British Columbia has more than 800 blueberry farms and the blueberries are already coming in for the season. You’ve still got some time to grab a box and try out all sorts of recipes from smoothies to pies as the crop will come in until near the end of September. This year the growing conditions were close to perfect according to Debbie Etsell, the Executive Director of the BC Blueberry Council and they are expecting 68 million kilograms. Unfortunately at Good Life Vancouver headquarters our consulting chef will have nothing to do with the berries due to an unfortunate incident involving a grandmother, mouldy blueberries and pancakes, but we will still be snacking our way through several pounds of them even without his help!
A few years back we checked out one of the best places for u-picks, Krause Berry Farms so this is very much a #laterpost in that regard, but as some say, better late than never. Fortunately blueberries never go out of style.
We piled into a van along with a few other writers and the l representatives the B.C. Blueberries and headed out to
the Fraser Valley to the source.
It’s cold in those blueberry warehouses!
First up was a stop in Maple Ridge at Silver Ridge Farms for a look at the process of sorting and packing on a major scale. It’s a multi-step process that involves machine sorting and then hand sorting the ripe from the unripe before they are packaged and labeled with a specific code indicating exactly where they are from.
Onward to Krause Berry Farms where we picked our own berries and sampled blueberry ice cream, smoothies, pie and shortcakes.
We also assisted in the bakery with cakes and pies; it’s certainly quite a production feeding all the blueberry lovers.
The farm now has a winery as well so if you’re interested in trying unique fruit wines make time for sampling and don’t miss their corn pizza.
So what’s up for this years blueberry crop around here? I am going to be pulling that Vitamix down from the cupboards and blending up some margaritas thanks to this recipe from BC Blueberries.
RECIPE: BLUEBERRY MARGARITA WITH CUCUMBER AND BASIL
Yield: Makes 4 x 235ml (8 oz) glasses
2 tsp (10 ml ) Fine sea salt
1 Lime wedge
2 cups (10 cubes) Ice
2 cups (300 g) B.C blueberries, fresh or partially thawed
½ cup (50 g) Cucumber, sliced
½ cup (125 ml) Tequila
⅓ cup (80 ml) Pineapple juice
¼ cup (60 ml) Fresh lime juice
¼ cup (10 g) Fresh basil, chopped
3 tbsp (45 ml) Triple Sec
2 tbsp (10 g) B.C. blueberries, fresh or frozen
4 Cucumber slices
4 Basil leaves
– Place salt in a shallow dish. Using lime wedge, moisten the rim of four glasses, then dip them in salt and set aside.
– Starting with the ice, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until relatively smooth.
– Garnish with blueberries, cucumber slices and basil.
Check out BC Blueberries Facebook page for more recipes and see featured chefs’ favourites.