Blueberry pancakes have their own national day, celebrated on January 28th. If that is news to you, well, it was to us too! Beat the winter blues by enjoying blueberry pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you don't have to wait until the end of January either.
For us, pancakes and maple syrup are a staple comfort food in Vermont on cold winter days. It's common for the local restaurants to get into the spirit of the day by stacking up blueberry pancakes. Every place has their own recipe, and topped with pure Vermont maple syrup you can't go wrong as a hungry person, so long as you know where to look.
History of Blueberries
In writing this blog, I thought it would be important to provide a bit of history on the blueberry. I certainly realized how little I knew, fortunately, the University of Maine has a wonderful video presentation breaking it down in about ten minutes. It was cool to learn that following the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago, wild blueberries were among the first plants to propagate the soil.
Following this, Native Americans utilized these berries as a food source in the coming centuries. Then, European colonists learned of this nutrient rich and flavorful berry, and began commercial harvesting in the 18th century. Modern practices and equipment have allowed yield potential in Maine to increase from 10 million pounds on 100,000 acres in 1950, to 100 million pounds on 44,000 acres today.
New England Food
In our busy day to day life here at the farm we sometimes focus too intently on our own trials and tribulations. However, it's beneficial to look outside of our own industry and get to know how other farm's specialties complement our own. We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day than with Maine wild blueberries from small family growers.
Interestingly, wild blueberries are smaller in size than their mass produced cousins. Additionally, wild blueberries have twice the amount of antioxidants as a cup of their cultivated counterparts, while also being a great source of vitamins C, K, and manganese.
Most importantly though, is that wild blueberries are packed with complex flavors (how great is it when health and tastiness come together!). The larger size of mass produced, "supermarket" blueberries comprises mostly of water, diluting the wonderful flavor. Alexander's Wild Maine Blueberries from the heart of Maine's Blueberry Barrens offers this warning to potential customers, "If you are new to this small blueberry with the big taste, know this–once you try a WILD blueberry, no other blueberry will ever satisfy." We have to agree with that because we feel the same way about our real maple syrup compared to the fake stuff. The fact they're sold out of 2020 stock backs that up, join their waiting list for 2021's harvest here.
Blueberries are one of the few fruits that hold their nutritional characteristics and flavor when frozen, meaning that you can stock up during the harvest and have plenty all year long for many breakfasts to come.
Vermont Maple Syrup
No celebration of National Blueberry Pancake Day would be complete without the pancakes, and with that, a strong pour of maple syrup. Maple syrup carries antioxidants of it's own, and is pure and natural with no additives. If you're careful and source your pancake ingredients correctly, you can provide a sustainable meal while being confident about where each important ingredient was derived. No small feat this day and age.
Blueberry Pancake Recipe
Making your own pancakes from scratch is a great thing to do with kids and builds memories for years to come. There are plenty of fancy recipes out there with lots of ingredients, but we prefer to keep it simple. Our best recipe for quick pancakes is simple and easy and doesn't require an emergency trip to the grocery store for an ingredient that you wouldn't normally have on hand.
If you don't like the dull, blue tint that mixing blueberries into the pancake batter produces, I suggest that you drop your blueberries in the batter after you ladle the batter onto the griddle. Its a much better way to ensure that each fluffy breakfast cake is loaded with the right amount of blueberries.
Easy Blueberry Pancake Recipe
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 Tbsp sugar
2 cups buttermilk (or sour milk)
Sift dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together. Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir till mixed, do not over stir. Pour on a hot greased griddle. Flip when you see bubbles and remove when cooked through. Top with real Vermont maple syrup.
Best Pancake Mix
Making pancakes from scratch isn't for everyone, or you might be in a hurry; either way, we won't judge. Our shop offers both buttermilk and blueberry options. We've made a ton of pancakes from these mixes when we're in a hurry at home. It's important for us to ensure "quality control" before we sell to our valued customers, or that's what we tell ourselves.