Blueberry-Red Wine Sauce for Crepes and More

There’s no easier way to make your breakfast game fancier than by whipping up a sweet sauce for pancakes, crepes, or scones. Using freshly picked blueberries (or frozen blueberries you picked yourself during warmer months!) makes your breakfast even more special.

Blueberry-Red Wine Sauce

This blueberry sauce employs red wine to provide a slightly acidic undertone, while cardamom adds a spicy note. It only takes a few minutes to come together, so you can keep watch over it while you’re flipping pancakes or crepes. I like to serve it with the crepe recipe from The Urban Vegan, but any neutral pancake, crepe, or scone recipe will benefit with a spoonful of this sauce! Serve it with a dollop of coconut whipped cream for an extra-indulgent treat.

Blueberry-Red Wine Sauce
Serves 3 or 4

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine (Malbec or Merlot work well!)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

In a small pot, whisk together the wine, water, cornstarch, vanilla, and cardamom until the cornstarch is mostly dissolved. Turn the stove to medium and add the sugar and blueberries to the pot. Heat the sauce, stirring frequently, until it begins to bubble, then turn the heat down to low. (If you’re using frozen blueberries, make sure they’ve thawed through before turning down the heat.) Simmer for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve immediately.

Blueberry-Red Wine Sauce

Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream

A confession: I had an ulterior motive for making the granola I shared yesterday. I wasn’t lying when I said I’d been dreaming of it for weeks, but there was another incentive: ice cream.

 

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Oh yes.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to use some of my credit card points to purchase an ice cream maker. I’d been waffling about the purchase for a while, trying to decide whether it would utterly annihilate any aspirations of minimalism I had. I mean, it’s a small appliance with a single purpose! (Fine, three purposes if you count making sorbet and frozen yogurt separately!) It’s another THING I’d own and have to make space for and cart around with me when I move! How could I justify it?!

But then I realized I was trapped myself in a self-imposed definition of minimalism. My minimalism can be whatever I want it to be, as long as it works for me. Maybe it’s a cop-out, but I don’t want to feel restricted by my lifestyle. I also realized that whatever teensy amount of anxiety I might feel about owning another THING would be wholly trumped by the sheer joy I’d experience from being able to make my own delicious vegan ice cream. This freaking ice cream maker is not just going to make ice cream—it’s going to make me happy. It sounds materialistic, but c’mon—doesn’t a sweet frozen treat just make you wanna smile?

So now I own an ice cream maker. :) Its inaugural batch was this Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream recipe I stumbled upon recently. Coincidentally, Shannon over at Killer Bunnies, Inc. also made this ice cream for MoFo! Her theme is straight-up ice cream, so I’ve been getting inspiration for future frozen treat-making from her posts.

Oh, and the ice cream itself? Yeah, it’s about as good as it looks. It’s not terribly creamy, but it compensates with a medley of flavors and textures that make every spoonful taste a little different.

I think I’m gonna like owning an ice cream maker.

 

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Do you own an ice cream maker or similar one-purpose appliance? How do you feel about it? What’s your favorite vegan ice cream flavor?

Blueberry Pecan Granola

You know what’s surprisingly difficult to find at my local grocery stores? Quality vegan granola. They’re all too sugary or use honey or include milk chocolate. And the good ones are damn expensive! Yuck. Happily, it’s pretty easy to work up a batch of homemade, inexpensive granola to your taste; the most challenging part is deciding on which add-ins to include!

I’ve wanted to use my beloved dried wild blueberries in granola since I first conceived of my MoFo theme. This weekend, I finally did it! I created a blueberry granola lightly kissed with maple syrup and cinnamon and full of nutty crunch. It’s absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself. ;)

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Blueberry-Pecan Granola

Makes 2 1/2 cups, give or take

  • 2 C rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)
  • 1/4 C ground flaxseed
  • Heaping 1/3 C raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 C chopped pecans
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • A few dashes nutmeg
  • 1/4 C + 1 T melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 C + 1 T pure maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • Heaping 1/3 C dried wild blueberries

Preheat oven to 350˚ and line a flat baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flax, pecans, sunflower seeds, and spices. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. (Warning: The resulting liquid will smell like heaven in a bowl. Resist the urge to go at it with a spoon!)

Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir to coat. Pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and add the dried blueberries, stirring to combine. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the oats are golden. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

(Full disclosure: I originally made this with just 1/4 C coconut oil, but it didn’t create as many granola clumps as I wanted. So I’m increasing the measurement by an additional tablespoon—if you try it, let me know how it works out!)

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Check back in tomorrow to see how I used this granola—it’s gonna be good!

What’s your favorite kind of granola? How do you eat it?

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.

Blueberry Spelt Muffins

It was only a matter of time until this day arrived. With a theme that heavily focuses on berries, there just had to be at least one muffin recipe, right? Blueberry muffins are the classic choice, and, well, I’m a sucker for the classics.

The bakery-style muffins from Vegan Brunch were my go-to muffins of choice for a while, but they don’t offer much in the way of nutrition, and they’re awfully sugary. Not that these muffins are much better! They’re certainly not what I would call particularly healthy or wholesome (though spelt and flax certainly don’t hurt), but hey—they taste damn good. And that’s what I want out of my classics.

 

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Blueberry Spelt Muffins
(makes eight normal-sized muffins)

1 T ground flax + 3 T warm water
¾ C unbleached all-purpose flour
½ C spelt flour
½ T baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Scant ½ C sugar
½ C non-dairy milk
Scant ¼ C vegetable or sunflower seed oil
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Heaping ¾ C blueberries

Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Grease or line a muffin tin.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flax and water and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients (flour through sugar) and stir to combine. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Stir gently to combine, but don’t overmix. Fold in the blueberries.

Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, nearly filling the wells. Bake for 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

What’s your favorite blueberry muffin recipe

MoFo Monday: Erdbeerboden(ish) from Seitan is My Motor

Okay, I know my title is a bit nonsensical—every Monday during MoFo is a MoFo Monday. I’m referring to a new sub-theme I’ve recently (i.e. today) implemented: on Mondays, I will venture into the wider world of MoFo and make a recipe that 1.) still qualifies for my theme of seasonal fruits, but 2.) is another MoFoer’s recipe. There are so many wonderful blogs participating this year, and I’ve been Pinning up a storm as I see recipes that inspire me.

This year, I’ve been absolutely loving Mihl’s theme over at Seitan is My Motor. Mihl’s blog was one of the first ones I started following when I began toying with veganism, and I’ve been a fan ever since. This year, she’s veganizing classic German desserts, and her treats are just so enticing. When I saw her recipe for Erdbeerboden, a strawberry spongecake, I was smitten. I just adored the idea of a light spongecake that lets fruit stand front and center.

Because strawberries aren’t in season around here (sadface!) I swapped in blueberries instead. So this is not a true Erdbeerboden, I suppose! But no matter. It’s still delicious, even though I had to make another last-minute substitute when I realized I was out of agar-agar. Cornstarch saved the day, even though agar would certainly have been a more elegant solution; my cornstarch mixture was a little… thick. On the bright side, I had the perfect pan to make this in, even though I thought I’d gotten rid of it before moving to Maryland. I’m glad my minimalism hasn’t taken full hold yet. ;)

 

Isn’t it pretty? It’s light and just sweet enough. The blueberries made a lovely topping, too—I fully endorse the substitution, and the recipe as a whole. Thanks, Mihl!

What’s your favorite recipe using spongecake?

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Live from Maryland, it’s Saturday morning!

There’s nothing quite like the exhilaration of waking up, making something for breakfast, and crossing your fingers and toes that it turns out well because you still need something to blog about that very day. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. Ahem.

Happily, this particular breakfast is well-worth a post. I’ve always thought baked oatmeal was, quite literally, oatmeal you make on the stove and then pop in the oven for… some unknown reason. To firm up? To enhance the oat-y flavor? I had no idea. Turns out, you do the actual oatmeal-cooking right in the oven! And it makes a dish more akin to a casserole than a traditional oatmeal! Amazing. Who knew?!

