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blueberry

Cardamom Coconut Ice Cream with Blueberries

Cardamom Coconut Ice Cream with Blueberries

Ice cream – it’s a universal pleaser. This recipe especially because it’s dairy-free and tastes so ridiculously delicious you’ll want to celebrate with seconds. And your body won’t totally yell at you for doing so.

Cardamom Coconut Ice Cream with Blueberries

My roommate and I spent a good 30-minutes on the couch over the weekend brainstorming on what to make for the 4th of July. We wanted to celebrate, and I wanted to blog about. Another typical Saturday.

Her: “Cheesecake?” Me: “Because that’s totally fitting for my blog…”

Her: “Champagne and pie for later on the roof.” Me: “Perfect, obviously.” Both of us: “Too much work.”

Me: “Ice cream?” Her: “Roasted Strawberry?” Me: “Can we make it vegan.” Both of us: “FIREWORKS!”

As I said, ice cream – the perfect pleaser – especially when it’s coconut and able to be shared with all. Boom.

Summer Berries

This vegan version of ice cream gets its creaminess from coconut milk with an extra boost of flavor from cardamom. Together, it has an Indian-kind of vibe going on, which pairs phenomenally well with blueberries. Don’t skip them from this equation, as they’ll really complete your bowl.

Plus, I don’t know where you live, but where I am, it’s full-fledged blueberry season. Again, cue those fireworks in the air.

Cardamom Coconut Ice Cream with Blueberries

For best flavor and creaminess, allow your ice cream to sit for at least 5 minutes at room temperature prior to eating once you remove it from the freezer.

P.S. My roommate and I got a little carried away and made not just one, but TWO coconut ice creams. Check out the 2nd recipe here: Roasted Strawberry & Fennel Coconut Ice Cream.

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Blueberry Strawberry Crisp

Blueberry Strawberry Crisp

I said on FoodFitnessFreshAir’s Facebook page that I’m taking a little break from recipe development. When summer’s showering the garden in red, all I want to eat are tomato sandwiches. Nothing fancy. A little mayo, salt and pepper, maybe some lettuce and/or basil. A fresh garden salad thrown on the side, and I’ve found food heaven, within just the 10 minutes it takes to slice, toast and take a first bite.

As Katie from Eclectik Domestic pointed out, this could mean I may never return to developing recipes…Because really, who ever gets sick of tomato sandwiches in the summer? Not this girl. Good thing there are multiple meals in the day. Rest assured, eventually I’ll save the no-cook meals for lunch and start churning out new creations again.

In the meantime, my mom’s holding me over with this killer Blueberry Strawberry Crisp she whipped up for my birthday last week. (Yes, I turned the ripe age of 23! Whatever that means.)

My sister’s been getting into the cake business, making these elaborate trillion-layer cakes at any opportunity she can get. When I turned down her offer to create one for my birthday, she was slightly crushed. It’s not that I don’t love my sister’s dreamy, mousse-filled, icing deco cakes, because I do. But when summer hits, I want seasonal fruit with a chill side of straight up vanilla ice cream. My mom fulfilled that, and then some, with this crisp.

You’ll find that blueberries make up the bulk of the filling, letting just a few, slightly more tart strawberries sweep in to balance out their sweetness. I know strawberries are on their way out, so feel free to use nectarines, peaches or any other suitable, seasonal partner in crime. My mom had some strawberries frozen from an earlier, orchard-picking trip, so that’s what went into this particular pie pan.

Birthday or not, this is a real summer celebration. As are tomato sandwiches. Pair the two together, and you’ll create the picnic party of the year. For real.

Maple Tahini Blueberry Oatmeal

Maple Tahini Blueberry Oatmeal

My summer job used to entail picking blueberries for two hours nearly every morning. What a life, right? I’d stash my iPod in my back pocket, and start plucking away, eating part of my harvest along the way. Looking back at it, I should’ve stashed a spoon and some yogurt in my back pocket, too.

