Smoothie and cheesecake recipes for blueberry season

Blueberry Banana Smoothie. (Craig Glover/QMI AGENCY)

Blueberry Banana Smoothie. (Craig Glover/QMI AGENCY)

Jill Wilcox, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:22 PM ET

Blueberry season is at its peak and an opportune time to incorporate these nutritious berries into lots of meals.

Blueberries really shine at breakfast, when they can be tossed on top of a bowl of yogurt or put into the blender to make a delicious smoothie.

This week I'm providing two recipes using local blueberries. The first is a smoothie that features plump frozen berries along with banana, orange juice and ginger. Freezing the berries is easy and makes your smoothie more "milkshake" like.

The other recipe is for a blueberry cheesecake pie that is an adaptation of one that appeared a number of years ago in Gourmet magazine.

Local blueberries are in abundance right now, be sure to enjoy them!

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. (500 ml) of frozen blueberries
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 c. (250 ml) orange juice
  • 1 cup (250 ml) of milk
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) minced fresh ginger

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. (If smoothie is too thick, add some additional orange juice or milk)

Pour into glasses and enjoy.

(Serves 4)

Blueberry Cheesecake Pie

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 c. (50 ml) sugar
  • 1/3 c. (75 ml) unsalted butter, melted
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. (180C)

Directions:

Combine the graham crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl.

Place the mixture into a 9 -inch pie plate and press the mixture firmly and evenly along the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.

Filling

  • 8 ounces (250 g) of light cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp. (25 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. (15 ml) lemon zest
  • 2/3 c. (150 ml) sugar
  • 3 (3) eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

In a medium bowl, place the cream cheese, lemon juice and zest. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

Add the sugar and continue to beat until the sugar has been well combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until smooth and light.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until set. Let cool.

Topping

  • 1/4 c. (50 ml) sugar
  • 1/3 c. (75 ml) water
  • 1 tbsp. (15 ml) cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 cups (500 ml) of blueberries
  • 1/4 c. (50 ml) blueberries for garnish
  • 1 tsp. (50 ml) lemon zest for garnish

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, cornstarch, lemon juice and 1 cup (250 ml) of the blueberries. Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture is smooth and thick. Stir in remaining 1 cup (250 ml) berries and let cool.

Spoon the topping over the pie and refrigerate for at least one hour. Garnish with additional 1/4 c. fresh blueberries and remaining lemon zest.

(Serves 6-8)


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