After taking two car trips last year, I realized a few things that I am sure Mom's & Dad's already know about traveling anywhere in a car with kids. You need to keep them entertained at all times and you need to have healthy snacks, lots of different ones. We might not have kids but I am diabetic and the snack part, also applies to me.
At one gas station Quik-Mart, I needed to eat something just to hold me over till lunch. I stood in front of that counter and could not find one healthy snack. I eventually settled on a fiber bar. It was better than the alternative.I really needed to start taking homemade healthy snacks on road trips.
Before our last car trip this Christmas, an email was sent to all the Recipe Redux members on an upcoming recipe contest in the new year that was sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association and we should keep that in the back of our minds until after the New Year.
Wild Blueberries have advantages over the larger cultivated blueberries, including:
- Intense flavor & color
- More berries per pound
- Less water, so they freeze better and perform better in baking
- Higher concentration of beneficial phytochemicals, making them a more powerful ally against disease
- Wild = more protective phytochemicals in every serving
- Wild Blueberries are leaders in antioxidant capacity; They are rich in anthocyanin, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which may help prevent chronic diseases
- Anthocyanin is a flavonoid found in the deep blue pigments of Wild Blueberries, giving them their color and their antioxidant power. We call it the “The Power of Wild Blue”
- Brain health
- Heart health
- Diabetes prevention
- Cancer prevention
- Reducing oxidative stress
- Preventing UTIs
- Eye health
- Most Wild Blueberries are frozen at harvest, locking in their intense blueberry flavor and antioxidant power
- Frozen Fresh Wild Blueberries are just as nutritious as fresh and may even retain their nutritional value longer
- Frozen Fresh Wild Blueberries are available year-round; they can be used right out of the freezer – no thawing required
- Frozen Fresh Wild Blueberries offer consumers the most convenient way to have the Antioxidant Superfruit at hand at all times.
- Frozen Fresh Wild Blueberries make it easy to get your “Daily Dose of Wild Blue”
- Frozen Wild Blueberries are an excellent value, they offer consistent quality, ease of use, high antioxidant content, health benefits, less spoilage, affordability.
This snack was the perfect use for wild blueberries. The addition of Peanut Butter makes this possibly one of the healthiest snacks around!
Line a sheet pan with plastic wrap. Using a standard squeeze bottle filled with the peanut butter mixture, lay down lines about 1" apart. Do each line 4x.
Most roll-ups are made with meaty (pulpy) fruits. Strawberries, mangoes, peaches, raspberries and apples. All of those have natural pectin, something very important for the roll-ups to, well, roll-up. Blueberries are mostly water, no pulp and they need our help. Determined to keep these as organic, natural & healthy as possible (plus easy to make), I excluded the packaged pectin for the natural one. I chose plums, and dried ones at that. Plum have lots of natural pectin, plus they are the same color.
Also, using granulated cane sugar makes the leather brittle, so in order to sweeten and keep the mixture flexible I used agave nectar and a drop of corn syrup.
Using a bottle that has a larger hole than a basic squeeze bottle (pancake syrup works very well), fill the bottle with the wild blueberry mixture. Fill in the spaces between the PB lines and using an offset spatula, spread the berry mix evenly over the lines, carefully covering the peanut butter until all the fruit is used.
Don't worry, the lines won't move or get messed up.
So this is what you need to do to make sure that your first batch is successful.
You need a sheet pan with sides (double my recipe to use a half sheet pan), plastic wrap, an offset spatula, a squeeze bottle and a syrup bottle (larger hole in the cap), wax paper, a ruler and a sharp knife.
A saucepan, a good blender or processor and about 5 hours of unattended time.
Let's get cooking....
"By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North American and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time."
Wild Blueberry and Peanut Butter Roll-Ups
makes a dozen 2" roll-ups
* 10 ounces frozen Wild Blueberries (about 2 cups), defrosted over night
* 1/4 cup dried plums, chopped fine
* 2 tablespoons water
* 2 tablespoons light corn syrup - divided
* 2 tablespoons Agave Nectar
* 1/2 cup peanut butter or choice (even chunky)
* 1 small banana
1. In a small saucepan add the wild blueberries, plums, water, 1 tablespoon corn syrup and agave. Simmer until the mixture resembles the consistency of tub butter. Remove and cool.
2. Process the banana and peanut butter and add the last tablespoon of corn syrup. Remove to a squeeze bottle.
3. Once the wild blueberry mixture is cooled, puree for a smoother mix or leave it with texture and additional fiber.
4. Cover a sheet pan with plastic wrap. Lay down the peanut butter lines and cover with the wild blueberry mixture.
5. Preheat your oven to 170°. Not hot enough to melt the plastic wrap, leave it in the oven for 4 hours.
6. After 4 hours, check to see if the mixture is tacky or sticking to your finger. If it is, bake for another 30 minutes.
7. Remove the sheet pan and allow the mixture to cool to the touch.
8. Using the plastic wrap, remove to a cutting board and place a piece of wax paper on top and flip it over, making sure the lines are on top.
9. Using a ruler and a sharp knife, cut the leather into strips. Mine were 2" strips and I got 5 from a quarter sheet pan.
10. Roll the leather up and store in a plastic container in the fridge for up to 6 months.