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!
Spring is definitely in the air… can you feel it?! The weather is absolutely beautiful here in Calgary as we approach Spring Equinox — and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I’ve been taking every opportunity to get outside to enjoy long walks, runs and hikes as I work towards my health and wellness goals for 2021. Each year as we transition into spring, I also find myself lightening up our meals and incorporating lots of fresh, seasonal produce, edible flowers and bright, herbaceous flavours! Over the last couple of years I’ve begun publishing seasonal recipe roundups here at JustineCelina — and in reviewing my archives, was surprised to discover that I hadn’t yet created a spring version. So, I’ve scoured my virtual recipe box to compile my favourite 20+ Plant Based Spring Recipes across culinary categories, from breakfast through happy hour! If you’re looking for some healthy, veggie-centric (and largely vegan), spring meal ideas utilizing all the gorgeous seasonal produce available to us from March though June, you’ve come to the right place!
While I’m perpetually testing new recipes, I’ve also published a solid repertoire of spring-inspired eats over the past 6 years (some of which are Wild Rose D-Tox Friendly!). Today I’m excited to share them all with you in this convenient, easy-to-browse format that you can come back to again and again. As always, my recipes are simple, seasonal, free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar and packed full of fresh, nourishing ingredients — perfect to make after a weekend grocery run or trip to the farmer’s market! These whole food dishes are also budget friendly, with many yielding large batches (perfect for families, spring meal prep or batch cooking and freezing!). From my kitchen to yours, I hope this roundup of tested-till-perfect, plant based eats and drinks inspires you enjoy and experiment with seasonal produce, herbs and blooms this spring!
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!