After we had stemmed, washed, and frozen all of our blueberries into pint-sized bags, we calculated our berry total. We have 58 pints of blueberries! At around $3.00 a pint from the grocery store, that values our haul to around $174.00. That is more than what we spent for our trip. I also now have 8 pints of frozen peaches and a basket of little apples we picked on the property as well. Meals have been humble around here (except for the amazing blueberry recipes, of course!) as we pant for the next paycheck, but wow, was it worth the trip! Aside from the wonderful, luscious blueberries, we had a fun adventure with our dear and generous friends! We've enjoyed blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie, and the above blueberry muffins. One of my favorite ways to snack is to grab a small bowl of frozen blueberries, let them thaw a few minutes, and eat them like candy while they're still a little frozen. I'm convinced that makes the flavor more intense! I've also researched the health benefits of blueberries - the superfood. They are praised from everything from their resveratrol content (reduces blood pressure), to reducing belly fat, improving memory, being high in vitamin C and fiber, as well as other benefits. With all of the blueberries I have been eating, I should be wearing a cape and fighting crime by now! Scroll below for our blueberry freezing process and a moist, delicious recipe for lemon blueberry muffins!
Big sister, Hayden, peels the peaches we blanched for freezing as well.
These are ready for the freezer.
After freezing about seven hours, the marble-like blueberries easily loosened from the casserole dish. If they are not hard enough, the Food Saver will squish them!
I measured two cups (1 pint) into each pre-made, dated and labeled Food Saver bag.
Ready for the freezer!
The peaches were blanched, peeled, pitted, and chopped. I measured two cups into several empty Cool-Whip containers (yep, we have way too many of those too) and froze them. After they were frozen, I flipped the container over and rinsed the bottom until the container released the block and then sealed them in Food Saver bags. I also freeze my pumpkin puree this way.
Lemon Blueberry Muffins (makes 12)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tspn. baking powder
1 tspn. baking soda
1/2 tspn. salt
1 container (8 oz.) lemon yogurt (about a cup) * Most containers of yogurt are about five ounces. I ended up using lemon-flavored Greek style yogurt because it was larger (6 oz.), and it was too hard to find a regular lemon yogurt that didn't have artificial sweetener. If artificial sweeteners don't bother you, you can use the "light" yogurt.
1/4 cup salted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 tspn. vanilla
2 cups fresh or thawed, drained frozen blueberries
*I added 1/2 cup of milk because the batter seemed too thick. You want it to look a little thicker than pancake batter. I also sprinkled the finished muffins with powdered sugar after they cooled. The recipe actually states to sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar before you bake them. Choose whichever method you prefer!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease twelve muffin cups.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, stir together yogurt, melted butter, egg, lemon peel, and vanilla until blended (I used a mixer). Make a well in center of dry ingredients, add yogurt mixture and stir just to combine. Evaluate and decide if you need to add a little milk. Carefully stir in blueberries.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with granulated sugar (unless you prefer to use powdered sugar when they cool). Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Remove muffin tin or tins to wire rack (I just set them on hot pads on the counter). Cool five minutes before removing muffins from cups. I ran a sharp, smooth knife around the edges first. Serve warm or cool completely and store in air tight container at room temperature (if they last that long!). These muffins freeze well.
Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food....."-Genesis 1:29