July is National Blueberry Month!

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Monroe

July marks national blueberry month. Blueberries have been one of my favorite fruits since I was a young boy. I think my first experience with blueberries was actually a Hostess brand pie, which at the time I thought was the bee’s knees, but now I’ve come to prefer a less manufactured form of blueberry enjoyment.

Blueberries are actually one of the few fruits native to North America. Commercially offered blueberries are usually from species that naturally occur only in eastern and north-central North America. In commercial blueberry production, smaller species are known as “lowbush blueberries” (synonymous with “wild”), and the larger species are known as “highbush blueberries”. Maine produces 25% of all lowbush blueberries in North America. Michigan is the leader in highbush production. In 1998, Michigan farms produced about 250,000 tons of blueberries, accounting for approximately 32% of those eaten in the United States. That is a heck of a lot of blueberries.

Centuries ago, Native Americans knew that blueberries were good for treating stomach problems, but they were limited to eating wild blueberries. Researchers have found blueberries to be higher in antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable tested. By combating free-radicals in our bodies, antioxidants help protect against cancer and delay the aging process. But that’s not all, there’s evidence that blueberries can reduce urinary tract infections and protect against heart disease, too. One study even found that fighter pilots who were given regular doses of blueberries had significantly improved night vision. I think I need to increase my blueberry intake!

I’m giving you a recipe that is one of my favorite for using blueberries but I highly recommend that you experiment with this delicious and good for you fruit, which happens to be a major agricultural commodity of Michigan.

MediLodge of Monroe

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Cobbler

Yield: 4 Servings

 

Ingredients:

• 2 Cups Blueberries

• 2 Tbsp. white sugar

• 2 Tbsp brown sugar

• Pinch ground cinnamon

• dash of ground nutmeg

• 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch

• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 2 Tbsp white sugar

• 2 Tbsp brown sugar

• 1/2 tsp. baking powder

• pinch salt

• 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

• 1 Tbsp. boiling water

 

Mix Together:

• 3/4 tablespoons white sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Directions

1. Preheat convection oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine fruit, 1st white sugar, 1st brown sugar, 1st cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 2nd white sugar, 2nd brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

4. Remove fruit from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.

 

For more information on locations and services, visit the MediLodge website.  Find us on Facebook for up-to-date pictures or watch our YouTube channel for videos of events and activities.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

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