Shauna Niequist’s Blueberry Crisp

Shauna's Blueberry CrispI am a huge fan of Shauna Niequist and her writing. Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet were fantastic books that I will read over and over, so when I found out she was writing her third book and it was about food and community (two things I’m passionate about), I was super excited.

Even though I wasn’t together enough to get my post about Bread and Wine out early, I received an advance copy of the book a couple months ago. My friend Sarah had also gotten an early copy of Bread and Wine so when she came to visit in March, I thought it would be fun to make some of Shauna’s recipes together (more on that soon!).

Some new friends of ours came over and we feasted on Annettes Enchiladas, Esquites, and Blueberry Crisp. Everything turned out wonderfully, but I couldn’t get enough of that blueberry crisp.

Blueberry Crisp unbakedBlueberry Crisps

Tim and I got some treasured Purple Gold as a welcome gift when we first moved to Coeur d’Alene and I’ve used it sparingly. Shauna mentions that the crisp is easily adaptable for many fruits, so I decided to use the last of those treasured berries to make a huckleberry version.

Mmm, wow! Five of us polished off the entire 8×8 pan with ease. I made another batch with blueberries later that week. Both were fabulous.

Two Blueberry CrispsIndividual Blueberry Crisp

The topping is a mixture of almond meal, oats, oil, maple syrup and chopped nuts. I about croaked at the price of a little bag of almond meal so I made my own – just grind almonds in a food processor until they look like sand. Be careful not to make almond butter, though.

Layer the topping over a few cups of fruit and bake until bubbly. All the while your house will smell divine. The fruit combined with maple syrup from the crisp topping creates the perfect just sweet enough dessert (or breakfast). We served ours warm with vanilla ice cream at dinner and I ate mine straight from the fridge at breakfast.

I will absolutely be making this again and again.

Shauna Niequist Blueberry Crisp

Shauna Niequist’s Blueberry Crisp
Author: Emily C. Gardner
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4-6
The recipe could easily be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Find this and other delicious recipes in Bread and Wine.
  • 4 cups blueberries (or almost any fruit), frozen okay
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped (walnuts and pecans work great)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together oats, nuts, almond meal, syrup, and salt with a fork.
  3. Pour berries into an 8 x 8 pan, and then layer the crispy topping over it.
  4. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or up to 10 minutes longer if topping and fruit are frozen, until fruit is bubbling and topping is crisp and golden.

// //

The Beauty and Bounty of Passion

I lay in bed yesterday reflecting on what a hard working husband I have. He is dedicated to his job and puts himself into all that he does. God has called him to serve youth, and he does so with a gentle, caring, and wholly-invested heart.

He is passionate about students and Christ, and that passion helps him tackle the difficult aspects of ministry.

While I was snug in my bed, he was working alongside other students and volunteers to clean up after our church’s harvest party. He may have shed his Friar Tuck costume, but he was still laboring for Christ.

Our passions motivate us to do things that are tiresome, unsavory, and stressful. They inspire us to be selfless in our actions and attitudes.

This is best displayed in Jesus’ life.  He was (and is, still) so passionately in love with us that He made the ultimate self-sacrifice.  He died to save His children.  In turn, our passion for Christ moves us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him.  (Matthew 16:24).

As witnessed by Tim’s passions resulting in service and sacrifice, the same pattern occurs on a smaller scale in our daily life.  Let me rephrase that.  It should happen in our day to day life.

But, if you’re like me, God ordained passions don’t always translate into selfless behavior.  It wasn’t until I lay there last night, reflecting on what a hard working man I married, that I realized where the disconnect occurs.

I’ve been missing the action step.  Those passions need to be expressed in motion and service.  Selflessness is a practice – the more you do it, the more natural it will become.

I can see the evidence of this missing step in my relationship with Tim.  I realize this may be stating the obvious, but I’m passionate about my husband.  I’m not just talking about being passionately in love with Tim ,but being passionate about supporting his calling to youth and family ministry.  I may not have the same calling, but I’m passionate about being an encouragement and a help to my husband as he pursues his passion for the Church.

In theory, my passion for Tim should spur me on to selfless service and support. To be honest, I haven’t been doing a great job in that department lately. I find myself consistently rebelling against opportunities to serve and put Tim first.

I am missing the action aspect working in conjunction with my passion to produce selfless fruit.  It took my husband’s example to illuminate this disconnect.

I have been relying on feelings to produce selfless love and support for Tim, but feelings can be fickle. I must put my passion to work.  Practicing love, patience, grace, encouragement, and forgiveness should work up a sweat.

A harvest doesn’t happen without tilling the soil, planting the seed, watering the plants, and reaping what was sewn.

Being selfless isn’t an automatic result of having a passion, but with diligence and hard work, passions produce God-honoring beauty and bounty.