My baked oatmeal is based on this one from Epicurious and this one from the fabulous Ricki Heller. I love Ricki’s idea of whizzing up the ingredients to make a baked oatmeal “pudding,” and I’ll definitely try that method next time. Meanwhile, though, I’ll be enjoying this blueberry-laden breakfast—and I hope you do, too.

 

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Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Serves four

  • Coconut oil or Earth Balance for buttering the pan
  • 2 C rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)
  • ½ C chopped walnuts, divided into two ¼ C portions
  • Scant ⅓ C brown sugar
  • ¼ C dried wild blueberries (optional)
  • 1 ½ t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • Very scant ½ t salt
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 2 C non-dairy milk
  • 2 T ground flax
  • ⅓ C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 C fresh or frozen blueberries (use more if omitting wild blueberries)

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Spread the coconut oil or Earth Balance around the inside of an 8”x8” square baking dish, making sure to cover all sides.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (rolled oats through nutmeg, including ¼ C of  the walnuts) and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, add the wet ingredients (not including the blueberries) and whisk to combine.

Add the oat mixture to the baking dish, then pour the milk mixture over the top. Use a flat spoon or spatula to push the milk down into the oats so that they’re covered. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts (¼ C) and blueberries (fresh or frozen) over the top, pushing down a little to gently fold them into the oats.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the milk doesn’t look liquid-y on top of the oats. If you’re feeling decadent, sprinkle additional brown sugar or drizzle additional maple syrup over the top before serving.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.

Blueberry-Infused Vodka, aka My First MoFo Fail

Oh dear. We’re only three days into MoFo and I’ve already experienced my first fail. I had such high hopes, too. A few weeks ago, I made a basil-infused vodka that turned out really well—after just a week of infusing, the vodka was super flavorful. High on my success, I put some of my frozen blueberries into another glass jar of vodka and eagerly watched as the liquid turned a surprising and stunning shade of ultraviolet. Yesterday, I made myself a drink with the infusion, a simple concoction of simple syrup, the blueberry vodka, and club soda. I imagined a light, fruity, fizzy spritzer, perfect for the 90˚F Labor Day holiday. It certainly looked the part.

blueberry-infused-vodka_9655919519_oAlas! Like a vapid pop star*, its looks were really all this drink had going for it. It was dull and tasted mostly of the club soda, with no discernible blueberry taste at all. Crushed and not wanting to waste the vodka I’d already infused, I went back to the drawing board. I muddled another handful of blueberries in a mortar and pestle, then added some sugar and let them stew in their juices for a half hour or so. Then I added that liquidy mess back into the vodka and put it all back on the shelf to infuse some more. Here’s hoping that next week, I’ll taste the infusion and come back triumphant, with a post about my success. If you don’t hear anything, assume the worst.

Have you ever made an infused alcohol? If so, what’s the secret?!

* That was a cheap shot; I know a total of zero pop stars and shouldn’t disparage the ones I don’t know personally.

Blueberry-Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Welcome to VeganMoFo 2013! This year, I’m focusing on seasonal fruits–basically, any fruit that’s in season in Maryland in September. My first recipe is a bit of a cheat, though. I used dried wild blueberries instead of fresh, but you can substitute fresh wild blueberries if you like.

It’s amusing that slapping the word “breakfast” in front of any kind of baked good automatically lends it an air of healthiness. A cake is usually a sugary treat one consumes at a celebration, but call it a “breakfast cake” and you’ve got the green light to go to town on it at 10:00 in the morning.

Same thing goes for these cookies. A big ol’ scoop of rolled oats, a couple tablespoons of flax, and blueberries + banana make these puffy cookies A-okay for a quick on-the-go breakfast option.

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So on this first day of VeganMoFo 2013, why don’t you bake up a big ol’ batch of oatmeal cookies, brew a pot of coffee, and call it breakfast? It’s Sunday. You deserve it.

