Blueberry Crisp

It’s all about fruit this summer from strawberries to watermelon. Now it’s time for blueberries to have their minute in the spotlight. Blueberries are among the highest antioxidant fruits. The compounds in them fight off degenerative diseases, aging, cancer and infections. They are known as a super food for this very reason.

As with the watermelon granita, this blueberry crisp recipe is simple to make since the natural flavor of the fruit adds an integral level to the sweet. I made this recipe as the finishing piece to a delicious summertime BBQ. The juicy character of the crisp will leave everyone’s mouth watering for another piece.

The recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart in order to be gluten-free. White rice flour was substituted for all-purpose flour and gluten-free rolled oats were used instead of the classic Quaker oats.

Blueberry Filling:
~ 6 cups (3 pints) blueberries
~ 1/2 cup sugar
~ 1 tbsp cornstarch
~ 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
~ 1/4 tsp coarse salt

Oat Topping:
~ 2/3 cup white rice flour
~ 1/2 cup rolled oats (or chopped nuts, such as almonds)
~ 1/2 tsp baking powder
~ 1/2 tsp coarse salt
~ 3 ounces (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
~ 1/3 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Make the filling: mix the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish. (Tip: I recommend using a larger baking dish, such as a 9-inch square baking dish.)
2. Make the topping: Stir together the flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until pale and fluffy. Stir dry ingredients into butter. Using your hands, squeeze topping pieces together into clumps.
3. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Bake until bubbling in the center and brown on top, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Blueberry Crisp Before Baking

Blueberry Crisp After Baking

Some tips from experience: be sure to use a big enough baking dish for the amount of blueberries that you use. Also depending on the selection of blueberries that you have, you may want to use less sugar than called for if the blueberries are naturally sweet.

Blueberry crisp is a perfect way to end a summer BBQ for those fruit lovers out there. Those who were chocolate lovers made a sundae with the crisp by adding ice cream and chocolate syrup. Let your imagination run wild!


Watermelon Granita

Watermelon is the perfect summer fruit. Not only is it sweet, but it also has many health benefits. Watermelon quenches the inflammation that causes asthma, diabetes, colon cancer and arthritis. It’s also very high in vitamins A and C. It also contains lycopene, which is a carotenoid that has antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties. Since watermelon benefits your well-being in so many ways, why not enjoy it as a dessert?

Granita is a frozen dessert, similar to frozen ice. If you only have ten minutes to prepare a dessert or want a dessert that you don’t have to bake right before serving, this is the perfect recipe. The recipe is from Whole Living.

~ 7 cups seedless watermelon chunks
~ 1/2 cup sugar
~ juice of 1 lemon

1. Pulse watermelon, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth.
2. Pour into an 8-inch glass baking dish and freeze.
3. Scrape with a fork into 8 glasses or bowls and serve.

How much simpler can it get! If you want to add a touch of another flavor, try drizzling chocolate syrup over the top.

Creamy Secret-Ingredient Frozen Treat

When I saw the recipe for this rich creamy pudding, I thought it would be the perfect treat for a hot summer day. I had never made pudding before, so this was an entirely new adventure for me, stepping into an unknown world. Following the directions to a T, something happened along the way because the pudding didn’t solidify and instead it was a chocolate soup. While chocolate soup is delicious, I decided to improvise as you sometimes have to do when things don’t turn out the right way. I stuck the pudding in the freezer, forming a decadent chocolate frozen treat.

You’re probably asking What’s the secret ingredient? That’s up to your imagination. To me the secret ingredient is the soy milk since most pudding recipes use whole milk. The soy milk makes the recipe a bit healthier and suitable for lactose-free eaters. (In each serving, there are 170 calories, 3 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat and 2 g fiber.)

The creamy secret-ingredient pudding recipe is from Fitness Magazine. To make the frozen treat version, just stick it in the freezer once it’s made.

~ 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
~ 1/2 cup granulated sugar
~ 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
~ 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
~ 1/4 tsp coarse salt
~ 2 cups plain light soy milk
~ 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Gradually whisk in soy milk until mixture is smooth.
2. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, about 4 minutes, or until mixture begins to bubble and thicken. The consistency is perfect when the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Whisk in melted chocolate.
3. Pour into six 6-ounce ramekins. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over surface of each pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
4. Chill 2 hours, or until well set.

If you’re looking for a decadent, refreshing dessert for the chocolate-lover, this is sure to satisfy.