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Blogger Spotlight: Gretchen Brown of kumquat

We recently challenged the members of the Recipe ReDux to create healthy recipes highlighting the unique flavor of Wild Blueberries. If you’re not familiar with the Recipe ReDux, it’s the first recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians and is moderated by three-food-savvy dietitians Regan Jones, Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly. The focus is on making delicious dishes healthier.
The winner of our Wild Blueberry Recipe ReDux Challenge is Gretchen Brown. She’ll spend a few days visiting the Wild Blueberry barrens in Maine this coming August, meet a few growers, experience the harvest first hand, and see how our super berry goes from field to table. Her incredible winning recipe Wild Blueberry & Champagne Sorbet is a delicious and special treat for any festive occasion. It was featured on, kumquat, Gretchen’s popular gluten-free blog devoted to the belief that gluten-free food can and should be easy to prepare, wholesome, and delicious enough for everyone.
As a registered dietitian, Gretchen spent most of her career working in elite professional test kitchens such as the one at Cooking Light magazine. Today she is a freelance recipe developer, food stylist, food writer, and food photographer. Most recently she published her first cookbook, Fast & Simple Gluten Free. Gretchen is a proud military wife and happy mommy to two young children.
Soon after notifying her she was the winner of the Wild Blueberry Recipe ReDux recipe challenge, we sat down with Gretchen to ask her how she gets inspired to create her delicious gluten free recipes, why she loves Wild Blueberries and what she’s looking forward to most after this long, cold winter.
What inspires you to create recipes? What’s your process?
My inspiration comes in many forms. Because I eat exclusively gluten-free, many times the inspiration comes from the memory of foods eaten in the past that I’d like to enjoy again as gluten-free. Many times it is foods I come across that I can’t eat because it contains gluten, so I make my own version. Others still are just things that sound good to me… flavor combinations and creations that are delicious, but have some element of health too!
What do you love most about being a food blogger?
I love the creative outlet it offers me for recipe development and food photography, and also the community of like-minded foodies that it has connected me to.
What tips have you learned from preparing recipes with Wild Blueberries that you’d like to share?
One of the best things about Wild Blueberries is that they are available year-round in the freezer section of your grocery store. Because they are frozen, some recipes (like a pie or muffin) may require thawing and draining the berries before using. Others you can throw the berries in frozen and use the cold fruit to your advantage… like my sorbet or a smoothie!
Why do you prefer to cook with Wild Blueberries versus regular cultivated blueberries? What makes Wild so special?
As I stated before, the availability is awesome. No worries about what season it is and if they’ll be at the store when you need them. But equally important is the impressive blueberry flavor that is packed in these little berries. You can almost taste the health benefits in each flavorful berry bite.
Tell us what you are looking forward to most when you visit the Wild Blueberry barrens this summer?
Firstly, I’ve never been to Maine, so I’m thrilled to visit the beautiful area. But mostly, I’m thrilled to see where these little berries are grown, how they’re harvested and maybe even pitch in to help… The experience is so exciting!
Speaking of summer, what’s your favorite warm weather activity?
I’m undoubtedly a beach lover. Last summer my little family of four trekked to the beach for a week of vacation. It was heaven. Playing in the sun, floating in the ocean, jumping waves with my kids, and eating great seafood is my ideal for an every summer trip. After this winter’s polar chill, I could certainly use it!
Congratulations Gretchen! We can’t wait to spend a few days with you in August.

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