Jackie Wilson Asheeke

Now that we’ve got blueberries of our very own in Namibia, why should we let the world enjoy them and not us? Let’s create a cultural addition to our national foods and use blueberries as often as possible.

You could start off blueberry easy by just sprinkling them on top of plain or vanilla double cream yoghurt. Or, try a gin and tonic with lemon, ice and crushed blueberries.

I have been making blueberry muffins for decades. But the best batch I ever made was this past weekend using big, fat, pulpy Namib Blue berries.

Jackie’s blueberry muffins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/3 cup melted butter mixed with vegetable oil, 1 large egg, 1/3 cup milk, (or more as needed – be careful not to add to much), 1 ½ to 2 cups fresh blueberries (depending on the size of the berries, ½+ cup white sugar, and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour.

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Grease muffin baking tins or use silicon muffin cups. I use the large size muffin tins. This recipe makes 7 extra-large muffins and 12 smaller ones.

Wash the blueberries and then dust them with flour and sugar, set them aside.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil/melted butter into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and then add enough milk to make the entire mixture reach the 1-cup mark.

Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. It will be a bit sticky. Be careful not to add too much milk. It will not be a smooth or cakelike batter.

Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with sugar across the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven. Eat them hot, right out of the oven.

When I can find more of the Namib Blue berries, I will make this one:

Rooibos-Blueberry-Glazed Donut Holes

(This recipe was by Taylor Murray, www.countryliving.com)

Ingredients

1/3 c. plus 1 tablespoon whole milk, 1 1/8 tsp. active, dry yeast, 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, 1 large egg, 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled, plus more for work surface, 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, 2 qt. canola oil, plus more for bowl and baking sheet, 8 oz. blueberries (2 cups), and 6 tbsp loose rooibos tea, and 2 c. confectioners’ sugar.

Directions

Heat milk in a small glass measuring cup in microwave on high for 30 seconds or until just warm to the touch (between 100°F and 110°F). Stir in yeast and granulated sugar. Set aside until frothy, 4 to 6 minutes (if mixture does not froth, discard and start again). Transfer to a bowl; add egg and whisk to combine. Whisk in butter and salt (don’t worry if some lumps of butter remain).

Stir in flour and lemon zest until a dough forms. Beat dough with an electric mixer fitted with dough hook on low speed, 5 minutes (dough will be sticky). Lightly oil a bowl. Transfer dough to prepared bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise, at room temperature, until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Lightly oil a large baking sheet. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; lightly dust dough. Roll into an 18-by-1 1/4-inch rope. Cut into 1-inch pieces and roll into balls. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with a towel. Let rise, at room temperature, until puffed, 25 to 30 minutes.

Place a wire rack on a baking sheet. Heat oil in a large saucepan to 350°F to 360°F. Cook donuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to wire rack using a slotted spoon; let cool.

Cook blueberries, rooibos, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan, pressing berries with a potato masher to mash, until syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain through a wire-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth; discard tea. Add confectioner’s sugar and whisk until smooth. Dip tops of donut holes in glaze.