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Vietnamese Wild Blueberry Iced Coffee by Marnely Rodriguez-Murray

Guest blogger Marnely Rodriguez-Murray from Cooking with Books shares her recipe. 
How do you know when summer starts in your neck of the woods? For us it’s when we start sipping on iced coffees! But the classic iced coffee is boring to me, watered down and not as tasty as this Vietnamese Wild Blueberry Iced Coffee Recipe that we’re sharing today! Now, before you start asking about wild blueberry iced coffee, let me ask you: have you ever tasted blueberry coffee beans? Those artificially flavored coffee beans are the one way to ruin good coffee, so I’m not doing that to you. We’re making a wild blueberry & cardamom syrup to complement our espresso coffee ice cubes, sweet condensed milk, and fresh espresso.
Wild Blueberries. All blueberries are not alike! Wild Blueberries are the little ones that have grow naturally in the fields and barrens of Maine and eastern Canada for 10,000 years. One of North America’s native berries, Wild Blueberries are lowbush varieties that are never planted and are harvested commercially only in this special place. The crazy thing is, that having grown up in the caribbean island of the Dominican Republic, I had never tasted a fresh blueberry until probably 5 years ago! So now, not only do I stock up on fresh berries, but after learning about wild blueberries, we’re stocking up with bags of the frozen wild blueberries as well!
Iced Coffee. The start of summer, the most refreshing part is always having a chilled drink to sip on. Preparation is key with this iced coffee since you have to make espresso ice cubes to serve your drink in. It provides an extra dose of caffeine as well as avoids your drink from watering down. Support a local coffee roaster in your area – here we used Chilmark Coffee Company, a local and awesome coffee roasted here on Martha’s Vineyard.
When making any recipe, as simple as it may be, please use the best ingredients you can find. Not only because the best ingredients will result in the best recipes, but health-wise as well!  Using ingredients like wild blueberries, the leaders in antioxidant capacity; They are rich in anthocyanin, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity. Don’t you just love when you sip on a delicious drink knowing it’s also good for your health?!
Inspired by Cooking Light’s latest cookbook “Chill”, the addition of condensed milk & cardamom came into play. “The viscous consistency of sweetened condensed milk gives smoothies and ice creams [and iced coffees!] a luxurious mouthfeel and prevents gritty crystallization from occurring.” – Cooking Light. And the cardamom? It brings a warm, spicy aroma to the wild blueberry syrup, perfect pairing to fresh espresso.
Wild Blueberry and Cardamom Syrup
Yield: 1 cup
A delicious and flavorful syrup with wild blueberries as the star ingredient!
1 cup water
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 tablespoon green cardamom pods, crushed
1.        Over medium heat in a small sauce pan, simmer the water, sugar, wild blueberries, and cardamom pods for 5 minutes. After the mixture comes to a slow boil, turn down the heat to low and slowly reduce to half, about 15 minutes.
To make Vietnamese Wild Blueberry Iced Coffee: two hours before serving, brew espresso or coffee with your favorite method and pour into ice trays. Freeze until solid. When ready to serve, place a few coffee ice cubes in a glass, drizzle with wild blueberry & cardamom syrup, sweeten with condensed milk, and top with fresh espresso that has been chilled.
Recently, Wild Blueberries partnered with Cooking Light Magazine to help launch its new cookbook Chill: Smoothies, Slushes, Shakes, Juices,Drinks & Ices, a collection of delicious recipes to beat the summer heat, including awesome recipes using wild blueberries like: Blueberry-Ginger Juice, Blueberry-Pomegranate Smoothie, and one I must try ASAP: Blueberry Power Smoothie, blended with tofu and yogurt, for a protein packed drink!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Wild Blueberries, but as always, my love for wild blueberries and coffee are 100% my own.

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