It’s an excellent year for Saskatoon berries in the Shuswap

Healthy Bites column: Saskatoons, abundant now, resemble blueberries but are apple relatives.

Look on any rural road around Salmon Arm these days and you will see saskatoon bushes laden with fat, juicy berries.

Saskatoons resemble blueberries but are actually a relative to the apple. They have a fruity-nutty flavour and are very nutritious. High in fiber, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium and potassium, their deep blue colour indicate they are also high in anthocyanins, an antioxidant. Antioxidant-rich foods are known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects on the human body.

Saskatoon berries, or speqpeq7u’w’i, have always been celebrated by the Secwepemc people as they were the first fresh berry to come into season after a long winter of eating mostly dried and preserved foods. The First Fruit ceremony was held at the beginning of each picking season to show appreciation for the crop that was about to harvested. The chief announced the beginning of each berry picking season and people would gather and set up camp at the different picking sites. Enough berries would be collected and dried to ensure that everyone in the community could survive the long winter months.

Related: Hundreds of trees to brighten roadside

Whether you are looking to connect with our rich Secwepemc culture or simply to have a nutritious snack, this is a great year to gather Saskatoon berries. They continue to ripen after you pick them, so don’t worry if you pick some pinkish ones. Once washed and dried, they can be frozen, canned, dried or added to baked goods, but taste best fresh. The leaves can be steeped into tea. Saskatoons are easy to pick, as they have no thorns, flexible branches and hang in clumps. Recruiting friends and family who are tall or have long arms is always strategic. A great activity to do with children, be warned that they will be a detriment to your crop as they can eat them just as fast as you pick them!


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Salmon Arm athletes hit the track in Cowichan 2018 BC Games

Results from day one with Thompson-Okanagan team are in

Taxi collides with parked dump truck in Salmon Arm

No word yet on the cause or if charges will be laid

Okanagan Wildfires: An evening update on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday evening look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Racers wanted for Shuswap soap box derby

Salmon Arm 10-year-old Brody Paton is making preparations for annual Friendship Day event

Melodic summer evenings live on in the Shuswap

WOW has grown from a small gathering to a weekly festival that attracts from 500 to 1,000 people

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Lettter: Columnist wrong about Mexico, England

America hater, Gwynne Dyer, misrepresents and obfuscates the facts in his last… Continue reading

Letter: Roads in Shuswap’s Blind Bay being neglected

Two weeks ago we went for a drive to Notch Hill Estates.… Continue reading

Letter: Unconvinced of benefits of proportional representation

BC citizens have a very important decision coming up this fall; to… Continue reading

Update: Mount Eneas wildfire holds at 1,374 hectares

Fire chief Dennis Craig said wind was blowing the fire away from homes

Invasive species can be a matter of perspective

Column: Great Outdoors/James Murray

Update: Okanagan Mountain Park fire holds at 400 hectares

The wildfire, also called Goode’s Creek wildfire, continues to burn near Kelowna

Car thief nabbed by Mounties on wildfire duty

RCMP working wildfires deploy spike belt to nab alleged auto thief from Oliver.

Most Read