Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Berry Season Begins

Mulberries are ripening, mulberries are ripening!

Most berries come later in the season. Strawberries came before mulberries, I concede, but mulberries are the first berries to show up without any effort at all. And there are gobs of them.

Cookbook queen Isa Chandra Moskowitz has a fab recipe in Vegan With a Vengeance for Sunny Blueberry-Corn Muffins
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c cornmeal
  • 1Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c corn or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 c soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp soy yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease muffin tin. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, soy milk, soy yogurt, vanilla, and lemon zest. With a wooden spoon, fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Fold in the blueberries, being careful not to overmix. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Serve warm.Why do I tell you this in the middle of a love song to mulberries? Because, I've improved on Queen Isa's recipe. My zester doesn't work so well, so I replace the zest with a healthy tablespoon plus an extra sprinkle of candied lemon peel, and replace the blueberries with mulberries. You follow? I call these lovelies Wild Sunny Muffins.

Mulberries right now are perfect for picking to freeze, so that you can enjoy awesome muffins in the dead of winter. Pick now to freeze, wait a week or two for those berries you're going to put directly in your mouth. When freezing, spread the berries out on a cookie sheet and freeze first, then put into containers or baggies. That way they aren't all frozen in a lump. When picking, be prepared to get purple palms, foot bottoms, and mouth. Yum, BERRIES!

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