Wild About Frozen Blueberries

I’ve been feeling blue lately… And rather happy about that! Blueberries are abundant once again and my appetite for the sweet, mildly tart and tangy berries is insatiable. For as many punnets as I plow through, my cravings remain unsatisfied. Even as we reach the peak of growing season, the produce on offer left something to be desired. The solution turned out to be just a few steps away, hidden in plain sight. A more intense blueberry experience lay not in the produce aisle, but the freezer case. Frozen Wild Blueberries, grown in Maine and Canada but available worldwide and year-round, are a whole lot more special than you may realize.

Oh sure, frozen Wild Blueberries boast considerable nutritional advantages over conventional, cultivated varieties, such as an unbeatable antioxidant levels just for starters, but that’s not what first lured me over to the wild side. It’s all about the flavor, and they sure do pack a giant punch of it into such tiny packages. That means that you’re getting about twice as many berries per cup, each with less water and more concentrated sweetness than fresh. For a baker concerned about runny pie filling or “bleeding” muffins, such a vast advantage over the competition is invaluable.

Considering the sudden an unpredictable heatwaves rippling through the east coast lately, my thoughts were focused squarely on cooler, more refreshing treats. Referring back to Vegan a la Mode for inspiration, cheesecake sounded like a luscious pairing that would best highlight these indigo gems. Bumping up the intensity with a bold pop of citrus, lemon zest turned the simple flavor pairing into a legitimate flavor party. Enjoying a slowly melting scoop in a fresh waffle cone, the jam-like Wild Blueberry swirl shaking up the creamy confection with the periodically bite of a whole berry, it was exactly the summer-loving taste I had been missing

And yet, that still wasn’t enough. What could possibly take this simple, sweet delight to the next level of dessert perfection?

How about sandwiching it between two thick squares of graham cracker cookie bars, adding more cheesecake character back into the equation while incidentally creating more portable treats? Yeah, that might finally do the trick.

If you should find yourself at a loss for how to dress up your very own frozen Wild Blueberries, and are hungry for a slightly less indulgent sort of refreshment, a good place to turn is Cooking Light‘s latest cookbook, Chill: Smoothies, Slushes, Shakes, Juices, Drinks & Ices. Though not a specifically vegan cookbook, most of the recipes are “accidentally” vegan, and all the rest easily veganizable. Though it may seem like a random tip to throw into the ring, now is the perfect time to check it out and potentially win your very own copy. See the details over at the Wild Blueberry blog ASAP! After all, the only thing better than a Wild Blueberry ice cream treat might be one paired with a tall glass of ice-cold Blueberry-Ginger Juice (page 125.)

Wild Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwiches

Wild Blueberry Swirl:

5 Ounces (About 3/4 Cups) Frozen Wild Blueberries, Thawed
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Teaspoon Cornstarch

Graham Cracker Cookies:

3/4 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
3 Cups Finely Ground Graham Cracker Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Whole Flaxseeds, Ground
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Vegan Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt

Lemon Cheesecake Ice Cream:

1/2 Cup (4 Ounces) Vegan Cream Cheese
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Plain Non-Dairy Milk
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
Pinch Salt

Prepare the blueberry swirl first since it will take the longest to cook and fully chill. Combine all the ingredients in a medium sauce pan, stirring well before turning on the heat to break up any possible lumps of starch. Cook over medium heat, stirring periodically, until the mixture comes up to a full boil. Turn down the heat slightly so that it stays at a lively simmer, and cook for 1 minute longer, until thickened.

Remove from the stove, cool to room temperature, and then place in the fridge to chill until cold; about 2 – 3 hours.

Moving along to the graham cracker cookie, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch rectangular baking pan.

Place the margarine and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, and cream the two together using the paddle attachment. Once thoroughly beaten and homogeneous, pause the mixer and add in the graham cracker crumbs, ground flaxseeds, salt, cinnamon, and vegan sour cream or yogurt. Starting at the lowest speed, allow the mixer to gently incorporate the newest addition, and continue stirring until the entire mixture is moist will stick together when pressed.

Transfer to your prepared pan and spread it out evenly over the bottom. Press it firmly into a smooth layer, using your hands or the bottom of a flat measuring cup.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely before turning the whole cookie sheet out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Use a very sharp knife to slice it cleanly down the middle, forming two equal pieces. Trim away the dark edges so that it measures about 8 inches wide and 5 – 6 inches long.

Line an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, and carefully place one of the squares inside, fitting it snugly against three of the four edges. Pull the foil up against the remaining side that comes up slightly short. Place the pan and the remaining square of graham cracker cookie in the fridge.

