I would be remiss if I didn’t bake Blueberry Muffins this season. New Jersey is considered the state that produces the largest number of blueberries in the world. Hammonton, New Jersey calls itself the Blueberry Capital of the World. Our state produces about 40 to 50 million pounds of blueberries annually. From recent online sources this spring, I learned about 80% of New Jersey’s blueberries come from Atlantic County’s 56 farms, all of which are in the Hammonton area. Harvesting season is from mid-June to mid-August.
Blueberries are mostly hand-picked by thousands of migrant workers here in America. These are fruits that require the most manual labor. Berries must be picked at the right time so they stay fresh till they reach the shelves of supermarkets.
I buy blueberries at the farmer’s market near our home. The first time I tasted fresh blueberries was here in New Jersey, when we moved to America years ago. Before that, we enjoyed blueberry jam made by the Good Shepherd nuns in Baguio, when we lived in the Philippines.
It’s a delight to enjoy fresh, sweet, tart blueberries and to bake them in different desserts, pies and cakes. These muffins are no exception. I like to run my fingers through the plump, dark blueberries as I wash them in running water. I handle the berries delicately lest they burst and the dark purplish liquid squirts out. Sweet blueberries are a constant at our breakfasts mixed with cereals, and milk. But nothing compares to the buttery aroma of freshly-baked blueberry muffins straight out of the oven. I sliced open one piece. The halved muffin revealed berries nestled within. I slathered some butter on the muffin. What bliss to enjoy this slice of blueberry heaven on a summer day.
- 12-cup muffin or cupcake pan, baking cups 2 x 1 ¼ inches
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 whole large egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- Line the non-stick muffin pans with paper liners. Set aside.Preheat oven to 375 F degrees (190 C). Place the oven rack in the center.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, beaten egg, oil and vanilla. Set aside.In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt.Take 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients and toss it with the blueberries. Mix gently. Set these aside.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are blended.Gently stir in the blueberries into the mixture.Do not over mix the batter or else muffins will become tough after baking.
- Pour the batter, about ¾ full, into the paper-lined muffin cups, using a large spoon or ice cream scoop.Bake at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes. Insert a cake tester in the center of a muffin. If tester comes out clean, muffin is done.Transfer muffins to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Serve as a dessert or snack.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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