Unexpectedly Delicious: Saskatoons!

History

Saskatoons are often lovingly referred to as the “Prairie Berry” because they are originally native to the Canadian prairies. They now are grown across North America from mountain to sea. They look very similar to blueberries, but they are actually more closely related to the apple family.

The word “saskatoon” originated from the Cree language word misâskwatômina (Mis-sack-qua-too-mina), which means “the fruit of the tree of many branches.”  This Cree word is also the source of the city name Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, which is located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. It’s also known as shadbush, serviceberry, prairie berry, juneberry and, in past centuries, pigeon berry.

Why should you eat saskatoons?

Like the blueberry, the saskatoon’s deep rich color comes a compound called anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that acts as an antioxidant in our body. Antioxidants are powerful disease fighters in our body, helping to protect us from cancer, heart disease, boost the immune system, and slow the effects of aging. They are higher in fibre than blueberries and contain more protein, vitamin C, and iron.

Nutrition value of ¾ cup of saskatoons

  • 80 calories
  • 6 grams of fibre
  • 10% of your daily vitamin E
  • 70% of daily manganese
  • Rich in antioxidants and flavonoids

The wonders of how to enjoy it

Anything you would typically use blueberries in can be swapped out for the fibrous saskatoon. Try them in your favorite desserts as pies or crumbles, jam and jellies, or as a sweetener in muffins and baking.

Recipe Ideas

  • Saskatoon Jam
  • Saskatoon and Rhubarb Pie (Recipe in this month’s newsletter)
  • Saskatoon and Rhubarb Crumble
  • Saskatoon Muffins
  • Saskatoon Scones
  • Saskatoon Syrup
  • Saskatoon Berry Oatmeal Cookies

Did you know that…

The whole bush was originally used by Aboriginal people – nothing went to waste. The leaves and fruit were dried and used to make tea. The wood of the bush itself was weighty and flexible and thus useful in arrows and other tools, basket frames and cross-pieces of canoes. Several parts of the shrub were also used for medicinal purposes.