While we usually purchase raspberries and blueberries from a farm in the valley (last year I froze 40 pounds of each for making smoothies, shakes and muffins throughout the winter; we just finished the last bag of 2010 blackberries last week…), salmonberries, huckleberries and blackberries can be picked almost anywhere (in our neighborhood) and best of all, they’re free!
In the summertime, we frequently entice the children to go for a walk by mentioning the type of berries they’re likely to find at our destination. Here, in the Pacific Northwest, berry season starts in early June with salmonberries (not my favorite; they’re a bit prickly, but the boys love them), continues through July with huckleberries (very tiny, but well worth the picking effort) and ends in late August with blackberries (the sweetest ones grow at the very end of the branch).
This past weekend, we visited one of our favorite local parks in search of huckleberries. The children happily walked and picked and ate and filled their berry containers, not noticing the time or the distance covered and never once asking ‘how much longer?’. We hiked for a couple of hours, stopping for a snack on a lovely, moss covered rock, overlooking a large pond replete with diving ducks and a beaver dam (hubby and I are both biologists so this is heaven to us!).
While the boys (sadly, dear daughter doesn’t eat berries…) could have happily eaten all of the ‘fruits of their labors’, I managed to tuck three small containers of huckleberries and the ever-so-rare vine blackberries we had stumbled upon into my backpack. I had plans for them.
This morning I whipped up a batch of whole-wheat berry scones. Low fat, low sugar and oh, so delicious warm from the oven. You’ll notice that one of them managed to jump off the tray before it even cooled!
Don’t have huckleberries where you live? You could easily substitute raspberries or blueberries into the recipe; just be gentle when kneading as the larger fruits will be easier to smoosh, adding a bit more liquid to the batter. Remember, berries are a wonderful addition to a healthy diet; full of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants!
What’s your favorite summer berry?
Do you freeze or can summer produce for use in the winter?
Fitknitchick’s ‘Fruits-of-our-labors’ Whole Wheat Scones
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used 0% fat Greek)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup butter, cold and cubed
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 cup huckleberries (or small berry of your choice)
2. Whisk yogurt, egg and vanilla together in a small bowl.
3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
4. Using pastry blender (or two knives), cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse peas.
5. Add liquid ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until batter comes together.
6. Toss in sugar and berries and gently mix to combine.
7. With lightly floured hands, pat dough into a ball and knead on floured surface 10-12 times. Add a bit more flour if dough seems too sticky.
8. With hands, pat dough into a circle, about 1 inch thick.
9. Cut into 8 wedges. Place wedges on parchment lined cookie sheet.
10. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.
11. Cool (or not!) and eat.
Nutritional info (per serving): Calories, 203; Total Fat, 6.8 g; Sat. Fat, 3.7 g; Carbs, 27.1 g; Fibre, 4.6 g; Sugar, 0.4 g; Protein, 7 g.
Compare that with a Starbucks Raspberry Scone: Calories, 500; Total Fat, 26 g; Sat. Fat, 15 g; Carbs, 59 g; Fibre, 2 g; Sugar, 18 g; Protein, 8 g.