PHOTO BY CHERYL WIXSON

Columnist resolves to test 31 blueberry recipes



New Year’s resolutions, a tradition dating back to Babylonian time when humans made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts, has evolved into an occasion for folks to improve their life, change an undesired trait or accomplish a personal goal. The new year offers us a clean slate; uncharted territory, and boundless opportunities.

For those of us in the foodie world, a new year also brings emerging patterns and trends in food consumption, cooking and eating. With endless food combination possibilities in the world, I’m always intrigued by the pundits’ predictions. Take for example, the prediction that 2019 is the year for indigenous food and cuisine.

By no means youthful or new to our palates, the indigenous food culture has been with Mother Earth for centuries. Beautiful and resilient, indigenous ingredients survived manifest destiny and traveled around the world, influencing countless cuisines. Tomatoes, beans, squash, corn, wild blueberries, maple, acorn, chilies, agave and cranberries are more than just elements in a dish. They each have sacred ceremonies, carry ancestral memories and tell stories through colorful flavors.

In Maine, the hardy, low-bush, wild blueberry thrives in our thin glacial soils and harsh northern clime, the very same environment where they have grown for over 10,000 years. A true superfood, wild blueberries are packed with antioxidants that relieve of our bodies from the ravages of free radicals. These tiny, intensely flavored berries may also be one of the best foods to protect our brains as we age.

Our family enjoys Maine wild blueberries quite regularly, consuming about 100 pounds a year. Smoothies, muffins, salads and sauces are some of the many delicious ways to savor what the Native Americans called “star” berries because the blossom end of each wild blueberry forms a five-pointed star.

Used to flavor soups and stews, pounded into dried meat cakes, and the base of a honeyed pudding, the wild blueberry is a vital and important component of indigenous cuisine.

To beat the winter blues, there is an artistic challenge every January on Deer Isle to create something new daily, whether it be a work of art, sculpture, part of a painting or a new recipe.

My New Year’s resolution this year is quite simple: Go wild! I resolve to discover, test, develop and taste at least 31 wild blueberry recipes. Join my adventures at (www.cherylwixsonskitchen.com or the EA website). Together, we can all appreciate the joys and health benefits of indigenous cuisine.

Wild Blueberry Dipping Sauce
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Use this savory sauce instead of ketchup, and as a base for many other delicious wild blueberry recipes. Makes about 1.33 cups
Wild Blueberry Dipping Sauce
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Use this savory sauce instead of ketchup, and as a base for many other delicious wild blueberry recipes. Makes about 1.33 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 lb. Maine wild blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard flour
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until transparent. Add the blueberries to the onion mixture, cover, and cook until the fruit softens, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the lid and mash the blueberries. Add the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ground mustard, Worcestershire sauce and unsweetened applesauce. Cook for five more minutes.
  3. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender or pour the mixture into a blender and puree in batches. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper. Store in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional analysis per 2 ounce serving: 34 calories, .3 grams protein, 7.3 grams carbohydrates, 7.7 mg. sodium, 1.3 grams fiber.

Share this Recipe
 
Wild Blueberry Dressing
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Delicious on a simple salad of tossed greens and fruit
Servings
16
Servings
16
Wild Blueberry Dressing
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Delicious on a simple salad of tossed greens and fruit
Servings
16
Servings
16
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup vegetable or light olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps. cider vinegar
  • ½ cup Wild Blueberry Dipping Sauce
  • 2 Tbsps. Maine maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. fresh or dried thyme
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Measure all ingredients in blender. Puree until smooth and emulsified. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Recipe Notes

Yields about 1 cup. Nutritional analysis per 1 tablespoons dressing: 78 calories, 4 grams carbohydrates (3.3 grams sugar), 7 grams fat, 5 mg. sodium, .392 grams fiber.

Share this Recipe
Cheryl Wixson
"Maine Dish" columnist Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. Her passion for organic Maine products led to the creation of her business, Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen. She welcomes food-related questions and comments at [email protected] or www.cherylwixsonskitchen.com.
Cheryl Wixson

Latest posts by Cheryl Wixson (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *