Monday, April 21, 2014

On Earth Day… Celebrate the Big Blue Planet and the Small Wild Blueberry

We’ve been thinking about the arrival of Earth Day and the opportunity it affords us to celebrate the biodiversity of our Big Blue Planet. As we contemplated the sustainability of the Wild Blueberry, we called on expert David Yarborough, wild blueberry specialist with the Maine Cooperative Extension and professor of horticulture at the University of Maine, where he has worked for the past 35 years. David knows everything there is to know about Wild Blueberries and he was quick to explain the many reasons why Wild Blueberries are the most earth-friendly food on the planet.



#1. Wild Blueberries occur naturally in nature. Wild Blueberries have been here for 10,000 years and we expect them to be here for another 10,000 years. “They were in Maine before man arrived and they likely will be here after we are gone,” says David with a chuckle. As a result, they are completely sustainable in the original sense of the word and perfectly adapted to the environment where they grow.


#2. Wild Blueberries are used to a stressful environment. You and I might complain about the cold winters of Maine and Canada, but Wild Blueberries thrive in this harsh climate. Cold temperatures also have the benefit of naturally reducing insects and pests. As you move south into hotter regions where cultivated blueberries are grown, you see an increase in pest pressures. With more pest pressure you increase the reliance on pesticides and agrochemicals.


#3. Wild Blueberries offer unmatched genetic diversity. According to David, “diversity is the key to nature,” and Wild Blueberries are diversity superstars. Because the plants naturally establish by themselves, any given Wild Blueberry field can sport literally hundreds of thousands of different plants, as compared to cultivated blueberries, which might host a half-dozen varieties in one growing area. In Maine specifically, every particular variety is genetically different from the plant next to it. Maine’s Wild Blueberry fields have this great mixture of literally thousands of varieties of dark and light berries, says Dave. “That’s what gives them that complex and delicious flavor. There’s no homogeneity here.”

So, as you prepare to commemorate Earth Day – and we hope you will – be sure to Get Wild and add some Wild Blueberries to your breakfast smoothie, a salad at lunch or try using blueberries in a special Earth Day Dinner. Because of the sustainability of this 10,000-year-old naturally growing plant, you’ll feel good about enjoying these little wonders, with double the antioxidants and loads of intense flavor.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Feed Her Wild Side for Mother’s Day


This Mother’s Day, lose the lilies and get wild with our “Feed Her Wild Side” Sweepstakes. It’s your chance to win mom (or yourself) one of three amazing Mother’s Day gifts and the $1000 Visa Gift Card Grand Prize!

Each week, we’ll select one random winner to receive each of our three weekly prizes.

Week 1: 
If your mom loves creating extraordinary dinner parties or easy but beautiful family gatherings, the week 1 prize may be just for her.  The winner will take home simply exquisite handmade pottery from Edgecomb Potters in Maine to decorate her table. (Don’t forget to fill the dishes with Wild Blueberries!)



Week 2: 
If your mom is a true gem, show her how much you love her with this sparkling blue genuine sapphire and diamond necklace. She’ll really go Wild if this is the gift she receives!



Week 3:
Finally, give mom the gift of exercising outdoors with this classic Wild Blue Schwinn Beach Cruiser Bike. Or she may want to simply join the fun and ride along with her kids on afternoon bike rides.


And if you don’t win one of the weekly prizes, you’re still in the mix to win the $1000 grand prize to make this Mother’s Day truly unforgettable.


