Glorious Blueberries — Blueberry and Clementine Sauce with Lemon Verbena
“Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.” — Wendell Berry
I hear blueberries are the new black.
Interesting but true…….I think.
It’s quite fashionable to have them in our diet these days. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner — they fit snugly. We know how much we love them on yogurt and oatmeal, pancakes and waffles, or salads and grains. They are always a treat on ice cream and cheesecake making dessert an elegant fruity experience.
Blueberries make a recipe look a little healthier. Or so we think. Humorous it may seem but they tend to hide the underlying indulgence of a cupcake, cheesecake or scone.
We see more berries in markets these days than a few years ago. Awareness about their health benefits has increased their demand. Boxes of these blue jewels are stacked high on shelves, and we are reaching for them with open hearts. They seem to be the miracle potion that gives our bodies the perfect healthy boost.
I often wonder though what it takes to grow and nurture them. After all they are quite delicate.
Last summer I went blueberry picking. Having not done it before, I was quite excited about it. Going through the blueberry bushes and finding the right ones was fun but for just one small container. I filled it with one berry at a time understanding the effort that went into picking them.
But what about the people who work on farms, and do it everyday for hours during the season? Little things we forget sometimes. Ever since, I have had immense appreciation for people who hand pick these tiny berries for us to fill our smoothie glasses.
So I remind myself often to enjoy them slowly and savor them with love.
This blueberry and clementine sauce recipe is perfect for hot summer days. There is no cooking involved. Just combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for an hour. Lightly infused with lemon verbena, it has a delicate citrus flavor. Hint of ginger adds more depth to it. A touch of honey and a pinch of sea salt bring all the flavors together. To finish, some slivered blanched almonds give this sauce a nutty crunch.
Serve it on muesli, yogurt, ice cream, or waffles. I enjoy spoonfuls of it as a snack — cold, raw, and healthy.
Laced with blended flavors of lemon verbena and ginger, it is a perfect fruity treat for sweet cravings, yet not sugary sweet.
1 ½ cups blueberries, washed
2 clementines, peeled and segments cut in half
10-12 lemon verbena leaves, chiffonade
1/2 – 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons honey or agave
pinch of sea salt
1-2 tablespoons slivered blanched almonds
Put ½ cup blueberries in a bowl, and lightly crush them with the back of a spoon still keeping them whole. Add rest of the berries and other ingredients. Combine gently. Transfer to a jar or a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Note: Clementine will take on color from blueberries if left for longer. You could use just blueberries as well. Use ginger to your taste.