Sunday, December 11, 2016

Beat Holiday Blues with Blueberry Scones

Several years ago, on Christmas Eve I was feeling a bit under the weather so I ate sugary bon bons and drank diet soda. Then, on a feel-good sugar-caffeine high, I went to Safeway. After passing by the blood pressure machine, I used it. The numbers read 144/77 (120/80 or lower is normal). I took it again. The numbers spiked. The end result: I over-reacted and paid a visit to Barton Hospital to help calm my self-created spell of high anxiety linked to winter blues.
One doctor visit later, I chilled. My blood pressure was back to normal. The good doc (young enough to be my son) told me in between seeing other patients that his BP numbers were probably higher than mine were that night. I recall putting the bed covers over my head and crying out “I hate snow!” Without a psych consult, I, the one who hides from Old Man Winter, was released.
These days, to boost my mood during the cold season I go for healthier sweets – like blueberries and whole grains. My bag of beating wintry blues tricks also includes: regular swimming/hot tub, walking my go dogs in rain or snow, a fire in the fireplace, cozy throws in the living room and flannel sheets in the bedroom, opening the blinds for natural light, aromatherapy candles, herbal teas, eating only 60 percent or higher cocoa content dark and baking semi-healthful sweets like blueberry scones to savor (in moderation).
Mini triangle scones are fun with or without raw sugar
Blueberry-Sour Cream Scones
2 3/4 to 3 cups 100 percent natural whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey (blueberry)
1/4 cup European style butter (cold cubes)
1 brown egg
3/4 cup sour cream (low fat if preferred)
3/4 cup 2 percent low-fat organic milk
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange rind
1 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon baking
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dried blueberries (fresh are good, but not always available and can make your scones mushy)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Large triangle scones (roll dough into a
big circle and slice like a pizza) with
glaze is good for your spirit, too

In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spice, and flavoring. Add chunks of butter, sliced in small squares. In another bowl, combine sour cream, egg, juice, milk, honey, vanilla and stir till a dough like mixture forms. Fold in rind and berries. Drop spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. (Or, you can also form into a ball, roll out and cut into 1/2 inch triangles or circles to achieve that bakery perfect look.) Bake till brown, about 15 minutes. Makes 12 medium scones. Slice and serve warm with cream cheese or honey and coffee or tea.
The sour cream secret ingredient makes scones moist. Using blueberries (yes, I found these at a bargain price) give these scones, a biscuit-like British quick bread, a sweet touch. It’s an awesome treat that is both yummy and pretty to look at. It’s like a juicy burst of summer or fall days (my cup of tea) each time you bite into a scone. On Sunday morning, I teamed a blueberry scone with one cup of cinnamon coffee and a whole orange. This light combo is like time travel into another season, a different, warmer climate on a different planet.
Motto: Don’t wolf down a box of candy and lose the soda. You never know where you’ll end up by overindulging in the sweet stuff.

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