August 21, 2015 3:36 pm

Seasonal recipes featuring Canadian-grown blueberries

This photo shows broiled sockeye salmon with blueberries and sweet potatoes.

AP Photo/Matthew Mead
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TORONTO – Whether they’re cultivated or wild, juicy Canadian-grown blueberries are in stores now. With more than $1 billion in sales in the past five years, Canada is the third largest national producer of sweet highbush blueberries in the world.

READ MORE: Canadian-grown blueberries hitting market now

The beauty of blueberries – both cultivated and wild – is that they can be used in sweet or savoury foods.

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“People think of muffins and smoothies, but they can be used in entrees, in salads, in sauces and of course desserts. Even in a barbecue sauce,” says Debbie Etsell, executive director for the British Columbia Blueberry Council.

Fresh Canadian blueberries are available now and they can be found in the grocery store freezer section year-round.

A 125-millilitre (1/2-cup) serving of blueberries has only 44 calories. That amount contains 10 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and two grams of fibre.

Here are some recipes featuring the sweet colourful berry.

BLUEBERRY TURKEY BURGERS

This burger is a favourite of Etsell’s, with its mix of sweet and savoury.

“If you’re using a lot of dark meat it tends to be a little loose, but I use half white and half dark and put it together and it’s a really nice balance of some of the spices with healthy turkey meat and then the blueberries. Put that on a whole-wheat bun and it’s delicious,” she says.

  • 10 ml (2 tsp) vegetable oil
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) barbecue sauce
  • 4 whole-grain burger buns

Burgers

  • 500 g (1 lb) lean ground turkey
  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) blueberries, fresh or frozen, roughly chopped
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped green onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) whole-grain mustard
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley or 10 ml (2 tsp) dry
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) chopped fresh thyme or 5 ml (1 tsp) dry
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) finely minced garlic
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) paprika, mild or hot
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) black pepper
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) breadcrumbs or ground flax seeds (if needed)

In a bowl, mix burger ingredients and form into four 2-cm (3/4-inch) thick patties. If mixture appears too wet, add breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan or barbecue to 180 C (350 F). Grease grill with an oiled paper towel or heat oil in pan.

Sear patties on medium-high heat, cooking for 5 to 7 minutes until browned. Carefully flip over, reduce heat to medium-low and finish cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes until internal temperature reaches 75 C (165 F).

Brush with barbecue sauce and serve on buns with condiments of your choice.

Makes 4 burgers.

Source: British Columbia Blueberry Council.

MARINATED BROCCOLI SALAD WITH WILD BLUEBERRIES

Here’s a salad you can make ahead, then quickly finish off with the fried pancetta.

  • 2 heads broccoli, cut in florets and blanched in salted water
  • 250 ml (1 cup) wild blueberries (defrosted and strained if frozen)
  • 4 slices pancetta

Dressing

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) sunflower seeds
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) mayonnaise
  • 250 ml (1 cup) yogurt
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a bowl, place dressing ingredients; mix to combine.

Add blanched broccoli and blueberries; marinate for a minimum of two hours, maximum 24 hours.

Just before serving, fry pancetta until crisp. Roughly chop and sprinkle over salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Wild Blueberry Association of North America, www.wildblueberries.com.

WILD BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE

This protein-packed smoothie is an ideal pick-me-up after a session at the gym or as a quick nutritious breakfast.

  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) frozen wild blueberries
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) frozen chopped mango
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 small banana
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 150 ml (2/3 cup) cottage cheese
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) hemp seeds

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Makes 1 large smoothie (500 ml/2 cups).

Source: Wild Blueberry Association of North America, www.wildblueberries.com.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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