Well, this is my first batch, and they are very interesting! I stumbled on these berries while horse showing, over the last two years, near Traverse City, Michigan. I kept seeing signs on the roads leading to the show grounds for U-pick Saskatoons. I had no idea what these were, and last year I left town after the show and forgot about investigating. This year, same shows and same signs, so I checked it out and decided I should try some. Now I’ve noticed them at the local farmers market, too.
Native to North America, Saskatoons are actually a member of the apple family, though they look like blueberries, and have a kind of a wild and nutty flavor with an apple-like finish. They have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, more than strawberries, raspberries, or wild blueberries. Antioxidants are found to fight certain cancers, reduce inflammation and diabetes, as well as reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. They are also high in fiber, which is beneficial in defending against high blood pressure, aid in digestion, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Saskatoons are also a great source of calcium; better than red meat, vegetables, or cereals, as well as a rich source of vitamin C.
Touted by some as the next super fruit, the growing conditions in the Traverse City area have brought a robust of harvest that is making it’s name more widely known. They can be eaten raw, in salads or smoothies, or made into jams and fruit fillings. Currently there are around 20 commercial growers, with a 50 to 10,000 plants each, here in lower Michigan.
I tried a generous amount of these super little berries in a smoothie, along with watermelon, raspberries, banana and pineapple-coconut water and a little ice. Totally delicious and packed with good stuff, there are loads more things you could do, so get creative!
The Canadian Food Network has a bunch ideas too, from sweet to savory so that’s a good resource. https://www.foodnetwork.ca/shows/great-canadian-cookbook/photos/saskatoon-berry-recipes/#!saskatoon-berry-lentil-muffins