Tag Archives: Blueberries

Big Sur Bakery Blueberry Scones

Since The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook arrived at my doorstep a few weeks ago, the pages have become increasingly crinkled and stained with unruly bits of batter. What a gem! The splendid photography accompanying the stories told by the inhabitants of the ethereal Big Sur have me ready to pack my bags and hightail it out of cold, congested Chicago. The lavish amount of vanilla extract, combined with the sweet burst of fresh blueberries and the sugary crunch of the crusts, makes for one of the best scones you’re likely to ever taste.

Big Sur Bakery Blueberry Scones
Makes about 1 dozen scones.

1 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
1/4-1/2 cup raw cane sugar

1.) To keep the blueberries intact throughout baking, place on a tray in the freezer two hours before baking (genius, no? I can’t wait to make use of this technique in other recipes). 30 minutes before you begin baking, place the butter, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and baking powder in a mixing bowl and then place in the freezer. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.) Whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla in a separate bowl. Remove bowl of chilled ingredients from freezer and use a pastry cutter to break up the butter into pea sized bits. Make a well in the center, and pour the buttermilk mixture into it. Stir just until ingredients are combined. Then, add the blueberries and carefully stir them into the dough.

3.) Place a round, 3-inch cookie cutter directly onto the parchment paper. Using your fingers, take a fistful of dough and press down lightly into the cutter, leaving the top a bit ragged. Pull the cutter away, and push any rowdy dough that rolls onto the parchment back towards the scone. It need not be perfect – I’ve found the more haggard the scone looks prior to baking, the more handsome the end result will be. Repeat this messy process until you have used up all of your dough; you should have about a dozen scones. Then, sprinkle each scone generously with the can sugar.

4.) Bake for 15-20 minutes; until golden along the edges, yet still moist at the center. Remove to a cooling rack.

This recipe was adapted from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year In The Life of a Restaurant by Michelle and Philip Wojtowicz and Michael Gilson with Catherine Price. Published by HarperCollins Publishers; 2009.

Pick-Me-Up Wheat Berry & Flax Seed Breakfast Bowl

I like to start my day with a nourishing bowl of pure, whole foods. Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels – wheat in its purest form. If you’re feeling especially industrious, you can even make your own whole wheat flour by grinding the berries! Wheat berries have a toothsome, nutty flavor and a satisfying chewy bite. They’re incredibly fibrous, low in calories (a cup has only about 300 calories), and full of protein and iron.

Wheat berries are also soft on the wallet because they have not been modified or processed in any way by the manufacturer (for which you will always pay, both in health and in cash). You can find them at Whole Foods in the bulk bins for less than $2 a pound.

As for flaxseed, we’ve all heard what a miracle these little seeds are. Often called “one of the most powerful foods on the planet,” flax seeds are full of fiber (4 grams from only 2 tablespoons!), lignan antioxidants, and alpha-linolenic acid omega-3’s. Lignans have been credited with helping to stop harmful cell growth. Many plants contain lignan, but flaxseed contains 75 times more than any other source we currently know of. To illustrate how incredible this little seed is, the package for Bob’s Red Mill flaxseed states that you’d need to eat 30 cups of fresh broccoli.

Not to mention, walnuts are well-known for their high fiber content, B vitamins, magnesium, omega-3’s, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Blueberries are also high in fiber, antioxidants such as anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc, iron, and are well-known for their ability to destroy free radicals and promote eye, brain, and digestive tract health. Take that, cocoa puffs!

Wheat Berry & Flax Seed Breakfast Bowl

1/2 cup cooked wheat berries*
2 tablespoons flaxseed
a healthy handful of blueberries
a handful of deeply toasted walnuts*
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar or pure maple syrup
a dollop of yogurt, for garnish (optional)

1.) Combine wheat berries, nectar, and blueberries over medium heat in a small skillet. Saute until heated through and use your wooden spoon to break apart the blueberries a bit.

2.) Sprinkle with walnuts and flaxseed. Scoop into a bowl, and serve with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

*To cook wheat berries – Rinse 1 cup of wheat berries under cool running water, then combine in a saucepan with 3 cups of cold water and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour; until they give willingly when you bite into them.

*To toast walnuts – Place in oven on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes; until browned and fragrant.