Blueberry-Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Makes 13

  • 2 T ground flaxseed + 6 TB warm water
  • 1 C unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • Scant ½ t salt
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1 medium-sized very ripe banana
  • 2 T coconut oil, softened or melted
  • ½ C dark brown sugar
  • ⅔ C nondairy milk of choice
  • 1 ½ C rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)
  • Heaping ⅓ C dried wild blueberries
  • ⅓ C walnut pieces (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside. (You could also use parchment paper.)

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the ground flax and warm water and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients except the oats, blueberries, and nuts.

Add the banana to the bowl with the flax mixture and mash it well. The flax and banana mixture should be thick and goopy.  Add the oil, sugar, and milk to the wet mixture and stir well to combine.

Make a well in the bowl with the dry ingredients and add the wet to the dry. Stir to combine, then fold in the oats, blueberries, and walnuts if you’re using them. The dough should be thick and a little sticky. Drop heaping, rounded spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven.

PIN IT

Blueberry oatmeal breakfast cookies // vegan //govegga.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.

Rhapsody in Blue: my love affair with blueberries

Happy Sunday, folks!

Guess what? It’s time to solve some math problems! Yep, you heard that right – Kelly the English major is breakin’ it down elementary school style for some word problems. So, in honor of my impending registration for the GRE (gag), I’d like to present a couple of math problems to you.

Question: If Kelly has 13 lbs. of handpicked local blueberries, how many bags does it take to hold them all?


Answer: 3 big ol’ bags!

Question: If Kelly has a boatload of blueberries and a copy of Vegan Brunch she won in a Twitter contest by the fabulous folks at Da Capo Cooking, what happens when she combines the two?


Answer: Bakery-Style Berry Muffins, of course! I like to make big, fluffy muffins to make ’em seem even more bakery-esque, and this recipe yields 10 good-sized muffins. My mom loves when I make these; she constantly compliments my baking in a blatant attempt to flatter me into making more. And honestly, I’m happy to oblige when the results are so yummy.

Question:If Kelly’s in the mood for something a little healthier than oil-rich muffins and and still has bundles of blueberries, what can she make?


Answer: What else but Susan‘s Blueberry-Oat Bars? I’ll admit, my version doesn’t look nearly as presentable or as scrumptious as Susan’s, but hey, I never claimed to be a fat-free kitchen goddess! And at least they tasted good, right? Next time I’ll be a better judge of my batter and distribute it more evenly between top and bottom.

Question: If Kelly’s getting a little tired of baked goods and is curious about exploring new flavor combinations, how can she use corn and blueberries together to create something delicious?


Answer: She can make the Cornbread Waffles from Vegan Brunch and top them off with a sweet blueberry sauce! I’ll admit that these waffles didn’t turn out as fabulous as I’d expected, but I think that’s because I used very coarse cornmeal. I froze the leftover waffles and LOVE popping one in the toaster and munching on it as a handheld brekkie snack.

Bonus question: If Kelly’s family is hungry for blueberry-laden baked goods and Kelly wants to mix up the flavor profile in her blueberry muffins, what can she use?


Answer: Orange juice! She can make delicious Blueberry Orange Muffins from Have Cake, Will Travel. Although I cheated and didn’t use fresh orange juice, these muffins were still quite tasty. I used a mix of white and whole wheat flour instead of the whole wheat pastry flour called for in the recipe, and it worked out just fine.

And the easiest problem of all – if Kelly has 13 lbs. of handpicked local blueberries and just wants to have a delicious, simple, snack, what must she add to her blueberries to enjoy them? Answer – absolutely NOTHING. A bowl of fresh berries has got to be one of the greatest pleasures on earth.

I knew blue was my favorite color for a reason. Blueberries are the quintessential summer fruit for me. I love spending a couple of hours at the local U-pick farm with my mom and sister, feeling the hot sun on my arms and letting my mind wander as I scour the already picked-over bushes for hidden troves of berries. I love coming home with heavy bags bursting with the tiny blue orbs and going on a baking frenzy for a few days before calming down and freezing the unused berries in the hopes that they’ll last through the winter. In short, I love blueberries.

But, for the love of seitan, please don’t call blueberries “bloobs.” My mind works in strange ways and “bloobs” conjures up images the descriptions of which I will spare you. Just trust me on this one. ;)