Wild Blueberry Crisp

Become loyal to your innermost truth. Follow the way when all others abandon it. Walk the path of your own heart.
— Unknown

I made this crisp a few days ago, with the blueberries leftover from last year's late harvest. If you want to see exactly where my berries came from see this post from last year, and this one from last week. There's some gorgeous Alaskan photos!

I'm not at all ashamed to admit that I ate half this pan of crisp the day I made it, and the other half the next day. This is why I don't post a lot of dessert recipes on the blog, in case you ever wondered. Dreams of this crisp still fill my head at night.

Produce On Parade - Wild Blueberry Crisp

I'm staunchly anti-cobbler. Not sure why, really. You know how sometimes you just plain and simple don't like something when you know you should but you just don't. It's like that. I'm the same way with root beer floats and donuts. Every few years I will try a root beer float to see if I'll like it. Nope. Still hatin' on them for 20 straight years. Crisp is far superior to cobbler in every way. 

However, crisp can be a very fastidious and personal dessert. It might not seem that way with regards to how easy it is to throw to together, I know what you're thinking. But some people like it dry, and some like it soupy and sloppy (like me). Some like it sweet, and some not-so-sweet. I love the tartness of a little lemon juice to cut through the flavors, but others won't have it. It really depends on your preference.

Then there's the ice cream debate. I'm in the no-ice-cream crowd. Ice cream should be consumed all on it's own...in my opinion. 

To make thing worse, berry crisp can have a dramatically different texture if made with frozen berries or non-frozen. A different flavor, if using supermarket berries or wild. Whether the berries are super ripe and sweet, or underripe and tart will influence the taste. And finally, whether or not the berries are juicy will affect the amount of liquid in the crisp. Yep, it can definitely be a roll of the dice sometimes. 

Let's be real for a second though. Blueberries, maple syrup, oats, butter, pecans, and spices all mixed together will never ever be a bad thing, no matter how it turns out. You need this delightful end-of-summer crisp. There's even a little flax thrown in. Vegans are obsessed with flax. 

Produce On Parade - Wild Blueberry Crisp
Produce On Parade - Wild Blueberry Crisp
Produce On Parade - Wild Blueberry Crisp
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Wild Blueberry Crisp
A fresh, wild blueberry crisp with lemon, maple syrup, flax, and pecans. You won't be able to resist it's deliciousness!
Ingredients
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 lb. 4 oz. frozen, wild blueberries (keep frozen)
  • 3 Tbsp. ground flax seed, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole wheat white flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, dry
  • ¼ cup whole pecans
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • dash of freshly ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup chilled vegan butter, rough chopped
Instructions
Spray an 8x8 inch square glass baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray and preheat oven to 375 F.In a large bowl, add the frozen blueberries through and including the vanilla, using 2 Tbsp. of the ground flax. Mix well and spread evenly in the baking dish.In a food processor, add the flour through and including the nutmeg, using the remaining 1 Tbsp. of the ground flax. Pulse a few times to mix. Now, add the butter and pulse several times until it resembles a coarse meal and the butter chunks are no bigger than a pea size. Spread the mixture over the berries evenly.Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. I like to place a baking sheet under the crisp in case it boils over, but it rarely happens. Remove from the oven when the liquid is boiling around the edges and the top is browned.Once done, allow to rest for 10 minutes. This is very important, especially if you’ve got a soupier crisp. In addition, the leftovers will firm up quite a bit. Serve warm.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6
Produce On Parade - Wild Blueberry Crisp
Produce On Parade - Wild Blueberry Crisp

After half a pan of bluberry crisp on a dark and blustery evening, it felt right to just lay in bed and read. #noshame

Produce On Parade

German Word of The Day

Blueberry --> Heidelbeere (Highdel-bearah)

Good Deed of The Day

This is absolutely heartbreaking. Palm oil producers are poisoning pygmy elephants. Help take a stand. Call on the Prime Minister of Malaysia to protect the unique wildlife and stop the further destruction of rainforests, and restore the forest corridors to allow elephants to wander their remaining habitat. As a consumer, vote with your fork. Stop contributing to these monstrosities by refusing to buy products with palm oil. Many peanut butters, butter spreads, and snacking chips along with many other food products contain palm oil. 

What Do Vegans Bring Backpacking?

To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.
— John Muir

John had it right. If you haven't had the profound pleasure of visiting Alaska, come on up already! And when you make it up here, give us a holler, we'll show you around.

