June 4, 2018

Roasted maple blueberries & a review of "The Fruit Forager's Companion"


Disclaimer: Chelsea Green Publishing provided me with a review copy of this cookbook. All opinions expressed are my own. 

When I saw that Sara Bir had a new book coming out dedicated to recipes for foraged fruit, I was super excited to say the least. But, this isn't just a book of recipes, it's full of information - why people forage fruit, doing so respectfully and safely, and also what makes these wild fruits special to us. Sara's writing is informational, quirky, and fun! The Fruit Forager's Companion: Ferments, Desserts, Main Dishes, and More from Your Neighborhood and Beyond combines my love of fruit, local food, nature, seasonal ingredients, frugality, and cooking all in one! My readers know that we dabble in foraging and that I'm a bit obsessed with U-Pick orchards and farms, especially apples and blueberries. We planted three pawpaw trees three years ago now and are anxiously awaiting their fruits in a few years. I try to get over to my father-in-law's to snag currants and raspberries before the birds get them all. You get the picture. We like fresh, seasonal fruits and we like to pick them ourselves when we can.

Sara's book is loaded with lovely recipes for fruits you are probably very familiar with like lemons, apples, blueberries, cherries, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries as well as others which you may not be as familiar with such as hackberries, mayhaws (new to me!), loquats (Japanese plums), pawpaws, spicebush, sumac, crab apples, and barberries, along with many others. I chose to make the Roasted Maple Blueberries recipe for my review. Here in the WNY region, we aren't quite ready for foraging fruits just yet, so I had to buy them at the store (our freezer stash from last summer is depleted). The blueberries were absolutely delicious and super simple to make. We all enjoyed them with some pancakes for lunch. I'm looking forward to trying more recipes including Curried Crab Apple Sauerkraut Salad (hello, yum!), Five-Spice Pickled Cherries, Pawpaw Pudding, Cranberry Ketchup, and Persimmon Bread, just to name a few! Sara's book definitely deserves a spot on your bookshelf, especially if you like nature, fruits, and exploring new culinary ideas and recipes.


Roasted maple blueberries
3 cups fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons real maple syrup (the darkest you can get)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the blueberries across in a single layer. Drizzle with the maple syrup.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the berries release their juice. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully lift the parchment and curl the ends into a funnel. Empty the contents into a bowl or quart-sized jar, using a rubber spatula to get all the juice. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Serve on pancakes, waffles, yogurt, etc.


I hope you enjoyed this review and I truly hope you will pick up a copy of Sara's book! I know I'll be referencing and flipping through it a lot this summer and fall (and for years to come) as we get into fruit season! You can order a copy from the publisher or from Amazon.

5 comments:

  1. Our blueberry bushes are loaded with berries, can't wait til July! Thank you for the review and the recipe!

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  2. I've never even thought to roast blueberries! But I love to roast veggies, and have roasted strawberries. So why not blueberries? Great idea -- thanks.

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  3. This sounds like the perfect cookbook for you! I often forage casually when I take walks. It is amazing what's out there. A bit upset though that the plum tree that always gifted me has died!

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  4. what an interesting book, and what a glorious way to use blueberries! pancakes never had it so good.

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  5. I really need to get my little hands on some fresh blueberries!!! This looks so very yummy!

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