I love wild blueberries. Although the Adirondack Park offers many incredible things during the summer months – fireflies, endless starry skies, wildflowers, wildlife, crisp mountain air, campfires, laughter, and fun – picking and eating wild blueberries are near the top of my list of favorite summer highlights. Not just because they are delicious, but because the action of picking them is a family tradition.
My maternal grandmother was First Nations, and she loved picking wild blueberries during the summers. She taught her children and grandchildren how to pick wild blueberries in the style she had learned from her family, squatting low to the ground to gently shake the ripe berries into her hand, and then dropping the berries over her shoulder to the berry basket strapped to her back.
Midgie (my grandmother) and my mom were the fastest berry pickers I have ever seen, something I took for granted when I was a child, impatiently waiting for the wild blueberry pancakes, muffins, cobbler, and other treats to come from their gathered bounty. This recipe for wild blueberry muffins is quick and easy, taking less than five minutes to prepare, and only around 20 minutes to bake (time not including picking wild blueberries, of course!). To make a vegan-friendly version, you can use plant milk (or plant juice, as my son likes to call it). For an oil-free version, substitute equal amounts of applesauce for the oil called for in the recipe (I used cinnamon applesauce – it was delicious!). I hope that you enjoy these muffins and the memories of picking (and eating) the wild blueberries that make these muffins amazing.
1 ¼ cup milk (OR plant milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cornstarch (or arrowroot)
1/3 cup oil (OR applesauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups wild blueberries
1 Tablespoon sugar (optional, for topping)
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Either use muffin liners to line a muffin pan or lightly spray a silicone muffin pan with oil.
3. In a separate small bowl, combine the milk and apple cider vinegar, and set aside (for a few minutes, to let curdle).
4. In a separate large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch, stirring thoroughly to combine.
5. Add the curdled milk/vinegar mixture, oil, and vanilla extract, stirring gently (do not over-stir!).
6. Gently fold in the wild blueberries.
7. Carefully add the batter to the muffin pan, filling each section around 2/3-3/4 of the way full. Sugar and extra berries may be sprinkled on top of each muffin, if desired (optional).
8. Place the muffin tray in the preheated oven, and bake for around 20 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly browned on top (or if a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean).
9. Muffins should cool in their pan for around 5 minutes before being removed. Leftover muffins can be stored in an air-tight container for around three days, or frozen for up to six months.