A Berry, Berry Delicious Summer

Blueberries

Was there ever anything as gorgeous as a blueberry?
“I’m ready for my close-up.”

It’s berry season in the Fraser Valley. Maybe it is where you are, too? Hearts are beating a little faster as flats of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries find their way into local kitchens and markets.

At Dishing in the Kitchen, we’ve put up a few dozen jars of strawberry jam and loaded the freezer already. The blueberries came in yesterday. To celebrate this “super fruit”, we’ve teamed up with Chef Nathan Hyam to do a demo at our local farmers market.

Researchers continue to discover more and more health benefits to this beautiful little berry.Of course, we just find it yummy. The BC Blueberry Council refers to it as nature’s candy. I must say I agree. Chef  Hyam and I will be cooking up a batch of Wojapi, a traditional dish that capitalizes on the berry’s natural sweetness and is also a breeze to make. Love making it easy in the summertime!

Nathan Hyam

Pretty gorgeous, too.

Chef Hyam has some amazing credentials and we’re just tickled to be part of his entourage. His personal philosophy as a chef emphasizes fresh healthy foods with an international influence – and who can’t get with that?

Chef Hyam tells us about Wojapi:

Wojapi is a thick berry dish, sometimes the consistency of pudding. Traditionally, it was not made with flour or sugar, but today it often is, rendering it only a marginally nutritious dish (even less so if the berries used are frozen “with sugar added”). If the berries you find are ripe and tasty, there is no need to add additional sweeteners.

This is my grandmother’s recipe, and the sauce is traditional Cherokee, which has been passed down for generations. It is very versatile and can be used on fry bread, bannock, pancakes, waffles and other desserts.

Wojapi (Lakota)

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs blueberries (can use strawberries, any berries or peaches too)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup  honey
  •  4 tbs. cornstarch or arrowroot to thicken (whisked with ½ cup cold water)

Preparation:

Mash the berries a  little first.
Put mashed fruit, honey and water into a saucepan and bring slowly to boil.
Remove from heat and stir in arrowroot or cornstarch mixture. Watch for lumps!
Place back on medium heat and simmer well while stirring until thickened to the consistency of thick sauce or pudding.

We’ll be serving the Wojapi on a healthy baked version of bannock. For those who are gluten-free, I’ll be demo-ing a method to strain yogurt to make a nice thick, creamy base for the Wojapi. We’ll be using goat yogurt  from Happy Days Dairy (dontcha’ just LOVE that name?) as an alternative for those who avoid cow’s milk products.

 

Baked Whole Wheat Bannock

  • 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 2.5 tsp sugar
  • 2.5 tsp. salt
  • 2.5 heaping tbs. baking powder
  • 5  cups  (approx) warm water

Mix dry ingredients together. make a well in the center add water and gently mix together for a wet sticky dough. The more you mix the dough, the tougher the product will be. Be gentle. Place into 2 greased bread loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Give these recipes a try and let us know what you think. Do they make you berry happy?

Nathan Hyam recipe booksDemo at the Haney Farmers Market: Saturday, July 20 -2013, 10:30 am. Drop by and meet Chef Hyam. He’ll have copies of his recipe books and be signing them. The Kitchenettes will be on hand, too. I’ll add some yummy food photos after the event. But it won’t be like being there. :)

 

Please note: Not paid to endorse Happy Days Dairy, Chef Hyam, the market, or Amazon. Just sharing the love.

 

 

 

 

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About Vicki

I’m a coach and consultant and in my spare time I like to cook and play house. I believe happy idleness is a purposeful pathway to a contented life. And I am happiest either in my pajamas or an apron – or both.

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