It’s blueberry picking season in the Northland and, if you’re like me, you’re getting out and picking blueberries every chance you get. I try to pick around 15-20 pounds of blueberries a year from a couple different berry places around the Duluth/Cloquet area. I freeze a majority of these to use throughout the year. They are refreshing and delightful in the summer, but a good pick-me-up when you are struggling for winter and wishing it was warm and sunny outside. One of my favorite preparations that uses either fresh or frozen blueberries is something dreams are made of. Blueberry Cream Cheese Bars are the most delightful dessert and I am going to share my secret recipe with you.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Squares
¼ cup cornstartch
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
3 cups blueberries
In a saucepan, cook over medium heat all ingredients together until sauce is thick. Set aside to cool.
Graham Cracker Crust
3 cups crushed graham crackers
1 ½ sticks of melted butter
Mix graham crackers and melted butter together. Take ¾ of the mixture and press into 9×13 pan. Put in fridge to cool.
Cream Cheese Mixture
2 packages of cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip
In mixer, beat together softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture onto the graham cracker crust, add the cooled blueberry sauce on top of that, and spread remaining cream cheese mixture on top of the blueberry sauce. Sprinkle remaining graham cracker crumble on top and enjoy.
I recommend having your kiddos help you pick the berries, but eat this dessert all by yourself when they’re in bed for the night!
If you must share your blueberry baked goods, feed them this delicious baked oatmeal for breakfast.
Berry Baked Oatmeal
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 ½ cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 cups fresh blueberries (can use other berries or a mixture)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray a 2 ½ quart baking dish. Combine all dry ingredients and place half of the mixture in the baking dish, spread half of the blueberries on top, spread remaining oat mixture over blueberries and sprinkle remaining berries on the top. Whisk the eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla together and pour over the oats and berries. Gently shake the pan to make sure the liquid gets to the bottom of the pan. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes until oats are tender. Enjoy warm or cool and reheat individual servings as needed.
This is so good that my husband, who does not eat oatmeal OR fruit, will actually eat this. It’s a home run with my not-as-picky-as-his-dad son, too!
If you are not into baking and need ideas for blueberries I would recommend adding them to muffins, yogurt, smoothies, pancake batter, waffle batter, on top of ice cream, or into a mojito, margarita, or wine spritzer. Enjoy!