Monday, September 18, 2017

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Previously seen in our January 2017 newsletter, it's finally making it's way to the blog! Better late than never? This week we transition from Summer to Fall officially, but we can't say bye to fresh blueberries just quite yet! 
"A deliciously moist, lightly sweet "coffee" cake bursting with juicy ripe blueberries."
INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups fresh, ripe blueberries
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar for sprinkling
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease and flour an 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Remove two tablespoons of the flour and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter, lemon zest and ¾ cup of sugar. Beat for several minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the egg and vanilla just until incorporated.
  6. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat on low until incorporated. Add ⅓ of the buttermilk and blend until smooth. Repeat adding ⅓ of the flour then ⅓ of the buttermilk until both are incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
  7. Toss the blueberries with the reserved 2 tablespoons of flour. Gently fold the blueberries and any extra flour into the batter using a rubber spatula. Take care not to rupture the blueberries.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar and bake in a 325 preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Nectarine & Aronia Berry Tart



Original posting is over on The Unicorn's Delight, be sure the site for even more delicious healthy recipes!

"There are tons of unlikely duos out there when it comes to food. Such as cheese & jelly, chocolate & salt, broccoli & Cheetos, Mango & chili, goat milk & caramel, sriracha & peanut butter. A personal favorite of mine is peanut butter and pickle sandwiches-it’s an acquired taste, I’ll admit, but so good! Well, I seem to have stumbled upon another unlikely duo; Nectarines and Aronia berries! They are delicious together.

Aronia berries are being harvested all over the united states right now. If your unfamiliar with this super fruit, it’s not surprising. While they are king of the super berries, they also pack quite a punch with an earthy, astringent flavor that typically drys out the mouth, think like a dry wine. They are also known as chokeberries, native to mid-west America, for years they have been seen as a weed, and removed from farm lands. However now, with the discovery of their nutritional value, farmers are planting them like crazy. If you live outside of the mid-west you might find them in your yard, because they have been commonly used in landscaping.
Some of the health benefits Aronia berries can offer are:
  • Urinary Track Health
  • Improve Blood Circulation & Strengthen Blood Vessels
  • Balance of Blood Pressure Levels
  • Prevention and help in treatment of diabetes
  • Gastro Protective Effect
  • Anti-Carcinogenic Effect
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties, Suppress Viruses
  • Eyes Protection
  • Weight Control
Sunset Valley Organics is doing something unique with their plantings of aronia berries. They are applying what they call biological farming practices, which basically means they are putting minerals back into their soil, remineralizing it, which they have seen healthier plants, more nutritional fruit, the plants are able to defend themselves from insects and disease, and most recently they are finding their aronia berry plantings have less of that earthy, astringent flavor, even though the tannins in the skin that cause the astringent flavor are still there.
How can that be? Well it’s from the minerals doing their job, and interacting in such a way that the plant is producing fruit that has a higher sugar content, or Brix. (Brix is the standard unit of measure for sugar content.)  That natural sugar is over riding the tannins and making them have a mild flavor. This year Sunset Valley Organics is seeing their aronia berries having an average of 26 brix, compared to last year they had 22, and the average, conventional aronia growers hit somewhere between 15-19.
The first time I ever tried an aronia berry I had to spit it out. It was so gross tasting to me, and it was around 19 Brix, the tannins were over powering, and it felt like I was eating literal dirt. Not a good experience. But when I tried last years crop from Sunset Valley Organics, I could actually eat them. It was so surprising! I started using them in baking and smoothies. My favorite recipe I’ve found is Oatmeal Aronia berry cookies, so good, and can be a healthy snack! 
So now with berries that are around 26 brix I’ve started incorporating them into other forms of baking, like today’s recipe! Because Aronia berries aren’t common at all, it’s important to experiment and play with them.

SO LET’S GET TO THE GOOD STUFF, THE RECIPE!


