One of my favourite childhood summer memories is foraging for blueberries in the Whiteshell area of Manitoba. We would go almost every weekend to be sure to get enough blueberries to last our family of 8 for the winter. That required a lot of blueberries! On a recent trip to Manitoba, it was high on my list to experience this again with my own family.
What a great day! Starting from Winnipeg and heading east on the Trans Canada Highway, we watched the prairie grain fields slowly change to rocky and evergreen terrain as we began to see the start of the Canadian Shield. We reached the Whiteshell in a quick 1 1/2 hour on the road and then meandered through the lakes to a terrific hike at McGillvray Falls. Although we did the short loop it took us 3 hours. We stopped often to enjoy the picturesque views, climb up immense rocks, and to pick wild blueberries which lined the trails and carpeted the forest floor throughout the area. We quickly filled our containers and our tummies with these delicious sweet tangy blueberries. To complete the day we stopped at Falcon Beach to swim, enjoy the golden sand beach and a little of cottage life.
Having become accustomed to the taste of the cultivated larger blueberries that are grown in BC, what a treat to have these again. They are delicious fresh, easy to freeze and wonderful in so many recipes. One of my favourite blueberry recipes are these moist bright and lemony muffins. Low in sugar, low in fat, a good source of fiber from the oats and the blueberries these muffins make a terrific make ahead breakfast or snack. They also freeze well and are a perfect make ahead muffin to have on hand for busy days.
This recipe is easily adaptable to other fruit. Simple substitute other fruit for the blueberries. Raspberries, blackberries, chopped peaches, nectarines, and plums all work well.
Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins with Blueberries and Lemon
1 cup Buttermilk
1 cup Oats*
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
*I usually use Old Fashioned Large Flake Oats. If you are short on time substitute quick oats and you can shorten or omit the soaking time.
Line a 12 muffin tin with paper liners and heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium size mixing bowl mix oats and buttermilk and set aside to soak for 1 hour. To oat mixture, add egg, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice and sugar. Mix well. In a separate small bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin tin to 3/4 full and bake 20-25 minutes or until done.