It’s the height of summer here on the Alberta prairies — which means our saskatoon berries are ripe and ready for picking! Longtime readers will know I have quite an affection for this quintessentially Albertan berry, and every August, my saskatoon recipes become the most viewed pieces of content here at JustineCelina. Today I’m compiling them all for you in one convenient location with this 4 Healthy Saskatoon Berry Recipes roundup, as well as sharing Where to Pick Saskatoons in Alberta! If you’ve always been intrigued by these antioxidant-packed berries but have never known what to do with them (or where to find them!), you’ve come to the right place! Consider this post your one-stop resource for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about saskatoon berries as I share my favourite saskatoon berry picking spots and tips along with 4 plant based saskatoon recipes incorporating them into seasonal breakfast, baking, salad, cocktails and dessert!
Have you ever tried a saskatoon? While they’re sometimes called Serviceberries, Juneberries or Prairie Berries and resemble blueberries, they actually taste quite different. Believe it or not, Saskatoons are actually more closely related to roses (hailing from the Rosaceae family) and have a deeper, richer, nuttier flavour that’s somehow wilder than blueberries — it’s very distinct and difficult to describe! Saskatoon berries also pack a nutritional punch, containing high levels of protein, calcium, iron, and antioxidants — making them a wonderful addition to a balanced diet. If you live in an area where saskatoons grow, I highly recommend getting out to sample them for yourself while crops are at their peak. With the intense heatwave we’ve been experiencing lately, this year’s crop will likely fade before mid August — so there’s no time like the present! Since the season is fleeting, I was eager to publish this roundup for those of you looking for extensively tested saskatoon recipes that utilize local, seasonal ingredients and are free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar. If you’re picking saskatoons this summer and are looking for some fresh ideas (or details on my favourite saskatoon u-pick locations), I’ve totally got you covered!
After what has undoubtedly been the longest month of my life, I know one thing for sure… I need a stiff drink! Who’s with me?! Each March, I eagerly await Spring Equinox and typically celebrate its arrival with the publication of a fresh, seasonally inspired cocktail — but March 2020’s events really threw my editorial calendar for a loop. Although this recipe is publishing a bit later than I had originally intended, I can assure you it’s been tested to perfection — in fact, there was rarely an evening that passed this month when I didn’t find myself shaking up a Honeyed Saskatoon Cherry Gimlet (if you follow along with my Instagram Stories, you can attest to this!). This cocktail highlights Eau Claire Distillery’s recently re-released Saskatoon Honey Gin — and I’ve teamed up with them give away a full sized bottle (along with a few other goodies!) to one of my Canadian friends to help lift your spirits and keep your home bars stocked!
Gin lovers, I’m thrilled to share my Honeyed Saskatoon Cherry Gimlet recipe with you today — a refreshingly spirited, 4 ingredient spring cocktail inspired by doing the best you can with what you have, where you are. The best part? If you have a well-stocked bar, you likely already have all of the ingredients on hand (and if not, I’ve included links to where you can purchase them to help support local businesses during this challenging time)! This simple but perfectly balanced craft cocktail combines Saskatoon Honey Gin with Honey Simple Syrup, cherry bitters and freshly squeezed lime juice shaken over ice — and can be prepared with ease by home bar beginners and skilled mixologists alike. Bring the cocktail bar to the comfort of your own home this spring with my Honeyed Saskatoon Cherry Gimlet — a quintessentially Albertan twist on a classic gin cocktail! Cheers, friends — and best of luck to those entering the giveaway!
Saskatoon berry season is just around the corner — and I’m back today with a new, citrus infused banana bread recipe to celebrate! If you’ve been with me since last summer, you’ll know I absolutely adore saskatoons and look forward to picking buckets full each summer. So, it will come as no surprise that I’ve actually been testing this recipe since late winter with our stash of frozen saskatoons. My Gluten Free Saskatoon Citrus Banana Bread recipe is the result of cleaning out our freezer and fruit bowls one snowy, frigid winter day and incorporating whatever ingredients we had on hand — which always seems to yield the most delicious RECIPES in the JustineCelina kitchen!
My Gluten Free Saskatoon Citrus Banana Bread is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar and full of healthier, natural substitutions — perfect for those of us with food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities. An inspired melange of bananas, saskatoons and fresh orange and lemon juices combine with plant-based baking staples of coconut, maple and just a splash of bourbon (it’s my newest baking secret ingredient!) to create a bright, nourishing banana bread combining the best of summer and winter with a cheerful, citrusy twist! It makes for a fantastic breakfast, snack or clean dessert anytime you’re craving a berry-forward banana bread, year round. If you have an abundance of seasonal berries and a freezer full of bananas on hands, it’s time get them defrosting, pour yourself a cup of coffee, haul out your mixing bowls and throw on your apron — this recipe is for you! I’ve also included baking instructions for a muffin variation, if you prefer.
Welcome back for another seasonally inspired RECIPE, beautiful people! I’m currently typing to you from my impromptu outdoor office at my childhood home in rural Alberta on this gorgeous August afternoon. The bees are buzzing, the butterflies are fluttering and the sweet scents of summer crops are lingering on the country air — it’s the ideal setting to publish my Summer Bounty Salad with Saskatoon Cider Vinaigrette, don’t you think? If you’ve been reading JustineCelina since last summer you may remember the delicious, clean Wild Saskatoon Berry Crumble I came up with after a friend let us forage their farm to take advantage of the plentiful crop. It was saskatoon overload (in the best way possible!) so I took the opportunity to work on a few more saskatoon themed recipes — but because of my intensive testing process I wasn’t able to publish them before the season ended. Excited to bring those recipes to the blog this summer, we headed south in search of fleeting saskatoons and canola — and we ended up finding a beautiful field of canola (annual photos coming soon!) with wild saskatoon bushes growing alongside it. Honestly, what are the chances?!
