Saturday, June 11, 2016

Blueberry Muffin Bread


Yum


What's in season now?  Berries...and I'm a big berry fan!

Let's talk a little bit about berries.  

Berry Basics
What are they?  Berries are small, succulent fruits that grow on bushes, vines or canes. (Some types are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, huckleberries etc) You can usually find them available year-round, but they are more flavorful, plentiful and affordable in the spring and summer months.  

How do you choose the best ones?  Never buy them if they are moist, overly soft, pale colored or show signs of mold. Do not buy berries if their cartons are leaking and wet. We don't want any mold!

How do you prepare them?  Rinse berries, but never soak them as they will absorb the water and become mushy. Leaving berries whole is best for snacking. You can also macerate them by putting them in a bowl and sprinkling a tablespoon of sugar over them for every pint and allowing them to sit for 15 minutes. This will draw out the moisture and create a sweet natural syrup.  Perfect over yogurt or as a dessert over pound cake or ice cream.

How do you store them?  They are fragile, so handle them gently.  They all require refrigeration, and they freeze well.  I freeze a variety of them every year so we have fresh berries come winter. Make sure not to rinse them until right before use so mold does not accumulate.  When you freeze them you can place them in a single layer on trays and then freeze.  Then place them in a zip lock freezer bag or a plastic container.  I even mix some of the berries into portions for quick making smoothies.  It's all up to you and is as easy as that!  



Now that we have the basics out of the way let's make something with blueberries.  I typically turn to muffins but let's think out of the muffin pan for a minute!  What about a nice quick bread.  Similar to muffins but just different enough to make it feel a little special.  

This quick bread is soft and moist and just loaded with fresh blueberries! It is like the most incredible blueberry muffins you've ever had, but in loaf form.  Who says we can't have cake for breakfast?? Not me!  This Blueberry Muffin Bread would be perfect with a cup of coffee or tea in the evening, snacking after work or school, or have it for your weekend breakfast like we did.

So go forth to the farmer's markets or your local grocery stores and buy all the berries you can handle.  



Enjoy!

Other quick breads you may enjoy:

Strawberry Banana Bread
Lemon Blueberry Bread
Lemon Tea Bread
Cinnamon Streusel Banana Bread





Blueberry Muffin Bread


makes 1 loaf



1/2 c Splenda Bend or 1 cup of sugar
1/2 c Butter, softened
2 eggs
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 c 2 % Milk
2 c flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c Blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. 

Cream together the butter and sugar using a stand or hand mixer.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and milk and mix together.   Turn off the mixer

At this point you can add the flour, and baking powder, and salt.  Using a rubber spatula mix until just combined.  Don't overmix.  Sprinkle the blueberries with a little flour then fold them in gently. 

Pour into the pre-treated pan and back for 60-70 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Invert the pan to release the bread and continue to cool on a wire rack to continue cooling.  Slice and serve.








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