What You’ll Need:
  • 5-6 medium sized nectarines, sliced
  • Pie Crust- You can use store bought or my recipe (below) for a healthier version.
  • 1 Cup fresh/frozen Sunset Valley Organic’s Aronia Berries
  • 1/4 cup Thick apricot jam
  • 3/4 cup water
Pie Crust Ingredients:
Coconut Pie Crust- Makes 1 full pie crust (top & bottom)
  • 1 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup (160 g) coconut oil, scoopable (not liquid)*
  • 3-6 Tbsp (45-90 ml) ice cold water
What You’ll Do:
Pie Crust:
  1. Add flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Next add coconut oil in spoonfuls (see photo) and use a pastry cutter (or fork) to cut the two together, until it resembles wet sand – about 30-45 seconds.
  3. Add ice cold water 1 Tbsp at a time and use a wooden spoon to gently mix. Add only as much water as needed to help it come together and form a dough – about 3-4 Tbsp.
  4. Use your hands to gently knead/form the dough in the bowl and gather any loose scraps. Then transfer directly to a well-floured surface and form into a disc with your hands.
  5. Lightly flour the top of the dough, as well as a rolling pin, and gently roll into a circle the shape of your pie pan, about 1/8-inch thick. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking. It’s fairly forgiving, so if it cracks, just patch it up with slightly wet fingers and reform.
  6. If using a standard 9-inch (or similar size) pie crust, simply use the rolling pin to roll up crust and drape it over the pan. Form the edges simply (avoiding too tall of edges or fancy designs as the coconut oil doesn’t hold it as well as butter) and add filling of choice. Roll out remaining crust, drape over the top of pie, and seal (optional).
Note: To save uncooked dough for future use, wrap in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Thaw before using.
 Tart filling: 
  1. Pre heat oven to 375 F. Start with pie dough rolled out on to a baking sheet. We did a nine inch pie crust.
  2. Lay sliced nectarines one inch from the edge of the pie dough in a circular pattern, layering until all pie dough is covered.
  3. Fold 1 inch edge of dough on top nectarines, and pinch to stay in place.
  4. Evenly distribute the aronia berries on top of the nectarines.
  5. In a small pot bring apricot jam and water to a slow boil, until well combined and is a thin mixture.
  6. Brush evenly on top of nectarines and aronia berries.
  7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown appears on pie crust.
  8. Let cool 5 minutes, serve warm & enjoy!"


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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Fresh Blackberry Cake with Butter Cream Frosting


Summer is winding down in Oregon, and most of our harvest is over. We just have aronia berries left. This summer went so fast, but the weather was also so weird and caused all of our crops to be much later than expected. The only crop that was "on time" was our raspberries. This past week we wrapped up harvesting on our blackberries, and with the few last fresh ones we made this delicious cake to celebrate a harvest well done.

We used a white sponge as a base for our cake, with layers of buttercream and fresh blackberries bursting with sweetness in the middle of the cake.

Ingredients: 

For the Cake

  • 1 C Salted Butter, Softened
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 TSP Almond Extract 
  • 3 1/2 C Flour
  • 4 TSP Baking Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 6 Large Eggs,  Room Temp
  • 1 1/2 C Milk, Room Temp
For the Frosting

  • 1 1/2 C Butter, Softened
  • 1 1/2 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 6  C Powdered Sugar
  • 6 TBSP Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Extract for Flavor (optional) 
We used about 2 cups of fresh Blackberries, our cake is 9 inches in dimeter. You can use more or less depending on your cake size and shape. 

Directions: 



    1. Grease three 9-inch pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in almond extract.
    3. Use a fork to combine the eggs and milk together in a bowl or 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Set aside.
    4. In another mixing bowl stir together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
    5. Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix in until just combined. Add in half of the milk mixture and combine. Add in another ⅓ of the dry ingredients until combined followed by the remainder of the milk mixture. Add in the remainder of the dry ingredients and mix with the hand mixer until just combined, using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom to make sure everything is mixed in.
    6. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Let sit in pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before layering and frosting. 
    7. To make the frosting: Use mixer (hand or stand) to whip softened butter and vanilla extract together. Slowly add in powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time. Thin out with milk if it gets too thick.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Aronia Berry Granola Bars

ARONIA BERRY GRANOLA BARS



Last April we included this recipe in our newsletter, and we are still loving it! Especially with school starting back up these are the perfect on the go snack that are packed full with nutrition. Even better these tasty treats don't take a whole lot of time to whip up! 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1 Cup Dried Aronia berries
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
  • 1 cup dried, pitted dates
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F.
  • Whisk together the honey, cinnamon, & vanilla in a larger bowl. Stir in the oats and mix until evenly coated.
  • Toast sunflower seeds in a dry pan on medium heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse the almonds and dates in a food processor until coarsely chopped. 
  • Add the toasted sunflower seeds and chopped almonds and dates to the oat mixture; mix well. The color of the mixture should be more of a purple hue.
  • Press the mixture into an 8X8 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool, then place in the freezer until firm. After about an hour, cut into bars and enjoy!
Note: Store in airtight container up to 1 week. 

