For a comprehensive and authoritative summary of the many health benefits of blueberries, see the excellent Huffington Post article (published online in 2011) by Leo Galland MD.
This post is about an awesome blueberry dessert — one that reminds me of a mixture of blueberry pie and key lime pie – but guilt-free! And, yes, this recipe involves parchment paper, which might make it seem difficult and complicated, but trust me, working with parchment paper is easier than wrapping a present! And the results are dramatic and delicious! This dessert will delight you and wow your guests! I guarantee it!
And…if you have kids at home…you might want to ask them to help you — or let them make it all by themselves. This recipe is really EASY and FUN to make!
So let’s get cooking!
Thyme and Lime Flavored Blueberries with Tofu Avocado Cream
4 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cold tap water
3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1, 10-ounce block of firm tofu
1/2 medium-size, ripe Hass avocado
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
For garnish: fresh blueberries and fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper, each 12 x 12 inches. Place each square of parchment paper over a small bowl (for example, a cereal bowl). Carefully place 1 cup of the blueberries into the center of each piece of parchment paper. (Note: This takes two hands, because with one hand you need to make a well in the center of the paper for the blueberries.) Set bowls with blueberries aside.
In a cup (or small bowl), mix lime juice, honey and water until fully mixed. Spoon 2 tablespoons of this mixture over each serving of blueberries. Then sprinkle the fresh thyme leaves evenly over the blueberries.
Using 4, 18-inch pieces of raffia or kitchen twine, tie each bundle of blueberries tightly and finish it off with a little bow.
Place the 4 packets of blueberries onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. (Note: I tested the time with frozen blueberries, and it was the same!)
While the blueberries cook, place tofu, avocado, honey, vanilla extract, salt, and thyme leaves (2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves) into the work bowl of the food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process for 30 seconds; scrape down the sides with a spatula; process again for 30 seconds to 1 minute; scrape again, and process again if needed, until fully blended and smooth. Using a spatula, remove the tofu avocado cream from the food processor and place the cream in a small bowl. Garnish with fresh blueberries and a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves.
When the blueberry packets have finished baking, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the packets of blueberries cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes.
To serve, place each packet of blueberries in a small shallow bowl and then place each bowl on a plate. As you can see, the packets are very dramatic and beautiful! So this is how I like to serve them at the table. But to make it easier to eat, it’s good to trim the packets to within about an inch of the tie. So I pass a pair of scissors around the table and let everyone do their own trimming.
After a little trimming — and a lot of laughing about how this reminds everyone of kindergarten — it’s time to open the packets. (Be prepared for “oohs” and “ahs”!) Then pass the bowl of Tofu Avocado Cream so everyone can top their blueberries with a dollop or two.
- Blueberries – This recipe should be made with highbush (cultivated) blueberries (not the small wild blueberries).
- Lime juice – If you don’t have fresh limes, use store-bought organic lime juice which comes packed in glass jars. A really nice product to have on hand!
- Thyme leaves – You can store fresh thyme leaves (on stems) in your freezer so it’s ready when you need it.
- Tofu – For this recipe, use the tofu that comes packed in water and found in the refrigerated section.
- Parchment paper – The unbleached parchment paper (kraft or light brown color) can be found at health food stores and it is a much better choice than the bleached (white) parchment paper. Who wants bleach leaching into their food?!
- Raffia – I like the look of raffia (what you see in the photos) but plain kitchen twine will do. If you choose raffia, make sure it’s the natural raffia – not plastic. Plastic will melt in the oven.
- I have entered this recipe into the “Make It – Blog It – Win It! Blueberry Recipe Contest for Bloggers.” Results will be announced on or before 20 September! (I will let you know how it turns out…) Meanwhile, if you would like to leave a message about this recipe, please do. I’m sure the contest judges would like to know what you think!
Enjoy and be healthy!