High bush blueberry season has gone by. Peach season is flourishing and now our wild blueberries are turning up on most of the northern routes. We are simply wild about Maine wild blueberries. There's something so special about these gorgeous berries that clearly sets them apart from any other crop. Add to that their status as nature's number one antioxidant, their incredible nutritional value, and their ability to help in the prevention of cancer. Pretty impressive yes? But for us, even moreso, is the fact that 90 percent of the wild blueberry crops harvested each year in the USA comes from our home state of Maine. And because our wild blueberries have become so popular, this adds up to approximately 30 million pounds of blueberries a year. Even more impressive!
Wild blueberries aren't planted as high bush berries. Rather, the fields and barrens where they thrive here in our pinetree state, are carefully managed to encourage the plants to grow in a healthy sustainable fashion. Many suggest that our acidic soil and harsh winters that prevail here in Maine, where the land is wild and generally inaccessible, where the winter temperatures can dip down as low as -30 and the ground too acidic for most plants to thrive, all may be part of the reason that they are so rich in the natural chemicals that provide the health benefits associated with the fruit. Wild blueberries aren't farmed in the traditional way, the bushes simply grow where nature takes them -- and up north they are even still picked in a traditional way as well, by hand. Whatever the reason is, we think they are simply the berries!
Last week we went up to Machias and Blue Hill area of Maine and then down to Booth Bay Harbor, ending up in Pemaquid Point. You can always tell it's August in our neck of the woods -- you can smell the berries in the air. Blueberry farms galore! Along the roadsides you'll find literally hundreds of vendors selling fresh berries. We stopped by one and I picked up a bushel basket to freeze for winter baking along with morning cereals. The nicest thing about these delicious morsels is that wild blueberries, as opposed to highbush berries never lose any of their punch. All that healthy goodness remains in the berries as though you were eating freshly picked.
So the next time you are pouring your morning cereal into a bowl, be sure to add a handful of our naturally healthy and so so scrumptious wild blueberries. Or add some to your favorite blueberry cobbler. Here's a family recipe that's been around longer than I can recall -- my Grandma's Wild Blueberry Cobbler.
Grandma's Wild Blueberry Cobbler
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
Stir in 1/2 cup whole milk
2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups wild blueberries -- washed & drained
sugar, cinnamon powder, flour
Gently mix with egg mixture. Set aside 1/3 batter to use as topping. Spread the batter into a greased and floured 9 inch square baking dish. Fold in 2 cups washed & drained wild blueberries that have been tossed with sugar, cinnamon and 2 TBLS of flour. Dot blueberry layer with four pads of butter and scoop remaining reserved batter in pieces and sprinkle the top. Dust the top with 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon. Bake cobbler 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven until browned on top and blueberries just beginning to burst open. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. Enjoy!