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.