Blueberry picking is my favorite thing ever.  Period. I cannot put into words how deeply I yearn to go on our adventures to pluck those juicy, sweet little orbs. It's on par with Christmas. For real. That magical feeling swells and swirls in my heartstrings in anticipation of mid-August when the blueberries are ripe and perfect. I think about it all year long. 

Vegan + Prius = Level 100 Eco-Hippy. 

Vegan + Prius = Level 100 Eco-Hippy. 

We like to pick our berries up at Sheep Mountain, in solitude. It's a vast place that's dominated mostly by four-wheeling hunters (Boo! #sorrynotsorry), but never really see anyone. People aren't generally backpacking where we go. Reason number one, the water situation is less than ideal. I mean, we got water, but we had to bushwhack the same amount of time we actually spent hiking up to our campsite. Reason number two, stupid four-wheeler noises in the distance day and night. Reason number three, it's out of the way. Way out of the way. 

On the plus side, there's lots of berries. The night before, we dehydrated a noodle recipe that I unfortunately wasn't able to document and do a post on. Maybe next week? But, I can give you some insight into what foods vegans bring backpacking. Or, at least the kinds of things that Todd and myself bring. Here's what we brought on this trip. Maybe it will give you some ideas!

  • 2 servings of homemade, dehydrated Teriyaki Pasta
  • 1 bag of falafel chips
  • 1 tub of hummus
  • 4 Prime Meatless Jerky strips
  • 2 Nutz over Chocolate Luna Bars
  • 2 Fruit Leathers
  • 1/2 Endangered Species dark chocolate bar
  • 1 box of Hot Tamale candies
  • 2 servings of homemade oatmeal packets
  • fresh blueberries picked for our oatmeal
  • 2 Starbucks Via coffee packets
  • 1 single serving Silk Very Vanilla soy milk
  • 1 single serving almond milk caramel latte
  • water
  • small concentrated Crystal Light bottle (in case you filter some funky tasting water, it happens)
  • snacks for the road trip up included Annie's Chocolate Bunny Grahams, Original Sun Chips, Gatorade, Monster Energy Drinks (don't judge), and Justin's dark peanut butter cups.

Our backpacking adventures may or may not also kind of be a junk food adventure as well. We don't eat a lot of processed foods at home and so when backpacking, we tend to go a bit crazy.

It can be heavy and cumbersome to bring fresh fruits and veggies, ensuring that they are properly prepared and packaged so they don't get damaged. I did try to bring some fresh foods. Okay, so I bought some apples...that we left at home....

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In case you're wondering, yep, Bob has his own pack. It's the best thing ever. Also, please don't judge me based on this photo. I am just now realizing how absurd I look.

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I know you're not supposed to cook next to your tent (I did work at REI afterall), but it was super windy we we got to the top and at that very spot on the right of the tent, was the only place of calmness. 

Regrettably, we were a bit early on the bluebs. Next week they'll be perfect. I only picked a small amount, until I finally felt bad and quit. Some bushes had ripe berries, a few were totally green, but most were somewhere in between and I felt pretty guilty picking them. 

Last year we went super late (not really thinking of picking berries) and hit the motherload up at this spot. However, a lot of the berries were seriously past their prime and tasted fermented almost! See last years trip in this post.

Bob did a little doggy meditating in the sun the next morning, when the wind was gone. I almost brought my yoga mat, but I only had my heavy one at home. It would have been a most epic yoga practice though!

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Todd snapped some early morning pics while I was still sleeping in the tent with Bob. There's a few more fun photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that you won't want to miss. Like the time we had to eat with twigs...#mybad.

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Yep, I think it's settled that we'll be heading up there again very soon. I can hear those little blueberries calling my name! Bob can too.

