cake. Well, these days, that requires a bit of updating. For this breakfast cake, the basic vanilla batter needed a bit of a twist. IJ is a whole-grain kitchen, and two are standbys—wheat and oats. As I never use white sugar, a familiar alternative, coconut palm sugar, comes into play. This is actually coconut crystals or nectar, and a variety of companies offer it. It looks and measure like brown sugar and tastes just as great. If you fail to tell your guests that this baked treat is healthy, they will never know the difference.
Because no one likes to limit their sweet tooth to the dessert tray, this is also great for breakfast. The whole grains and pecans will provide your morning protein, while the orange juice and berries give you a major vitamin boost. Here, the moisture comes from a minimal amount of coconut oil (another standby), a dollop of yogurt, some orangey freshness, and yard eggs. Fresh is always better, and organic is always best.
I wanted to share a word about preserving your summer blueberries. These freeze easily. Just wash your fresh berries, spread them out to air dry (overnight works great), then bag and freeze them. They will continue to bake up well for the next six months. And frozen blueberries are great in smoothies and as “ice cubes” in almond milk and juice. So it is ok to buy in bulk or take advantage of seasonal prices.
Give this quick recipe a try and let IJ know what you think. Blueberry Breakfast Cake is great for Sunday brunch or any get-together. It travels very well and is delicious warm or cold. Try it with your favorite compote or yogurt as a topping. But remember, this sweet and light treat can stand alone.
Happy July 4th to one and all!
Blueberry Breakfast Cake
3/4 c. whole wheat flour 1/4 c. fresh orange juice
1/2 c. whole grain oats 1/4 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. coconut palm sugar 1/4 c. non-fat plain yogurt
1 tsp. baking powder 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 c. pecan halves and pieces
2 yard eggs 1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line an 8 X 8 metal baking pan with wax parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Create a well or depression in center of mixture and add all wet ingredients. Mix together, blending in blueberries.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Place pecan halves and pieces atop batter and pat down lightly with fingertips or back of spoon. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes. Toothpick inserted in center will come out clean and cake will be golden brown and firm to the touch.
Note: Whole grain, sugar-free, diabetes-friendly, and candida-fighting.
Links to explore