I’m not a fan of fruit. I had a bad time a few years ago when I had terrible acid reflux, and fruit seemed to make it a lot worse (that is my excuse and I am sticking to it). Once you’re out of the habit of eating fruit, it’s quite hard to get back into it, and if you’ve tried cake, why would you bother with fruit?
But embarking upon Veganuary (or JanuVeg, as my friend Trainee Prof puts it), I have had to expand my eating to include a thing or two I wouldn’t normally poke with a stick.
And that, Gentle Readers, has included the humble blueberry.
All hail the humble blueb.
For starters, blueberry flavour rescues many a dodgy vegan snack food from unpalatable misery. A raw fruit bar is a depressing alternative to a bar of Dairy Milk…until it’s blueberry flavoured. A cashew nut yoghurt is elevated to creamy luxury by a purple tint of blueberry. And even a vegan cake (what should be considered akin to the very worst crimes against humanity) is rescued, redeemed and restored by the odd blueberry dotting its crumbly, soggy, GODFORSAKEN, CAKE IMITATING CRUMB.
Sorry, I have a lot of feelings about vegan cake.
And in the midst of this month of challenging eating and fruit-based misery, I have rediscovered blueberry jam. Jam is in and of itself an extravagance I do not usually allow myself, but when there is no meat, no cake, no chocolate, no ham and mustard sandwiches, no mayonnaise, no flavoured crisps, an overabundance of soya products and three hours spent convincing your friends to still BE your friends after feeding them beetroot and chickpea burgers, to be able to eat blueberry jam smeared thickly on a slice of fresh granary bread is opulence indeed.
All hail the humble blueberry in its many flavouring forms. Well done, my purple friend. Well done. You have saved my January – and it only seems fitting to celebrate you today on Blue Monday.