Summertime in North Carolina means a bounty of berries are available across the state.
Weekends and summer evenings offer the perfect time to find a local blueberry farm and pick you own delicious berries. Fresh berries are also available at farmers markets and grocery stores across the state. Once you get your berries home check out the recipes below from the 2022 N.C. Mountain State Fair’s Blueberries ‘From Scratch’ Competition.
This special cooking contest was sponsored by the N.C. Blueberry Council. Each recipe had to include blueberries as its main ingredient and contain less than a cup of sugar.
Recipes were judged on health, ease of preparation and taste.
Carole Carter of Henderson County placed first and won $200 for her Blueberry Honey Tart. Connie Pegg of Buncombe County placed second and won $100 for her Blueberry Mustard. Sharon Gates, also of Buncombe County, placed third and won $75 for her Snappy Superfood Snack bites.
If you think you might have a winning recipe, consider entering this year’s cooking competitions at the 2023 Mountain State Fair, which runs Sept. 8-17 in Fletcher A list of competitions is available at this link. Entry deadline is Aug. 11. The winning recipes are below.
- 1 refrigerated ready-made pie crust
- 2 pints (4 cups) fresh N.C. blueberries
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon orange peel
- Whipped topping for garnish (optional)
Unroll pie crust and press into tart shell or pie dish. Mix remaining ingredients and pour into crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Allow to cool. Serve at room temperature with whipped topping garnish or warm with ice cream.
- 1 cup N.C. blueberries
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup dry mustard
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Place blueberries and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook about five minutes or until blueberries are soft. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Put the blueberries through a fine mesh sieve to extract the pulp. Discard the skins. Add enough cooking water to the pulp to measure 1/4 cup. Add in the dry mustard and stir. Let set about 10 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. If mixture is too thick, add more cooking liquid, one teaspoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. Pour into clean glass jar and store in refrigerator. Use as you would any mustard.
Makes 2/3 cup.
Snappy Superfood Snack Bites
- 3/4 cups shredded coconut, divided
- 1 cup N.C. blueberries
- 1/2 cup quick oats (not rolled oats)
- 1/4 cup (6-7 large) pitted dates
- 1/2 cup nuts (I use a mixture of cashews, walnuts and almonds)
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
In a food processor, pour 1/2 cup coconut and process for 20 to 30 seconds, until coconut is broken down into small pieces. Remove to shallow small bowl and reserve for coating. No need to wash the food processor. Return the food processor to the stand and pour in all the remaining ingredients. Process one to two minutes until all of the ingredients are well combined and no whole berries or dry oats remain. Spoon dough into a storage bowl and chill at least 15 minutes. Scoop out with a one-inch cookie scoop and shape into balls with clean hands. Roll each ball in reserved coconut to coat all sides. Chill until ready to eat. These snack bites can also be frozen. They are a great alternative to processed snacks and are full of the great nutrients offered by blueberries.
Yield: 15 to 20 balls