Meanwhile, the ice cream itself comes together very quickly. Simply pile all of the ingredients into your blender and puree briefly, just until smooth. Blend no longer than necessary to prevent the mixture from warming up.

Pour the ice cream base into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pull out your square baking pan and spoon the soft ice cream on top of the graham cookie sheet inside. Smooth out the ice cream to evenly cover the cookie. Spread the blueberry swirl mixture on top, and use a spatula to swirl both components together. Finally, place the remaining rectangle of graham cracker cookie on top, and press down gently. Immediately move the pan into your freezer and let rest until solidified; at least 8 hours and ideally 12 or more. Slice the large ice cream sandwich into smaller rectangles and enjoy.

Makes 9 – 12 Ice Cream Sandwiches

Printable Recipe

This post was written for and is sponsored by Wild Blueberries, but all content and opinions are entirely my own.

37 thoughts on “Wild About Frozen Blueberries

  1. Wild blueberries are my favorite. They bake so much better, and swirl fairly evenly into batters without being heavy enough to fall to the bottom.
    That ice cream sandwich is calling my name right now!

  2. Wow, just wow. Even without your beautiful photos I would’ve been salivating over this ice cream (especially the sandwiches!), but the pictures just made me crave it even more!

  3. ohHannah! So many of my most favorite flavors…blueberries, cinnamon, graham crackers and lemon…all in one crazydelicious recipe! Thank you so much for creating and sharing this!
    And Happy International Picnic Day! :)

  4. This is just stunning! I love the idea of a lemon blueberry cheesecake ice cream. Where do you come up with this stuff girl??

    I love wild blueberries too, they are just so much sweeter and so cute!

  5. That looks stunning! I love blueberries,frozen or fresh and last summer I picked 6 kilos of fresh ones in Finland and hope to do that this summer again.

  6. oooooh my, the lemon cheesecake ice cream is a fabulous pair!! and when sandwiched between homemade graham crackers, you’ve really created a winner :)

  7. Fresh organic blueberries are my favorite food and I have to stop myself from buying more than three punnets per week from Trader Joe’s when they’re in season. Only because they’re expensive! I have a self-made rule that I don’t cook or bake with these rare gems, so having access to organic frozen berries is a must when it comes to blueberries in any form other than eating out-of-hand. This looks like a fantastic recipe that would impress guests in a heartbeat!

  8. This is an excellent reminder to go get as many fresh farmer’s market blueberries as I can carry before they’re all gone! Such beautiful ice cream sandwiches, and the lemon-blueberry combination is so classic & perfect. :)

  9. I don’t care that it’s winter…I don’t care that blueberries are a sweet blue memory of summer and I don’t care that I will probably get chilblains just from holding those gorgeous babies I am going to make these! I might have to sub pear chunks for the blueberries and I might have to ginger up those cracker sandwiches but narf77 SHALL go to the blueberry (er pear…) ball! :)

  10. Hannah, the wild blueberry swirl in the lemon cheesecake in between graham crackers just look perfect! I wish I could have at least one now that I finished my dinner :D
    Have a great week!

  11. I would love to take a LARGE bite out of these cuties thankyouverymuch. Lemon, cheesecake and blueberry are totally a perfect flavor pairing in my opinion!

  12. This looks amazing Hannah! So much intense blueberry, I can just taste it. I love that you make your own vegan grahams!

  13. The blueberry sandwich looks amazing! It is the perfect desert for these boiling hot days!! It is comes as a variation to the traditional chocolate-vanilla ice-cream!

  14. Now that is my kind of ice cream sandwich, wowza!

    I remember being a very small child and going with my grandparents into the woods to pick both wild blueberries and wild strawberries back in Sweden. There is nothing quite like eating them fresh from the woods. Plus my grandma was one hell of a baker/cook!

    Lovely recipe and photos! Brings back so many bittersweet memories for me.

  15. What gorgeous ice cream sandwiches! I didn’t know that frozen blueberries had so much more antioxidants than fresh. Is it only the ones grown in Maine and Canada that’s true for?

    1. Just wild blueberries in general. I’m sure nutrition varies in small ways between locations (depending on nutrients in the soil, amounts of water and sunlight, etc) but nothing significant. Go wild and you’ll be good! ;)

  16. I found your blog an hour ago, and I’m hooked! Right now, it’s so hot that I could eat a whole gallon of ice-cream right now, but instead I’m going to make this cake.

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