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!
Fig season is upon us — and I’m back today with a fresh, summer meets autumn sip to celebrate! My Rosemary Fig Japanese Whisky Sour was actually conceived at the height of quarantine back in April (when we were encouraged to limit our grocery runs as much as possible) — another exercise in using what we had on hand to to whip up a comforting COCKTAIL at home. Despite this recipe using fig preserves (rather than fresh figs you see photographed), I waited patiently for fig season to bring this inventive cocktail to life — simply so I could make it as beautiful as possible! And while I never thought I’d be incorporating Japanese whisky or egg whites into a cocktail — here we are. 2020 has been full of curveballs, but one thing is has been good for is nurturing my mixology skills and pushing me to create more resourceful, experimental recipes! There have been many a Rosemary Fig Japanese Whisky Sour consumed this year as this recipe underwent an intensive testing process to ensure it was shaken to perfection — and I’m elated to finally bring it to JustineCelina this fall!
My Rosemary Fig Japanese Whisky Sour is a deliciously luxurious juxtaposition of fall flavours and textures that you can shake up at home. This creative cocktail is creamy, smoky, sweet and sour — enveloping your tastebuds in early autumn inspired warmth! Premium Japanese whisky (thanks to Adam’s latest spirit obsession!) combines with egg whites (with a vegan option), fig syrup, bitters, fresh lemon juice and a sprig of rosemary, shaken into a comforting sip that celebrates quintessential fall flavours in cocktail form. If your looking to satisfy your cocktail lounge cravings at home this autumn, look no further! Dust off your shaker, slip on your fuzzy slippers, light a fire and learn how to shake up this sumptuous, seasonally inspired Japanese whisky sour in the comfort of your own kitchen. Cheers to breaking out of our cocktail comfort zones with beautiful, seasonally inspired ingredients!
Friends and fashionistas, I’m absolutely elated to bring you the first LOOKBOOK I’ve published since April — my Summer 2020 Lookbook! It would be an incredible understatement to say that 2020 hasn’t shaped up the way any of us could have predicted and that our lifestyles have changed dramatically as a result of COVID-19. While FASHION is one of my true loves and lifelong passions, I made the decision to pause my regularly scheduled seasonal LOOKBOOKS from May through August to embrace a slower pace of life, navigate through some incredibly difficult situations and make a conscious effort to be grateful for what I have, while being mindful of my spending. Given the state of the world and the economy, it simply didn’t feel right to promote purchasing new clothing during the height of a pandemic. And to be completely transparent, I was also feeling quite uninspired fashion wise as all of the events, meetings and occasions that would typically inspire my style content had halted — as I’m sure many of you can relate! Although I was able to experiment with self portraiture and push the boundaries of my home studio set up to produce some beautiful content during quarantine, it’s safe to say I reached the limit of how of many chic loungewear outfit ideas or breezy spring dresses I could shoot in my Living Room with my self timer and tripod!
A change of scenery after 3 months of quarantine was exactly what I needed to feel re-inspired — so I packed up and headed to my childhood home in rural Alberta to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the country while capturing my Summer 2020 Lookbook (with my Mom back behind the lens for many of the images I’m sharing today!). This summer I find myself seeking simplicity and comfort in every area of my life — and that’s definitely reflected in my wardrobe. Purchasing timeless, easy to wear pieces in multiple colourways has been a common theme this summer — and I’ve expanded my summer wardrobe with some fantastic, affordable basics I know I’ll enjoy for years to come. While I’ll always enjoy incorporating trends into my wardrobe in a way that’s authentic to my personal style, this year, I find myself increasingly drawn to classic pieces. These days, fashion moves fast — and I find myself moving in exactly the opposite direction as I mindfully curate my wardrobe. I’ve been living in breezy, effortless silhouettes made from linen, cotton and natural, lightweight fabrics — my summer style has never been more casual (or comfortable) and I’m fully embracing it! Adventure to the tranquil Alberta prairies with me today as I fuse my love of free spirited fashion and stunning natural landscapes in my Summer 2020 Lookbook — featuring 12 effortless, accessible, classic seasonal looks, plus tips on how to transition key pieces into autumn. I’m also sharing the first glimpse of our Country Garden — so pour yourself a glass of rosé and join me for a relaxing prairie roadtrip!