My school’s-out-for-the-summer days are over, meaning my farm girl days are too — for the time being at least. But my blueberry-picking days are not. Every summer, I make sure to take a drive out to the countryside at least once and hit up the local orchards with my mom. This year’s excursion went to strawberries. With red-stained hands and not a care in the world, these are the summer moments I cherish.

An outing to the blueberry bushes still awaits. However, I did manage to snatch up an already picked quart from a farmer’s market near Philly last weekend. I’m convinced, nothing beats fresh blueberries in the summer. At least in the fruit world. (Although, watermelon takes a close second.)

Blueberries

My love for the fruit makes itself present in my kitchen, often warranting a dial on of the oven even amongst the hottest of July days. Blueberry buckle is by far worth the heat. With one bite (and many more to come), there’s just no arguing that.

However, more often than not, desserts and pastries get bypassed and the blue gems are put to use for breakfast. Blueberry oatmeal is my longtime summer staple, carrying me through mornings since 2001.

As a kid, I was always a sucker for blueberry pancakes. While that still rings true today, you’ll find oatmeal far more often on my breakfast table than flapjacks. This particular bowl of oats creates a a healthier, but equally as tasty rendition of a favorite childhood breakfast. Jazzed up with a simple maple-tahini sauce, there’s little to be missed.

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Growing up, I would equate jumping out of bed for blueberry pancakes as exciting as grabbing an ice cream cone after soccer practice. It was a rare (though more frequent than ice cream) occasion, usually confined to the summertime. Usually these were mornings just after hot afternoons spent picking (and gorging on) blueberries with mom—the afternoons that led to the mornings I can still vividly remember today.

Though I’m out on my own now and could make them whenever I please, pancakes still feel like a luxurious and special occasion. In my kitchen, summer is still the only time they’re generally found on the griddle because for me, like corn and watermelon, pancakes have a season of their own. Blueberry has always been my favorite kind, and summer’s the only time of year that the berries are fresh enough for a touch of maple syrup to be added for its flavor, not sweetness.

I whipped up this particular recipe for dinner. Talk about luxury. I love breakfast for dinner but for some reason seldom put that idea into action. So when I do, it feels like a novelty. With peaches and walnuts on hand, I can say it truly was.

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Blueberry Banana Overnight Oats

Growing up, my mom was always try to create new ways to fix our oatmeal for breakfast.  Simple salt and pepper, peanut butter and banana, soy milk and maple syrup, ground nuts, and the other countless combinations she’d try out on my brother and I were all her endeavors to keep us eating a healthy breakfast.  Never a fan of starting off our day with sugar, Fruit Loops (my favorite junk cereal as a kid) was almost always out of the question.  On the rare occasion, my mom would let my brother and I wander the cereal aisle and actually pick out what we wanted. She’d treat us with mini cereal boxes for camping trips or some other special outing. On an everyday basis, however, it was some kind of oatmeal concoction going into the breakfast bowl.  Luckily, she was a particularly talented oatmeal lady. Switching it up frequently, I was often fooled into thinking I was eating something new on a regular basis.

One of my favorite ingredient combos. that she came up with was blueberry oatmeal.  She’d start the oatmeal and then a few minutes before it was finished, throw in a large handful of blueberries. She’d continue to cook just until the blues began to burst.  The oatmeal was always finished off with a spoonful of sesame tahini and a drizzle of quality maple syrup. The result:  A  heavenly bowl of oatmeal that resembled blueberry pancakes. Pancakes, of course, were an item I would’ve eaten nearly every day for breakfast.

As I grow older, I’m filling in for my mom and creating my own ways to eat my morning oats.  While my mom could eat and enjoy a bowl nearly every morning, it takes a little more motivation for me to crave oatmeal on a consistent basis.  However, lately I’ve been eating overnight oats on the reg. and find I still look forward to them each morning they await my spoon.  Below is my latest O-Oats creation, inspired by my mom’s timeless blueberry oatmeal.  I’ve created a cold, summery variation that’s prepared the night before, perfect for those morning’s when you’re in a rush.  Make sure to use a ripe banana, which surprisingly eliminates a need for any extra sugar…that’s certainly Mom approved.

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