Saturday, July 28, 2012
It's Blueberry Season!
On my to-do list for the last few years has been to go berry picking. I have grown up picking apples in the fall as many of us Upstate New Yorkers do and have taken up pumpkin picking as well which is equally enjoyable. There is nothing quite like the taste of a fresh picked apple, so I really wanted to see if the same went for fresh berries. I was not disappointed.
Earlier in the summer, my family and I found a really great berry patch in Baldwinsville called Hencle's Berry Patch, which specializes in a variety of berries including strawberries, raspberries, and even gooseberries. With the unusually warm spring we had, the farmer's told us that everything was a bit early this year, but we were lucky enough to catch the end of the strawberries and pick a large number of fresh raspberries. I had never experienced true fresh picked strawberries before and they were by far the best I have ever tasted. The raspberries were pretty amazing too, reminding me of when I used to race down to my parent's raspberry bushes behind our house in hopes of picking the berries before the birds could feast on them. Not only was this a great experience as far as finding fresh, healthy, and local produce, but it was a really fun family activity. It's a great way to get outside and even a really good opportunity to teach your kids a bit about where their food comes from.
Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes
2/3 cup buckwheat (or any other whole grain) pancake mix
2 tsp canola oil
1 cup milk*
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
*I prefer to make whole grain pancakes a little thinner because they tend to burn before the inside is fully cooked, but if you prefer thicker pancakes use a little less milk.
Stir together ingredients until just combined, do not over mix. Grease a griddle or flat-bottomed skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter at a time onto the hot griddle. When the edges of the pancake appear dry and the middle starts to bubble, flip and cook for a few more seconds. This recipe yields about 6 pancakes.
I really like to double or even triple this recipe and make a lot of pancakes because they're great to throw in the freezer and they're healthy and whole grain, so they're a wonderful option for kids or toddlers. Keep in mind that they do contain eggs, so beware of feeding them to little ones under a year if they haven't had egg whites yet due to possible allergic reactions.
Remember, there's still plenty of time to enjoy the fresh fruits of summer and it's way more fun to get out there and pick them yourself!