Ideas

Gardening: How to Grow Blueberries

Blueberries: How to grow the best blueberries

  • How to grow blueberries in the ground or in pots

  • How to keep them productive

  • How to prune blueberries

  • Choose a good variety.

  • Unless you have naturally acid soil, it’s a lot of effort growing blueberries in the ground. You could create a raised bed and replace the soil with ericaceous compost.

 

Grow blueberries in a container

potted blueberry

 

Blueberries make good container plants

  • For most people it’s easier to grow blueberries in a container filled with ericaceous compost (anything recommended for rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas will suit blueberries, too).

  • Blueberries make good patio plants, with autumn colour, flowers and fruit. They’ll tolerate some shade, too.

  • When you buy a plant in a small pot, don’t put it into a large container

  • straight away unless the roots have already filled the pot.

  • As it grows and the roots fill the pot each year, repot it into a slightly larger container, adding fresh ericaceous compost around the edges

  • Feed with an ericaceous fertiliser and water with rainwater. This is easier said than done in a dry summer, but you could set aside a water butt just for your blueberries.

  • Keep the compost moist, but not waterlogged.

 

How to harvest blueberries

  • Blueberries are self-fertile so you only need one plant, although having more than one will improve the amount of fruit that sets.

  • When fully ripe the berries develop a bloom. Immature fruit are sharper tasting, which you might prefer for cooking; if you prefer eating them fresh, they become sweeter the longer they’re left.

  • Once you get your eye in, leave them until they’re at the perfect stage for your needs.

  • Blueberries keep for weeks once picked, so you can store them in the fridge until you have a decent amount. They also freeze well if you’re lucky enough to have a surplus.

  • The main pest is the blackbird and other fruit-eating birds. You will have to be fastidious in covering your plants with netting to defeat them.

How to prune blueberries

pruning

  • Pruning is fairly straightforward. In the first couple of years, simply shorten any wayward shoots and aim for a neat, open-centred bush.

  • Thereafter, prune a third of the oldest branches to their base in late winter to give a balance of one-, two- and three-year-old wood. Blueberries fruit on shoots formed on year-old branches

  • Blueberries are not fully hardy. Wrap the pots or pull them under cover in severe winters.

  • Cover the blossom with fleece if hard frosts are predicted.

“Blueberries: How to Grow the Best Blueberries.” How To Grow The Best Blueberries. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

 

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Recipes, recipes for kids, Super Food Series

Red White and Blue – July 4th Healthy Dessert Recipe

I have attending a “Health Starts Here” classes at Whole Foods Market for the past 5 weeks.  One of the recipes Katherine (our facilitator) shared with us is this simply delicious Berry Crumble Dessert.  She made it and we got a chance to taste it.  This is soooo yummy!

The whole family will love this! The colors are beautiful and make the perfect dessert to conclude a 4th of July get-together.

Berry Crumble

2 cups Blueberries

2 cups Strawberries

2 Tablespoon Date Paste

1/2 cup Chopped pecans and walnuts

Steps:

1. Take the tops off the strawberries and slice.

2. Add blueberries to strawberry slices.

3. Use about 2 tablespoons of date paste

4.  Mix it all together with your hands until all the fruit is coated with the date paste.

5.  Top the fruit mixture with the chopped nuts.

You might want to top with whipped topping or cashew cream.

Cashew Cream

1 Cup – Cashews soaked overnight

Enough purified water to make the mixture creamy.

Drain the cashews.

Place the cashews in the blender (Vitamix or Blendtec give the smoothest results)

Add water until the creamy consistency that you want.

Pour over the Berry Crumble.

Have a safe and enjoyable July 4th!!

GTGF
Image: m_bartosch / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Gluten-Free Recipe, Ideas, Recipes, Super Food Series

Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes – Gluten-Free Recipe

I have just recently began to eat quinoa.  I love it! It is such a nice flavor and new texture that my palate absolutely loves!

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Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes 

Makes 5-6 pancakes

Cooking tip #1: If you’re dieting, you’ll want to fry these pancakes in a non-stick pan using cooking spray.  I used a large skillet as follows.  I sprayed one side of the pan and poured in 2 pancakes (¼ cup batter) when the pan was medium hot.  When they were ready to be flipped, I sprayed the other side of the pan and turned them over onto that side.  Then I sprayed the original side and started another set of pancakes.  I used medium heat and, if any smoking occurred, I turned the heat down a bit.

Cooking tip #2: Unlike their gluten-flour counterparts, these pancakes do not announce that they’re finished on the hidden side by creating bubbles on the visible side.  You’ll need to cook these on one side for about 3 minutes or when the edges are fully browned.  Flip them carefully and cook for another 2-3 minutes or when a spatula pressed into the surface does not leave a dent.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup quinoa flour
  • ¼ cup quinoa flakes
  • 2 tbsp. artificial sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. xanthan gum
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup soy milk or other alternative milk
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup blueberries

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients: quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, artificial sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together all liquid ingredients: milk, pumpkin, egg substitute, oil, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients.
  4. Add blueberries to combined mixture.
  5. Heat frying pan over medium heat.  Use ¼ cup as a measure to hold the batter per pancake.  Cook 3 minutes on one side and 2-3 minutes on the other. (See Cooking tips #1 and #2 above).
For Weight Watchers: The entire recipe is 7 points on the Points plan and 8.5 points on PointsPlus plan.  If you wish to reduce points on the Points plan, make these without any fruit.
This recipe is printed from The Food Refashionista at http://foodrefashionista.wordpress.com
Ideas, Kids, Super Food Series

Super Foods Series – Top Six Benefits of Blueberries

 Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Boastful Blueberry – A Super Food With Bragging Rights

Blueberries are one of the super foods we hear a lot about. These delicious, deep  blue summer berries are well-known for their antioxidants, containing the highest amount of any other berries. However, blueberries have some other specific health benefits that are worth talking about. Let’s take a look.

Big Benefits In A Sweet Little Berry

The list of health 6 benefits from eating blueberries is stacking up,Couldn’t your body benefit from a little extra blueberry goodness? Kids love them too.

1.  If you’re looking for a low-calorie, high-fiber fruit with lots to offer your health, blueberries may be just what you need. One cup of blueberries has less than 100 calories, and offers one-quarter of your daily requirement for Vitamin C.

2.  Loaded with vitamins and minerals, blueberries can boast about nutrients that are significant in keeping your brain healthy. Specifically, scientists claim that blueberries maintain and restore a healthy nervous system, prevent the death of brain cells that lead to health concerns like Alzheimer’s disease, and keep your memory sharp for a long time. That’s a lot of brain power.

3.  Better Continue reading “Super Foods Series – Top Six Benefits of Blueberries”