Blueberry Mini-Adventure (and Muffins!)

We all hated jack pine in college. In forestry school, we spent an entire fall semester alternating our time between cool, moist hardwood forests and the hot, dusty jack pine plains. The hardwoods were comfortable to work in and a lot less likely to harbor nests of vicious hornets. It took me a long time to come around and enjoy being in jack pine.

One reason to like jack pine: blueberries!

Recently we went put to pick blueberries and run the dogs, and this is what it looked like:

Walking through the j-pine. Watch out for ground-nesting hornets!

A kettle pond, home to a few ducks that kept us company during our visit.

The jack pine plains have a certain smell because of this plant: sweet fern. We’ll call it “an acquired smell.”
All the other familiar plants of this forest community: especially bracken fern and reindeer moss.
The goods.

 Blueberry Muffins

We never hit the blueberry jackpot, and only collected 2-3 pints of blueberries. Wild blueberries are the best because all the blueberry flavor is jam-packed into a smaller berry. This makes them perfect for two uses in particular: pancakes and muffins. Since we’re temporarily out of maple syrup,we “decided” to make muffins. Here’s my recipe for wild blueberry muffins:

  • Start with Joy the Baker’s recipe for Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins (I’ve tried tons of muffin recipes, and this is always my go-to, especially because I can use up the applesauce I feel compelled to make every fall.)
  • Substitute 3/4 cup blueberries with 1.5 cups wild blueberries
  • Use 3 T butter, 1 teas. cinnamon, and a 1/2 cup each of flour, oats, and brown sugar to make a crumble topping
More goods. Yum!
More goods. Yum!

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