Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm in blueberry bliss!

I switched it up yesterday, and decided to go blueberry picking with my mom, sister and my lil one.

Before I talk about that though, I should mention the rest of my week. I wasn't online much because I was staying at my parent's place. My parents were needing me to help them with a few things, so my lil one and I just camped at their house for the week.

We spent a few days searching used book and thrift stores. In which I was able to find a great juicing book! "Juicing!" By Judi Olstein, has recipes for juices, soups, sorbets, marinades, sauces, entrees, and salad dressings. It's quite different and only cost $2.00! I'll let you know if I make any of the recipes.

One morning I was looking at some of my sister's book and discovered she had a great smoothie book, which she purchased at the same bookstore I had found my juicing book at. Can you guess the price? Only $2.00!

"Smoothies for Life!" by Daniella Chace and Maureen B. Keane, gives a review of almost all the ingredients they use to make up their recipes. They give you alternatives to milks, talk about supplements, and even give you grocery lists for ingredients. This book is informative and at the same time had me laughing. The names of some of the smoothies are hilarious.
While reading this book, I stumbled upon a recipe for Oat Milk. I've never tried or seen Oat Milk before, so I thought I'd give it a go.

"Oat Milk"
1 cup of Oats
1 cup of water
Blend ingredients in a blender until creamy. Pour everything into a nut milk bag and squeeze out all the milk into a bowl. Wash the blender and create whatever smoothie you would like! This makes about 1/2 a cup of Oat Milk.

I made my own smoothie recipe, since I had to use what was on hand. I named it after the "short blonde bombshell", since they didn't seem to have brunettes involved in any of their recipe names. They did have a recipe for redheads called "Hot redhead with a secret!"

"Brunette Bombshell"

1 banana
1 peach (sliced)
1 cup of blackberries (picked by me and frozen)
1/2 cup of Oat Milk

Blend everything in a blender. Pour and enjoy. Makes 1 serving :)
Oat milk is something I will make again. The book recommends that it's best in smoothies and I would agree, since it's a pretty strong taste. I could see it working as a great substitute for milk in baking though. My lil one loved this recipe and said the drink tasted like a muffin! Too funny :)

Back to blueberry picking! We started off the morning being greeted by this little guy outside my parents house. We don't have any poisonous snakes here, let alone many snakes at all. This one just omits a nasty smell as defense, lesson learned as a kid. We all just looked at him and he looked back at us, until we all were bored.

Then we were off with $40.00 in each of our pockets, hoping to pick around 20lbs each. The farm we've been going to for years has the best price we can find at $2.00/lb u-pick. There are not many other u-pick blueberry farms around here, other than a 1 hour or more drive away. This farm is really beautiful and has helpful staff on hand. They supply you with buckets, let you drive right down to their patch, allow well-behaved children, and even sell little recipe books! They have around 1400+ bushes and a couple different varieties of blueberries. Really small blueberries for baking or those yummy big ones we buy in stores. We picked the big ones!

It was quite a hot morning, but we were able to pick just under 40lbs in a couple hours. Don't mind me looking like a sweaty farmer! I love those straw hats, they always make me feel like a farmer :) I had one, but wasn't wearing it in this picture. I think my lil one wanted to try it on.

My lil one even picked half a bucket and he was so good at just picking the "blue" ones. He loved being there because the blueberry patch was like a maze he could walk through. We all were way to hot by noon, so we packed up, purchased our berries and drove down to another farm. Before we left we admired the farm's horses! They were beautiful, friendly and hungry!

The other farm we went to sells their produce on the side of the road. Love veggie stands! This farm's main attraction is their corn maze and pumpkin patch.
I bought myself 2 green zucc's, 2 yellow zucc's and one of those green pumpkin looking squash. I still have to find out the name of that one. In the picture if your wondering what's under the white cloth, it was a bunch of beets on ice :) They also sold other produce, but were sold out for the day :(

Once we were home our afternoon was filled with...

