This easy-to-make cheesecake square is the perfect dessert to use for all those plump and juicy B.C. grown blueberries that are available now.

Blue is one tasty and healthy berry

Blueberries are not only popular, but also have the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits

There are so many delicious fresh berries available right now, and today we’re featuring the blueberry because it’s second only to strawberries in popularity and consumption in Canada.

Blueberries are not only popular, but also have the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices, and seasonings.

Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA. Antioxidants also have benefits to the nervous system, brain health, and can improve memory.

The only thing I’ve ever disliked about this berry is its staining power on kids and clothes.

Today I have a dessert recipe that freezes well. (Don’t add the whipped cream before freezing. Wait until after it has partially thawed before serving.) I also have a pancake recipe and blueberry muffins that are perfect for an afternoon tea or brunch. The secret in these is the sour cream. We also have a creamy slush drink that everyone will enjoy.

Blueberry Cheesecake Squares

For the crust:

2 cups graham crumbs

¾ cup butter, melted

1 cup icing sugar

For the cheesecake layer:

1 package of cream cheese (250 grams), softened

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

For the berry layer:

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup sugar

2 cups blueberries

2 tablespoons water

1 tbsp. or squeeze of lemon juice

For the top:

1 cup heavy cream

Mix graham crumbs with the butter then mix in icing sugar. Press into a 9-by-13-inch pan. Beat cream cheese with the eggs then add the cup of sugar and beat until smooth. Pour over crust and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup of sugar and the cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Add blueberries, 2 tbsp. of water and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Mix well. Heat, stirring until the mixture is clear and thickened. Cool then spread on the cooled baked cake. Whip the cream and sweeten to taste. Chill then spread on top of the berries. Chill until ready to serve. Delicious!

Todd’s Famous Blueberry Pancakes

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1-1/4 teaspoons white sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/2 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. In a small bowl, beat together egg and milk. Stir milk and egg into flour mixture. Mix in the butter and fold in the blueberries. Set aside for one hour. (Will work fine even without the wait.) Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot, with a few fresh berries and syrup.

Blueberry Cream Muffins

4 eggs

2 cups white sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups sour cream

2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners. In large bowl beat eggs, gradually add sugar while beating. Continue beating while slowly pouring in oil. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with sour cream. Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Blueberry Cream Slush

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup pineapple and orange juice blend

1 cup vanilla yogurt

2 teaspoons sugar

6 ice cubes

Place the blueberries, strawberries, juice, yogurt and sugar into the container of a blender. Process until smooth. Add the ice cubes, and process until small enough to fit through a straw, but large enough to crunch on. Pour into glasses, and drink through straws. Delicious!

 

Vernon Morning Star

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