Cooking with BC Blueberries

To celebrate this summer’s local blueberry season, I spent the past few days cooking a selection of Blueberry dishes at home using local BC Blueberries in each of the recipes.

As fresh blueberry season is upon us, the BC Blueberry Council invites British Columbians to join in the annual excitement around the harvest of this locally grown superfood. During this summer-time celebration across the province they have launched a virtual event called Go Blue BC.

This online hub at GoBlueBC.ca is featuring how-to videos, chef and grower interviews, recipes, family-friendly activities, and an exciting grand prize contest. Naturally, the website also features links to all our BC Blueberry producers, helping you find fresh BC blueberries in your area. The virtual event runs from July 15th until BC Day (August 3). You could win $1000 in gift cards.

In the online contest (open to residents of British Columbia), families can enter to win amazing blueberry-themed prize packs as well as the grand prize, sponsored graciously by White Spot and Triple O’s. Your local favourites have joined forces to provide one lucky winner with $1000 in gift cards! Enter at GoBlueBc.ca from July 15 – August 3.

Blueberries growing in the Fraser Valley

Here are the Blueberries recipes that I made for you to use and enjoy with this summer’s crop of blueberries.

Blueberry Balsamic Glazed Salmon

served with brown rice and green steamed vegetables

This was a healthy and delicious dish for a simple weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

½ cup fresh blueberries

5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. salt divided

4 (4-5 oz.) salmon filets

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

Instructions

In a small sauce pot, add the blueberries, thyme, sugar, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Place over medium heat. Boil for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The blueberries will release their juices. The sauce will reduce and thicken.

In the meantime, place an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler. Preheat oven broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Pat salmon filets dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Place the fish skin side down on the baking sheet.

Brush a thin layer of the blueberry glaze onto the salmon. Place the fish under the broiler for three minutes. Brush an additional thin layer of glaze on the fish. Place back under the broiler for an additional 3-5 minutes. Once cooked, the salmon should flake when pressed with a fork, but not be dry.

I used this recipe for the above dish.

The next recipe was for a sweet brunch dish on the weekend.

Blueberry Dutch Baby

Ingredients

½ cup packed all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon fine salt

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

⅔ cup almond milk, at room temperature

3 tablespoons clarified butter, melted

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

½ lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons powdered sugar, or to taste (optional)

2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste (optional)

Instructions:

1.    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

2.    Combine flour, salt, vanilla extract, eggs, and milk in a high-speed blender. Blend on high speed until completely smooth and very thin, about 1 minute.

3.    Heat a 9- or 10-inch cast iron skillet over high heat. Pour clarified butter into the skillet and use a pastry brush to grease the sides. Heat butter until just starting to smoke.

4.    Quickly and carefully pour the batter into the center of the skillet, then sprinkle blueberries over top. Transfer skillet to the center of the preheated oven and bake until browned and nicely puffed, 20 to 25 minutes.

5.    Carefully remove from the oven and immediately brush the top with melted butter. Squeeze lemon juice over top as Dutch baby deflates. Dust with powdered sugar (optional).

6.    Cut in wedges to serve and drizzle with maple syrup (optional).

I used this recipe for the above dish and modified it slightly by using plantbased almond milk in place of dairy milk.

Plant-based Blueberry Crisp

Ingredients:

7 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

2 cups oats (GF optional)

1 lemon (juice and zest)

1 cup maple syrup or agave

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

1 cup sliced almonds

2 TBS chia (or flax) seed

4 TSP cinnamon

½ cup of water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Zest a lemon with a zester, or fine cheese grater
  3. Fill a large baking dish with 7 cups of blueberries
  4. Squeeze the juice from the lemon over the blueberries evenly
  5. In a food processor, blend 1 cup of oats, ½ cup of almonds, flax seed, 1 tsp of sea salt, and 2 TBS of cinnamon
  6. In a bowl mix together (by hand), 1 cup of oats, ½ cup of almonds, ½ tsp of salt, ½ of the lemon zest (about 2 TBS), ½ cup of maple syrup or agave, and ¼ cup of water
  7. Drizzle the remaining maple syrup/agave (1/2 cup) over the berries in the baking dish
  8. Sprinkle berries (in this order) with the blended oat mixture, the wet oat mixture, ¼ cup of water, the remaining lemon zest, and 2 TBS of cinnamon
  9. Bake the crisp for 35 minutes (the blueberries should be bubbling)

I used this recipe for the above dish and modified it slightly.

The blueberries that I used for the above dishes were of the Duke variety which is a common variety grown each summer in our area.

Annually, the BC Blueberry Council begins fresh blueberry season in July. With more than 600 highbush blueberry growers covering more than 30,000 hectares across the province, this is a busy time for the BC Blueberry Council and its members.

By: Richard Wolak