Food

Homemade Fresh Blueberry Sauce

At this point in the summer season, fresh fruit abounds! Where I live, blueberries are plentiful in local stores, farm stands and pick-your-own options. With so many available right now, I find myself picking up more than my family is able to eat up in a reasonable amount to time.

 

We were out of town last week, so when we returned, I knew there were some foods in the fridge that we would need to get through fast. So when my boys asked for pancakes, I decided to top them with something a but more special than a drizzle of syrup. Enter…Homemade Fresh Blueberry Sauce!

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I had never made blueberry sauce – properly known as blueberry compote – before. But I’ve often wondered how this sweet, fruity, smoothly decadent treat is made. And if you’ve looked around this site at all, you know I’m a big fan of keeping things simple. So I was thrilled when I found a recipe that required few ingredients and little work. I tweaked the recipe a bit to suit my liking.

 

I created this topping specifically on my pancakes, but after tasting it, I can certainly imagine using it on a variety of other yummy treats like ice cream, waffles, scones, yogurt parfaits, toast and others.

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Needless to say, the blueberry sauce – and the pancakes – went FAST. I think I even caught my little guy licking his plate.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons flour (optional)

Combine 1 cup of the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining blueberries and cook for 10 more minutes , stirring frequently. For thicker compote, whisk in one teaspoon of flour completely. Add second teaspoon; whisk in completely. Serve warm.

Easy Cucumber Tomato Salad

With just a handful of ingredients, this is one of the simplest summertime dishes that I make on a regular basis. The flavor, texture and color combine to make an amazing fresh veggie side that goes perfectly with any main course.

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Ingredients:

2 cups chopped tomatoes (I like to use cherry tomatoes because they’re sweeter, especially during the summer)
2 cups chopped English cucumber
1/4 cup tomato basil feta cheese
1 tbsp dry Italian season
1 cup Italian salad dressing

Combine tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese in a medium sized bowl. Mix in Italian seasonings. Pour in salad dressing and mix. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then enjoy!

 

Mixed Berry Yogurt Parfaits

MixedBerryYogurtParfaitThere’s just something about beautifully colored food that makes you want to eat it. The colors scream flavor – and flavor means gooood!

One of the easiest foods to “make colorful” is a yogurt parfait. Each alternating layer of red, pink, blue, gold, or whatever other color your ingredient brings, means another layer of delectability.

If I let my kids choose between a pre-packaged container of yogurt or a “homemade yogurt parfait” where they can see all the pretty layers, the parfait wins hands down. So recently, when they asked for a snack, I immediately reached for this go-to treat that I knew they’d devour.

By the way, my favorite container I use to serve these “special treats” is an Irish coffee glass. It’s the perfect size for a hot chocolate, smoothie, ice cream, and of course, a parfait. I reached for these when it came time to assemble!

Here’s my mixed berry yogurt parfait recipe:

ingredients

Ingredients
2 cups vanilla flavored non-fat Greek yogurt
2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries
2 tbsp honey
2 cups granola (optional)

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Layer 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt into the bottom of 2 glasses. Add 1/2 cup of defrosted or fresh berries and juice. Add 1/2 tbsp honey. Repeat until glasses are filled to the top. Serve parfaits immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Try adding granola or almonds to add some crunch; or layer in a 1/4 cup of cooked oatmeal for a heartier snack.

Your turn: what’s your favorite, go-to colorful treat?