Rinsing blueberries in cold water
Sorting blueberries in bowls
Preparing blueberries on cookie sheets to go into the freezer!

My guy made some blueberry jam last night as soon as he was home from work, and who knows what else I'll make with all these berries! I'm sure blueberry, zucchini and don't forget blackberry recipes will be a plenty on this blog in the near future :) I also wanted to mention that my son's "Cowboy Garden" is thriving, we have lots of sprouts growing! A few of you messaged asking how it was going, so I'll be posting a picture next post :)

I wanted to ask you, how much does it cost to pick blueberries at your local u-pick farm?


The Raw Butterfly said...

Wow, all those blueberries look amazing, can't believe how many you got!! I would be making raw blueberry pie every week with that stash!!! Enjoy! xxx

Lori said...

Soooooooo many blueberries! Yum!
I love the smoothie- and the little hands holding the Brunette Bombshell! So cute. :)

I don't even know if we have a u-pick farm around here, but I will find out... that's pretty cool!

Maggie (livingfoodjunkie) said...

Raw Butterfly - I still can't believe how many blueberries there were on those bushes. From a distance those bushes looked more blue than green! And I think your right about making some raw blueberry pie :D Yum!

Lori- hehe you noticed those little hands :) Yes, my little one was kind enough to hold it and not drink it for that photo. Although right after the picture was taken it was a different story!
Yes, you should totally find out if you do have a u-pick in your area. It's so much fun to go picking!

Thanks for commenting ladies!

Melissa said...

YAY!! So glad you found a u-pick! Those look like yummy blueberries! I need to get more..I have none for the freezer as we just keep eating them all:)
Thanks for the tips about oat milk. Will have to give that a try for sure!
That smoothie book sounds really fun! I like when fun names are given to simple recipes like smoothies. Those little hands around the smoothie are so sweet!
Can't wait to see what you come up with in the kitchie:)
PS I pay about a $1/lb for u pick and $2/lb picked.

Elle said...

Wow! I'm really excited to see the oat milk recipe. I currently give my son soy milk after switching from "cows'" milk a year ago, but would like another kind of milk for him that is as inexpensive. How do you think I would make it with groats?

Maggie (livingfoodjunkie) said...

Melissa - I know what you mean, I wanna go back and get more too! I think we are planning a trip to the farm again on Friday! lol :)
Oat milk is something different to try, it sure brings flavor to a smoothie. My lil one sure did love it! Thanks for letting me know the u-pick prices in your area :) I was just curious about other farms. You're so lucky it's only $1.00/lb u-pick I would love to have that here!

Maggie (livingfoodjunkie) said...

Hi Elle :)

I was excited to see this recipe too!
I tasted the oat milk on its own and it does have a sweet oat flavor to it, with a bit of starchy/fiber texture. The texture might have been the oats I used though. I was at my moms and all she had were quick oats :( The book states that it’s quite light in texture and sweet in taste.

As for using oat groats, my suggestion would be to soak the groats the night before (6-8 hours) and rinse. Then blend them with water, wait for it to get creamy and then filter. You probably will have to at least double the water to the amount of groats. If you still find it to thick after blending just keep adding water till you find the right milk consistency you would like :)

It's definitely a much cheaper way to feed our lil one's milk and there are tons of healthy benefits to it! :)
Good luck let me know how it goes!

Mary @ Bites and Bliss said...

That's a whole lotta blueberries!! I've always wanted to do that- I think we have one around here that's $10 for a gallon or something like that. Apparently you can choose from blueberries or strawberries. Either way, I'd get a lot and just freeze em for later!

Maggie said...

Hi Mary- I totally agree with you picking your own and freezing them, is awesome! :) I think I was able to get about 5 large freezer bags! :D Thanks for letting me know the prices in your area. I have nothing really to compare with here. That's awesome they do strawberries and blueberries! Yum!

Thanks for finding my blog and commenting! I just checked out yours, and will be following :)