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blueberry Peach Scones


This is a short little post on some delicious scones we just had to share! This summer is so weird for where we live. Usually blueberries are in season from late June to mid July, then peaches come in to season with blackberries in August. Not this year though, all three are over lapping which is so exciting! We got to use fresh blueberries, and fresh peaches in these scones. We usually used dried blueberries, and dried fruit, so it's a bit of treat to use fresh fruit.  Work has been so busy with harvest that this is really the first time we've had a chance to bake in what feels like forever.


What You'll Need:
  • 2 cups all-purpose Certified Organic flour, plus more for hands and work surface
  • 6 TBSP  Certified Organic Sugar
  • 2 1/2 TSPCertified Organic Baking Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 1/2 C Certified Organic unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 C Certified Organic heavy cream
  • 1 Large Certified Organic Egg
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Certified Organic Fresh Blueberries
  • 3/4 Cup Fresh Peaches, chopped
What You'll Do: 
IMG_4388
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, or spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Grate the frozen butter (a food processor is perfect for this). Mix in the grated butter into the flour mixture and combine it with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk cream, egg, and vanilla together. Slowly pour into the flour mixture and stir the two together with a spatula until everything looks like it's been moistened. Slowly, and carefully add in blueberries and peaches. At this point the dough will be very wet, and a bit sticky, you'll want to work the dough into a ball.
  4. Transfer the dough ball onto a floured surface, press into a flat disk and cut into four quarters. Then cut each of those in half so you have a total of 8 equal wedges. Because the dough is overloaded with fruit it's ok if the dough doesn't want to stay as a wedge. When baked they will just be a bit more on the round side.
  5. Place wedges onto prepared baking sheet, at least two inches apart from each other. Place in over, bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.


Make A Head Tip: These scones are awesome to enjoy in the mornings all week long. They be kept at room temperature for 2-5 days. They also are awesome to freeze, and will keep for up to 3 months. Just thaw them out and heat up to your liking!

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 2017 News & Updates


June Is Here!

Finally the rain is letting up and the beautiful sun is shining through! We had a pretty wet spring and because of that we are currently about 2 weeks behind with the growing season. If we get some really hot weather that can change really quick. It just depends on Mother Nature now.  

WE HAVE NEW PRODUCTS!

What a great reception we have received from our powders! We are so happy to hear that so many of you enjoy them! For those who missed last months newsletter, we have new berry powders up in the shop.  You can now purchase:
Our berry powders are a supercharged way of getting your daily fruits into your diet. You can mix our powders into baking, oatmeal, smoothies, milk, ice cream, and more! Just like our dried berries, there are no additives or preservatives, so we're keeping the product as natural and nutritious as possible! 
*Note: Our powders are not soluble*
We've also added a new size to our powders. Now you can purchase all of our powder varieties in 2 lbs. quantities for $110.00.  
We would also like to mention that our free shipping amount has increased to $235.00 after coupons are applied. Our spreads and frozen do not qualify for free shipping. 

Changes Are Coming:

Most of you are aware that last summer we were crazy busy during harvest. In the summer of 2016 we harvested about 2 million pounds of fruit, this year we are projecting at least 3 million. With that much fruit to be harvested we have had to make some hard choices in where to cut back so a balance can be achieved. This has resulted in our decision to not have a U-Pick this summer. We are sad that we can not continue, but our harvest is our first priority. 
We will still be offering already picked & washed blueberries in 30 pound boxes and 5 pound bags. For these you pull around to our office and we help you there. The price for those this year will be the same as in the past at $100 (30 pound box). 
We would like to thank everyone who has come out and supported us over the years. We hope you will continue to enjoy our berries. 
We will have a blog post late May about all the changes we are making why we are making them. 

This Month On The Blog:

Our blog is becoming more active! We will be having a variety of topics, you can expect these posts over the next month:
  • Blackberry Crostini
  • Spring Superfood Bowl with Blueberry Ginger Dressing
  • Blueberry Broccoli Spinach Salad
  • Raspberry Chia Seed Jam
  • Super Berry Bars
  • U-Pick Update

Have you seen this awesome spotlight video on our farm? It's just a little over 2 minutes so take a look!

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