Spring seems just around the corner, and one of the best parts of spring is the first arrival of home-grown blueberries. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy these little yummy berries year-round, but they are especially good starting in spring, in late April and May when we can begin to look for locally grown berries.

Blueberries are traditionally grown in much cooler climates, in the northern forests of British Columbia and Oregon, along with the blueberry-rich states like Michigan and Maine where most of the domestic blueberries are grown. Until the middle of the last decade, finding commercial blueberry farms in California wasn’t easy. It took introducing southern highbush varieties, originating from the University of Florida and North Carolina State University, to make California a major player in the growing of blueberries. Where once California had fewer than 200 acres of blueberries, it now boasts thousands of planted acres, which are estimated to yield many millions of pounds annually of this healthy little berry.

Blueberries have often been called the “wonder berry” for all of their healthy attributes. Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with high levels of the essential vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. Blueberries are also high in antioxidants, have been known to lower cholesterol, and there are even studies that link blueberries to inhibiting cancer cell development and lessening the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

But the best news? With all the above-mentioned health benefits, blueberries are also quite delicious. We love to add them to our muffins at the bakery and think they are the perfect little snack for your Sunday brunch table, for a spring picnic, or to bring with you for a convenient and delicious snack on the slopes during your next spring ski trip.

We have included the recipe for our traditional Model Bakery Blueberry Muffins, and hope you bake and enjoy these yummy little treats.

Happy Baking!

Model Bakery Blueberry Muffins

Makes a dozen muffins

13 ounces flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

10 ounces sugar

3 ounces butter

3 ounces canola oil

5 eggs

1 Tbsp. vanilla

5 ounces buttermilk

2 pints blueberries (7-8 berries per muffin)

 

Streusel topping:

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8 ounces butter

6 ounces sugar

6 ounces brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/2 Tbsp. vanilla

1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix dry ingredients. Add butter in small cubes. Mix until crumbly and holds together. In a mixing bowl with an electric whisk, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the oil to the mixture, then the eggs one at a time. Mix into ingredients. Add the vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and then 1/3 of the buttermilk and mix, alternating dry ingredients and buttermilk until combined.

Line muffin cups in baking pans sprayed with nonstick spray. Fill muffin cups halfway with batter. Sprinkle on blueberries: 4-5 for each muffin. Add batter until the cups are full. Sprinkle remaining blueberries, 3-4 for each muffin. Sprinkle with streusel topping.

Bake 25 minutes.

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