The good folks from the British Columbia Blueberry Council recently stopped by the Chatelaine Kitchen to talk blueberries and did we ever learn a lot about these fresh and delicious little nutrient bombs.
For instance, did you know that blueberries rank number one in antioxidant health benefits when compared to more than 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables? Or that the silvery sheen (or “bloom”) found on the skin of blueberries is a naturally occurring compound that helps protect the fruit — that’s why you should only wash blueberries right before you eat them. Who knew?! (By the way, fresh, unwashed blueberries should be stored covered in the refrigerator and will keep up to 10 days. That much I knew.)
The 2011 yield of B.C. blueberries came in at over 95 million pounds, making B.C. the largest highbush blueberry-growing region in the world. (The British Columbia Blueberry Council represents over 800 local blueberry growers.) This year’s crop is set to rival last year’s and will be available fresh in stores across Canada until mid-October (after which, look for them frozen or dried).
What to do with all of these lovely, plump and juicy, seasonal B.C. blueberries?
Well, you can click this link for loads of recipes and ideas, including the delicious breakfast recipe below. Or, whip up some of Chatelaine’s great takes on the blueberry, including:
B.C. blueberry and bacon breakfast bake
5 cups French bread (6-8 thick slices) cut in 1.5” square cubes
4 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup half & half 10% cream
½ cup maple syrup
¾ cup butter, melted
1½ cups B.C. blueberries — fresh or frozen
1½ cups bacon (15-20 slices)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F/ 175°C.
2. Butter a non-stick 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
3. Cut stale bread into 1.5 inch cubes and set aside. (To make your own stale bread, cube fresh bread and bake in oven at 150°F/65°C for 30-60 minutes until dry.)
4. Fry slices of bacon in a pan, let cool and cut into ¾ inch pieces.
5. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, cream, butter and maple syrup.
6. Soak the cubed stale bread in the egg mixture for 10-20 minutes until bread absorbs the egg mixture. Fold in the bacon and blueberries.
7. Pour into the buttered baking pan.
8. Bake for 50-65 minutes until bubbling and golden brown, and serve with an extra drizzle of maple syrup.