Blueberry Syrup – All Natural

Blueberry Syrup - Syrup

This is a no-brainer, and it takes almost no time, but its so beautiful and goes with so many things I couldn’t pass up posting it. On pancakes and waffles in place of the traditional maple syrup. On oatmeal or cereal. On Ice cream, or in smoothies. On yogurt (as pictured below) is unbelievable wonderful! Its so much more enjoyable to eat your own homemade yogurt with homemade blueberry sauce than to peel the foil off a Yoplait cup and toss out the packaging afterward. I’m making a tart tomorrow, and I plan to blend the blueberry syrup in the custard mixture in place of honey.

Blueberry Syrup - Yogurt

Blueberry Syrup

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup water
1-2 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1/2 a lime

Directions:

Blend with handmixer, blender, or food processor, the blueberries, water, and honey. Pour into pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occationally. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Keep in fridge up to a week, or in the freezer for a month.

Some people add arrowroot or cornstarch to their syrup to help it thicken, but I prefer the consistency a bit runnier, and it feels more natural to me. Feel free to stir in a tablespoon of either one of those thickening agents, but be careful not to let it clump. Remember that if you use cornstarch you cannot freeze this sauce.

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Blueberry, Spiced Walnut, and Manchego Salad

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Héc is a carnivore. Although I am no longer a vegetarian (due to my love of chicharron) I don’t like to eat a lot of meat. And since I tend to have an ability to persuade him on topics of health and nutrition, we have been eating more tofu, beans, and salads than any normal young man would on his own. But the night I made this salad he finally admitted that he was beginning to enjoy them. Talk about confession of a life time. But honestly, whats there not to like about this salad? It’s almost a dessert, but packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber.

Blueberries have been a recent thing in our diet. You don’t find true blueberries in Guatemala very easily. One time I had blueberry preserves, but they were actually black currants. The difference is a completely different flavor and much more gritty texture which I believe ruins the entire experience. When we visited my parents in Ohio a month ago, blueberries were in season. We had blueberry muffins, blueberry pie, blueberry cobler, blueberry cake, blueberry gelato. We even put blueberries in our Sangria. I kid you not — in the 10 days were were there, we had all those things. We came back to Guatemala still craving blueberries, so when we saw a 3lb frozen bag a Pricesmart (equivolent to CostCo), we did not hesitate to spend the 80Q (10USD). Since then we’d been having them in our cereal and making cakes.

So I thought, why not in a salad? We were short on fresh salad toppings, and I didn’t want to walk to the store. I pulled a handful out of the freezer, let them defrost a little. I made some spiced walnuts, and slivered up a small red onion, and shaved some manchego cheese on top. It was delicious. I was kinda sceptical of the combination of the blueberries with spiced walnuts, but it really worked.

Spiced Walnuts:
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sugar, or more if desired
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Combine sugar and spices. Blanch the walnuts for 30 seconds, and remove to seperate bowl. Do not dry. Toss with sugar and spice mixture. Put on greased baking sheet and make sure to seperate the nuts. Sprinkle with large grain sea salt. Bake for about 10 minutes or until sugar has caramelized. Let cool before adding to salad.

Salad:
Lettuce
Arrugala, a handful or so
1/2 cup blueberries (preferably fresh, but it not, partially thawed
Spiced Walnuts
Small red onion, sliced transparently thin
Manchego Cheese, shaved.
Red wine vinegar (I find balasmic too overpowering on this salad)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste