Blueberries are incredible bits of fruity goodness. They definitely deserve some more attention. So hereby, the second part of my “blueberry series. Let’s talk about different blueberry species! And then we’ll eat some cake!
Did you know there are different kinds of blueberries? You have the really tiny ones, called “forest berry” in Dutch, or bilberry in English. Those are the best. They are sweet, tangy and incredibly tasty. And if you add those to for example oatmeal, the whole thing will turn bright purple.
Then there is also the bigger version, the real “blueberry”. Those are still sweet, but have a less pronounced taste for the rest. They are nice, sure. But after tasting the smaller ones, these will feel like a bit of a cheap replacement. (Not that I want to give you a prejudiced story or anything, of course!)
When looking at the plants, you can easily set them apart. Bilberries grow on small shrubs, usually only till about knee-high. The plants have tiny, bright green leaves that have jagged edges. Blueberry plants, on the other hand, can grow very tall, up till two metres in height. They also have big leaves that are more smooth shaped. There really is no mistaking them with each other. The ones we picked at the farm were the blueberries, as you can see.
Up till about a year ago, I used to say “blueberry” to all of them. The terms are usually quite interchangeable. Everybody will understand you when you talk about blueberries, whether they see a small berry or a bigger one. But it is nice to know there most certainly is a difference. So that if you have a chance to choose which of the two to buy, you know to go for the smaller ones.
Oh, and if you happen to be in Norway, make sure to buy a bag of frozen blueberries in a grocery store. They have the real “bilberries” there, frozen. Hmm, amazing! I always had a bag of those in my freezer. That was so convenient, to use a bit whenever you needed them. I really do miss that about Norway. The blueberries from the Albert Heijn are just not the same…
Speaking about Norway, this little cake was one of my favourite snacks when I lived there. It’s so easy and quick to make, and nice and filling too! I usually used the frozen bilberries I just mentioned. But if you can get your hands on some fresh berries, those should work even better in this delicious cake!
Blueberry Cake for One (serves one, surprisingly)
What you will need:
- Three tablespoons of rolled oats
- Two small tablespoons of whole wheat flour
- ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- A big pinch of cinnamon
- Half a tablespoon of maple syrup
- Half a cup of water
- A handful of blueberries
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (convection).
- In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
- Now add the maple syrup and a little bit of the water. Mix and keep adding the water bit by bit until you have a nice, slightly soppy batter.
- Finally add in the berries. You can just use a handful, or try to cram in as many berries as you can while still keeping the batter hang together more or less. I won’t have to tell you which of the two I usually do… ;)
- Transfer the whole into a small ramekin and bake for about ten to fifteen minutes.
- Eat straight from the ramekin while the cake is still hot. But beware of the berries, you can easily burn you tongue on them!
Do you prefer blueberries or bilberries?