Blueberry season is finishing up here in Minnesota. The season normally lasts about three weeks in July. My daughter and I decided to visit a local farm in Champlin, Minnesota, Bauer Berry Farm, to pick our own blueberries. The farm’s website stated that this year was a great crop, we discovered this to be true. We picked for about 30 minutes, and we each had about 2-1/2 pounds of blueberries. We only picked from about five bushes! We gathered our berries, proceeded to have them weighed, and paid for our bounty. Now what to do with all these nutrient dense blueberries? Blueberries are ranked number one in antioxidant activity. These antioxidants can help fight aging, cancer, and heart disease. Some studies have suggested that consuming blueberries can also improve your memory. They have phytonutrients that function to combat inflammation, also. So much is packed into such a tiny berry!
We enjoyed some of the berries fresh because they are just that good. Two cups of the berries were frozen for later use. Did you know that blueberries maintain most of their antioxidant content even when frozen? The berries should be spread on a cookie sheet, and put in the freezer. Once frozen they can be put into storage containers and remain in the freezer for a few months. Blueberries can be stored unwashed in a closed container for a few days in the refrigerator. The remaining berries spent a few days in the fridge till I found a use for them. Well, most of them stayed there, a few may have disappeared when a quick snack was needed!
Another bountiful crop enjoyed much of the summer is zucchini (summer squash). As anyone knows who has grown zucchini, one plant can produce A LOT of produce. One of my sister in-laws has a large garden and she asked me if I would like some zucchini. Since I don’t usually say no to fresh grown produce, I said yes. I came home to a lovely bag of beautiful zucchini left at my front door. What great service! This week we have enjoyed fresh zucchini on our salads and freshly sliced.
Zucchini is an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of vitamin C, and has a great combination of antioxidant nutrients. Some of these antioxidants are especially helpful for protection of the eyes, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Remember to eat the seeds and skin as this is where many of the nutrients are found. Like blueberries, zucchini can provide protection against unwanted inflammation.
Whole zucchini should be stored in air-tight containers in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
With an abundance of these two foods, I decided to bring them together in one recipe-Blueberry Zucchini Bread. This is a gluten-free bread using coconut flour instead of wheat flour. The list of ingredients include shredded zucchini, eggs, maple syrup, ripe banana, coconut oil, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple-cider vinegar, walnuts, and blueberries.
Prepare your loaf pan by coating it with coconut oil. I mainly use glass (Pyrex being my favorite) for my baking to limit the amount of toxins leached in to our food.
The zucchini will need to be shredded and the water squeezed out. You can use a milk bag, cheese cloth, or paper towel to do this. Squeeze out as much of the water as possible.
Next I mixed the egg, maple syrup, coconut oil, and mashed banana till relatively smooth in my stand mixer.
Add the dry ingredients and blend. Once blended, add the zucchini and blend again. Add the apple-cider vinegar and blend till smooth. The nuts can be folded in to the batter at this time then gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. The bread will bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on your oven and pan size. Begin checking at about 40 minutes to see if the bread is done by inserting a knife or toothpick in to the center. The bread is done when the knife or toothpick comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and place on a wire rack to continue to cool.
The bread can be enjoyed plain or with some organic butter, yum! This bread is super moist and not overly sweet.
Do you have a recipe that you might try adding one or both of these ingredients to? Do you have a recipe that combines two unlikely items? How did it turn out?
Regarding Re-using Images and Credits
I put a lot of effort into every single recipe and blog post, as well as my photos (unless otherwise stated), so I would REALLY appreciate it if you would link back to my site if you:
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Please don’t just copy and paste my whole recipe to your website. If you’re going to be just copying and pasting my recipe, you might as well just link back to my original post.