When Fats Domino wrote the lyrics “I found my thrill, on Blueberry Hill,” I don’t think he was talking about the health benefits of eating blueberries, but perhaps he just didn’t know the facts. Blueberries are quite the superfood. A healing fruit high in antioxidants, blueberries also provide vitamins C, B complex, E, and A, plus copper, selenium, zinc, and iron.
A 2009 Ohio State University study found that blueberries shrunk the size of tumors and significantly improved survival rates in an animal research project. A compound in blueberries has also been found to prevent colon cancer, according to a 2007 study from Rutgers University and the U.S.D.A.
Maybe Fats Domino would have had a different name had he actually eaten blueberries? Anyway, for those of us who want the thrill of nourishing our bodies with the top superfoods, blueberries should be added to the list.
Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake
For the cake:
2 cups Elizabeth’s Gluten-free Flour Blend plus 2 tsp baking powder (see recipe below) or The Pure Pantry Organic All-Purpose Baking Mix (already includes baking soda)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter
1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
3 large eggs, beaten, or egg replacer
1/2 cup sour cream or sour cream substitute
3 Tbsp milk of choice (rice, almond, or regular)
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups organic blueberries
For the crumb topping:
¾ cup Elizabeth’s Gluten-free Flour Blend (see recipe below) or The Pure Pantry Organic All-Purpose Baking Mix (already includes baking soda)
1/3 cup coconut oil or butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine baking mix, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat coconut oil (or butter). Add brown sugar (or coconut sugar) and cream together. Add eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. With mixer on low, add sour cream (or non-dairy substitute), milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.
4. Gently fold in blueberries. Pour batter into greased Bundt pan or 9-by-11-inch baking dish.
5. Prepare crumb topping: Blend coconut oil (or butter) with baking mix and sugar until mixture resembles pea-size crumbs. Sprinkle on top of cake batter.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool before serving.
Elizabeth’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend
Makes 4 cups
1 ½ cup organic brown rice flour
1 ¼ cup organic white rice flour
½ cup organic potato starch flour
½ cup organic sorghum flour, millet flour, or amaranth flour
¼ cup organic tapioca flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
Mix together all ingredients, place in an airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to 4 months.
When choosing which flour combination to use, consider that sorghum will give you the lightest result in baking, while millet and amaranth will be heavier. For cakes and cookies, I recommend using sorghum in the blend. For breads, scones, and biscuits, millet or amaranth are all good choices.
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Elizabeth Kaplan is the founder of The Pure Pantry, an allergen-free natural foods company that creates nutritious, great-tasting, and easy-to-use baking mixes. She is the author of Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-free Recipes. When she was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, and subsequently her children were diagnosed with severe food allergies and gluten intolerance, she focused her passion for the culinary arts on gluten-free cuisine. Elizabeth teaches cooking classes that help others transition to a gluten-free lifestyle, lectures on topics related to gluten intolerance, and writes a lifestyle blog in which she shares recipes, nutrition tips, entertaining and travel ideas, and her first-hand knowledge about raising children with food allergies. Her husband and three children all enjoy being her official taste testers for the recipes and products she creates.