The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

I have a different blueberry muffin recipe on Produce On Parade. You can see it here. But I didn't do my homework well enough. Move aside old blueberry muffins because these muffins will top any other blueberry muffin you've ever have tried. Yes, I am making that claim. I will never look for a different base recipe for blueberry muffins. They are that good. I of course "veganized", and "snobbified" this recipe from Cook's Illustrated. If you don't know about Cook's Illustrated then you better go find out about here. I can pretty much credit everything I've ever learned about how to cook well, to my parents and Cook's Illustrated. Cook's Illustrated is a magazine. They also have a site online as well as podcasts! Growing up, my grandparents as well as my parents subscribed to the magazine and I looked forward to it every month. I loved the always changing watercolor illustrations of various fruits and vegetables that was on the back cover. Yet, my favorite part of the magazine was the "Taste Test" part, where they ranked various canned/boxed or jarred food items by taste and affordability. I also loved the "What Is It?" article. Readers send in photos of some random and obscure kitchen gadgets that they found in their great grandmother's kitchen and they are explained in detail what they are and what they were used for. In regards to the images in the magazine, most are all sketched as opposed to actual photos which is really cool. As somewhat of an artist myself, I always cherished that. Though, I don't get the magazines anymore because I use the online subscription.

Don't know the difference between quinoa and couscous? Does chopping an onion take more than 5 minutes? If you're new to cooking, or just looking to better your chef skills, Cooks Illustrated is where to get your start. They even have an online "cooking school". Take a look at their site to see recipes, equipment reviews (which I love!), and taste tests. America's Test Kitchen is under the same umbrella as Cook's Illustrated as well as Cook's Country and they're one of my favorite shows on television. If you've never checked out the show, there's a link to when they air on TV, here. I feel I should note that I am in no way affiliated with them, though I wish I was...I just really think there's a lot to learn from them!

Okay, so let's remember this muffin recipe was inspired by them. They are divine. I made these for our family's August birthday party. Todd as well as my Grandma, Grandpa, Dad and Uncle all have August birthdays so we just have one big celebration towards the end of the month. I will tell you that there was German chocolate (the standard) as well as red velvet cake at the party, but my little brother only wanted the muffins. He kept asking me, "Is it okay if I have another?" I think he had three or four! There are no words to describe how perfect these muffins are.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

There are no words to describe how perfect these muffins are. They are so incredibly moist and fluffy. The wild blueberries lend a robust tartness, the lavender is floral and comforting and the sugar sprinkled on top gives a nice, sweet crunch. I don't know if I'll be able to resist making them again this weekend.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Inspired by Cook's Illustrated

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp. cold water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup granulated vegan sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) vegan sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, wild if you can find them
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lavender, minced
  • extra sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a regular 12 muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Begin by placing the ground flaxseed in a small bowl and whisking in the cold water. Place in the fridge and let rest until called for.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

In a electric stand mixer bowl or a large bowl add the flax egg and the sugar and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute. Next, add the butter and whisk until combined. Then add the vanilla, and finally add the sour cream in two steps, mixing only to combine.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Add the frozen blueberries as well as the lavender to the dry mixture, and toss to coat.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Then, gently fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until they're just combined. Be very cautious not to overmix. There may even be some sprays of flour and that's okay. The batter should be very thick.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Drop an even amount of dough into the muffin pan. Do not flatten or arrange the batter and do not overfill. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes. Rotate the pan at the 15 minute mark.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

The muffins should be somewhat firm and a light golden brown around the edges at 30 minutes.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Once the muffins are done baking, release them onto a wire cooling rack and stand them up right. Sprinkle with sugar if you like, and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Katie - Produce On Parade
Serves: 12
There are no words to describe how perfect these muffins are. They are so incredibly moist and fluffy. The wild blueberries lend a robust tartness, the lavender is floral and comforting and the sugar sprinkled on top gives a nice, sweet crunch. I don't know if I'll be able to resist making them again this weekend.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp. cold water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup granulated vegan sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) vegan sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, wild if you can find them
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lavender, minced
  • extra sugar, for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a regular 12 muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Begin by placing the ground flaxseed in a small bowl and whisking in the cold water. Place in the fridge and let rest until called for.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In a electric stand mixer bowl or a large bowl add the flax egg and the sugar and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute. Next, add the butter and whisk until combined. Then add the vanilla, and finally add the sour cream in two steps, mixing only to combine.
  5. Add the frozen blueberries as well as the lavender to the dry mixture, and toss to coat. Then, gently fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until they're just combined. Be very cautious not to overmix. There may even be some sprays of flour and that's okay. The batter should be very thick.
  6. Drop an even amount of dough into the muffin pan. Do not flatten or arrange the batter and do not overfill. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.Rotate the pan at the 15 minute mark.
  7. The muffins should be somewhat firm and a light golden brown around the edges at 30 minutes.
  8. Once the muffins are done baking, release them onto a wire cooling rack and stand them up right. Sprinkle with sugar if you like, and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container.