My Summer Bounty Salad with Saskatoon Cider Vinaigrette is inspired by the abundant seasonal produce and herbs available at our local markets (and in the wild!) at the height of summer! This colourful, local, ultra fresh salad can be on your table in 15 minutes and is brimming with incredible, heart-healthy, antioxidant-rich superfoods and nutrients. Straight from our Alberta farms to your table, a vitamin-infused bed of baby spinach and arugula showcases a striking mosaic of freshly picked saskatoon berries, garden peas, shredded golden beets, crisp radishes, fresh mint, sunflower seeds and scallions — dressed with a punchy Saskatoon Cider Vinaigrette celebrating Alberta’s favorite berry. Enjoy this feel good salad as a light, plant based entrée whenever you’re in the mood for something quick and nutritious, or as a beautiful accompaniment to grilled fish (it’s great with with trout or salmon), meat or tofu!
Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? If you’ve been following along with my Insta Stories lately you likely caught a glimpse of what my weekend looked like, including my very first saskatoon picking adventure! An old friend of mine invited us to forage their family farm near Carseland, Alberta where the saskatoons are flourishing — it’s the best crop they’ve ever had. I spent Saturday evening strolling through saskatoon tree lined paths with my Mom and little sister — bucket in one berry stained hand and camera in the other (now that’s my kind of girls night!). It was a gorgeous evening and we came away with overflowing buckets, happy hearts and about 8 pounds of berries!
Enjoy the bounty of our beautiful Canadian prairies with my Wild Saskatoon Berry Crumble — a simple, 9 ingredient recipe with a wholesome, plant based spin. It’s free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and bursting with decadent berry flavour! Freshly picked saskatoons are bathed in bright lemon juice then naturally sweetened with rich, caramel laden coconut sugar and sprinkled with a hearty topping including quick oats, homemade oat flour, more coconut sugar, Himalayan pink salt, cinnamon, chopped almonds and coconut oil. This vibrant, crowd pleasing dessert that accommodates food allergies and sensitivities without compromising those classic crumble characteristics we all know and love (I promise, no one will know it’s a ‘free from’ dessert!). It’s a no fuss summer dessert that’s ideal for entertaining and can be on your table in 45 minutes!
Friends, I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you my first recipe incorporating produce from our very own Country Garden today! While I took a hiatus from publishing new recipes here at JustineCelina, you better believe I continued my testing and development process offline — and I’m returning to these pages more inspired than ever. You see, back in 2020 my amazing Mom and I embarked on the journey of planting our first (pandemic) garden — something we’d always wanted to do, but seemingly never had time for. Fast forward to summer 2022 and we’ve been fortunate to experience 3 successful gardening seasons full of getting our hands dirty, growing food from seed, enjoying abundant harvests, cooking, baking and recipe making! It brings me great joy to to begin sharing scenes and snippets from our idillic Alberta garden — along with a plethora of fresh, thoroughly tested, plant based, garden-to-table recipes!
Naturally, I wanted my introductory garden-inspired recipe to be a cherished family favourite that I’ve completely revamped to be free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar for those of us with allergies and intolerances — Cinnamon Raisin Zucchini Bread! Deceptively decadent and ultra moist, this comforting, veggie-centric, gently spiced loaf incorporates 2 full cups of zucchini — my absolute favourite way to put overgrown garden goodies to good use. Elevated pantry staples of gluten free flour, golden cane sugar, free range eggs, extra virgin olive oil, oat milk and pure vanilla extract combine with shredded (fresh or frozen) zucchini, sultana raisins, a kiss of cinnamon and a dash of cloves to create a rich, caramelly loaf with a streuselly top. Enjoy a slice with your morning coffee for a nourishing breakfast, or as a satiating afternoon snack alongside herbal tea to fuel your day with plant powered energy!
It’s the height of summer here on the Alberta prairies — and I’m thrilled to bring you another recipe roundup to celebrate the very best ingredients this season has to offer! Summer is my absolute favourite time of year to take a trip to the farmers market or our Country Garden in search of gorgeous produce, herbs and flowers to inspire my culinary creations. My hope is that this post featuring 20+ Healthy Plant Based Summer Recipes also inspires you to do the same, while supporting your local markets, growers and farmers whenever possible! So, I’ve scoured my extensive RECIPE archives to compile this fresh and seasonal summer recipe roundup to include my (and your!) most loved, most made and most featured summer recipes in one convenient location, categorized by meal type and diet for easy browsing reference.
As always, this seasonal recipe round-up features my all-time-favourite summer recipes across culinary categories, from breakfast through happy hour — with lots of snacks, treats, smoothies and juices! My flexitarian recipes are simple, seasonal, free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar and packed full of fresh, nourishing ingredients — the majority are also vegan or vegetarian (although there is one pesceratian recipe in this roundup!). These whole food dishes are also budget friendly, with many yielding large batches (perfect for families, summer meal prep or batch cooking!). From my kitchen to yours, I hope this roundup of tested-till-perfect, plant based eats and drinks inspires you enjoy and experiment with summer’s bountiful fruits, vegetables, herbs and blooms! Cheers to our most delicious summer yet!