Summer time in the blueberry patch

One of the sure signs of summer in the Northwest is blueberries. They're delicious all on their own, or try mixing things up with some of these blueberry-inspired recipes.

 

When mom needs a cocktail, this refreshing spritzer is just the thing.
Or forego the alcohol and make it a mocktail everyone can enjoy.

 

Ingredients:

3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup simple syrup:

½ cup lime juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 cup mint leaves, torn

4 cups club soda

8 fluid ounces vodka (optional)

1 cup blueberries, fresh

Directions:

To make the blueberry base combine the first four ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, remove from the heat and add the mint leaves, then stir with a wooden spoon to release the mint aromas. Chill completely and strain out solids into a container by pushing on the blueberries to extract as much juice as possible.

For each drink combine 3 ounces of the chilled blueberry base in a shaker with ½ cup ice cubes; 1 fluid ounce vodka, if using, and shake to muddle and strain into a chilled glass. Add 4 ounces club soda and garnish with a few blueberries and a mint leaf.

 

 

Blueberry_slice

 

 

As if blueberries weren't good enough, this cheesecake recipe pairs the sweet-tart flavor of fresh blueberries with savory cream cheese for a decadent-tasting dessert.

Ingredients:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons honey, divided

1 container (8 ounces) nonfat orange or tangerine yogurt

4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, from an 8-ounce package

¾ cup nonfat cottage cheese

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 eggs

2 cups fresh blueberries

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons of the honey, then transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. With the back of a spoon, press mixture onto bottom and halfway up sides of plate.

In a food processor container, place yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese and cornstarch. Whirl until smooth, about 1 minute. Add eggs, whirl until blended.

Pour about half of the cheese mixture onto the crust. Top with ½ cup of the blueberries, then cover with remaining cheese mixture.

Bake until firm, about 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

In a microwaveable dish, microwave the remaining 1 tablespoon honey just until liquefied, about 15 seconds. Add the remaining 1 ½ cups blueberries and toss to coat. Top pie with berries.

Loosely cover pie and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

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