The contest begins April 21st – and just for entering you’ll be able to download for free our Feed Her Wild Side Mother’s Day Brunch Recipe Book filled with exclusive Wild Blueberry brunch recipes created by some of our most favorite food and nutrition bloggers including Jaime Reid and Carrie Kinsley of Zest & Zeal; Rachel Hartley of An Avocado a Day; Alexandra Caspero of Delicious Knowledge; Danielle Omar of FoodConfidence; Liz Weiss from Meal Makeover Mom’s Kitchen; Rebecca Crump of Ezra Pound Cake; Serena Ball of Teaspoon of Spice and finally our Recipe ReDux Wild Blueberry Challenge Winner Gretchen Brown of kumquat.  
Make this Mother’s Day truly special and Feed Her Wild Side. Find us on Facebook and enter to win on April 21st.  The contest ends May 9th. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Let Wild Blueberries Help You Celebrate the Spring Holidays


It’s finally spring in Wild Blueberry land – although it may not feel like it just yet. And because we’re really tired of winter, we’ve decided to gear up for warmer weather with these delicious Wild Blueberry spring holiday recipes.

Whether you’re keeping kosher for Passover, or looking for a delicious dessert for your Easter table, we’ve got the perfect recipe for you. Check ‘em out below – and don’t forget to visit wildblueberries.com/recipes for even more ideas.

Wild Blueberry Quinoa Power Salad (Kosher for Passover)

Good news for everyone keeping Kosher this year – quinoa (the small protein-packed herb native to South America) has been deemed Kosher for Passover. While it’s not technically a grain, some worried previously that barley grains grown in close proximity could contaminate it. Those concerns have now been put to rest by the Kashrut Division of the Orthodox Union, so feel free to dig in to this delicious Wild Blueberry Quinoa Power Salad (created by Karmen Meyer of Nutrition Adventures) all week long!

Wild Blueberry-Quinoa Power Salad
Serves: 2
Ingredients:

Salad:
1 cup butternut squash cubes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
½ cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
2 cups baby kale mix (or 1 cup finely chopped kale)
¾ Wild Blueberries, thawed and any liquid removed
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Dressing:
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread butternut squash in an even layer on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with curry powder. Bake for 25 minutes or until squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, add quinoa and chicken broth to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 18 minutes or until liquid is gone and quinoa can be easily fluffed with a fork. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine roasted squash, red onion, and baby kale mix. Mix together, allowing the kale mix to wilt slightly. Add quinoa.
4. In a small bowl, mix together ingredients for the dressing. Pour over quinoa salad. Lightly mix in blueberries.
5. Serve warm or chilled. Store in refrigerator for up to one week.

Wild Blueberry Lemon Custards

Whether you observing the Easter Holiday as a prayerful religious observance or a more secular celebration of spring, don’t forget to add delicious Wild Blueberries to your family gathering. We absolutely love these Wild Blueberry Lemon Custards (from AnneMarie of Real Food Real Deals). They’re a simple and elegant dessert that’s sure to win over your guests.   


Wild Blueberry Lemon Custards
Ingredients:

For the Custard:
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1¾ cup milk  

For the Blueberry Sauce:
  • 1 cup wild blueberries
  • 1 tbs. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. white whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, and lemon zest until evenly combined. You can use an electric mixer or whisk by hand.
  3. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until nearly boiling (around 180 degrees).
  4. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Don’t pour the milk in too quickly or it will cook the eggs. Mix the ingredients well, then transfer the mixture to 4 ramekins or custard bowls (8 ounce size).
  5. Prepare a water bath by placing a folded dish towel at the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan (or larger). The pan should be big enough so the ramekins aren’t touching the sides of the pan or each other. Place the ramekins on the dish towel in the baking dish and place the pan in the preheated oven. Pour hot tap water into the pan to a depth that goes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This will keep the custard from burning.
  6. Bake in the water bath until set (45 to 60 minutes). To see if the custards are done, gently shake one of the ramekins. When the center is quivery but no longer watery, remove them from the oven. It will probably take closer to 60 minutes, but start checking it at 45 minutes.
  7. Cool the custards on a wire rack. Then cover and refrigerate until cold.
  8. To make the blueberry sauce, cook the sauce ingredients in a small covered pan over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir every minute or so. Remove from the heat and let the sauce cool. (Makes ½ cup.)
  9. To serve, place a tablespoon of blueberry sauce on top of each cold custard. Enjoy!