Tag Archives: BC Blueberries

Mission – Hand Crafted Spirits TSN1410 with Joe Leary

Hand Crafted Spirits Radio Show Checks Out Barteneder Marc Smolenski at Mission in Kitsilano

We’re doing some radio again thanks to Joe Leary and TSN1410 on a new show called Hand Crafted Spirits. My segment will involve checking in with a local craft-spirit using bartender along with Joe to find out what’s been shaken and poured in our favourite spots.

Hand Crafted Spirits

The first week we visited Marc Smolenski at Mission Restaurant in Kitsilano, a spot Michael and I recently headed to for date night. Smolenski’s cocktails were so great that night, we had him choose a few more seasonal drinks for this segment and he whipped up a blueberry-based and raspberry-based drinks made with Sid’s Vodka. Such well-balanced drinks with just the right amount of boozy-ness to fruit. I preferred the Blueberry and Joe the Raspberry-version; that worked out well!

cocktail mission2

Here is the audio of the show below.

20160719 163523 Everyday Sunshine #2

15ml / .5oz Blueberry Puree (Fresh Richmond BC Blueberries Blended and strained through a sieve)
15ml / .5oz Appletons White Jamaican Rum
15ml / .5oz Aperol
5ml / 1tsp Elderflower infused SIDS Vodka
15ml / .5oz fresh pressed citrus
.5g citric acid
15ml / .5oz 2:1 / 2oz simple syrup

Shake and double strain into a coupe glass.
Top with 60ml Cava or other sparkling wine
Garnish with fresh blueberry and sorrel on a cocktail pick

Everyday Sunshine #3 

15ml / .5oz Raspberry Puree (Fresh BC Raspberries Blended and strained through a sieve)
15ml / .5oz SIDS Vodka
15ml / .5oz Aperol
5ml / 1tsp Giffard Creme de Peche Liqueur
15ml / .5oz fresh pressed citrus
.5g citric acid
15ml / .5oz 2:1 / 2oz simple syrup

Shake and double strain into a coupe glass.
Top with 60ml Cava or other sparkling wine
Garnish with fresh raspberry on a cocktail pick

Bluebery Fest at UBC

Blueberry Fest slide580 x 276_2014Be sure to get out to UBC from July 23 to 25 for the Blueberry Festival held from 9am to 1pm at the newly renovated UBC Bookstore plaza.

Schedule of Events

  • Daily from 9 to 1
  • Pancake breakfast, blintzes
  • Blueberry baked goods
  • Chef Demo 12 to 1 with Chef Steve Golob (Wed) and introducing Executive Chef David Speight (Thurs)
  • BC Blueberries from local farmers by the flat
  • UBC Farm Campus Market (Wednesday)
  • Music by local buskers

Happy Blueberry Season!

BC Blueberries At Krause Berry Farms

Blueberry-Margarita-1_0British 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.

Blueberry Day

It’s cold in those blueberry warehouses!

Blueberry Day

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.

Blueberry Day

Blueberry Day

Blueberry Day

Blueberry Day

Onward to Krause Berry Farms where we picked our own berries and sampled blueberry ice cream, smoothies, pie and shortcakes.  

Blueberry Day

Mijune Pak

We also assisted in the bakery with cakes and pies; it’s certainly quite a production feeding all the blueberry lovers.

Blueberry Day

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.


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.



Packed with important antioxidants, vitamins and heart-healthy fibre, Blueberries are hard to beat

The beginning of a new year makes most of us take a second look at our diet, vowing to eat more healthfully, and take better care of our bodies to fight disease. It’s surprisingly easy – all thanks to one little blue superfruit. There’s no better way to increase your antioxidant intake, support local growers and satiate your tastebuds than with BC blueberries!

Full of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, A and E, as well as potassium, calcium and magnesium, blueberries are an exceptionally sweet and delicious way for Canadians to achieve the Canada Food Guide recommendations to eat seven to 10 servings of fruit or vegetables every day. A 250 ml (1 cup) serving of blueberries – about the size of a tennis ball, contains 3.6 grams of dietary fibre, virtually no fat, and just 80 calories.

Over the past couple of decades, antioxidants have increasingly become the focus of health research. Antioxidants help neutralize harmful by-products in the body called ‘free-radicals’ that may lead to cancer and other age-related and degenerative illnesses. Researchers who ranked the antioxidant potential of 40 fresh fruits and vegetables found blueberries at the top of the list, earning them the nickname, ‘#1 superfood‘. This is due to the blueberry’s high content of polyphenols, the same types of compounds that provide the health benefits found in red wine and dark chocolate. In blueberries, the polyphenol that has most excited scientists is the same one that gives the blueberry its distinctive and wholly unique blue colour, a pigment called ‘anthocyanin’.*

New research has revealed additional anti-inflammatory benefits of the polyphenols that appear to greatly increase the disease-fighting power of the blueberry. Both antioxidant and the anti-inflammatory actions of polyphenols have been linked to a wide range of health benefits and improved treatment outcomes in a large number of age-related illnesses, including brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s** and Parkinson’s disease***, cardiovascular illnesses such as ischemic stroke^; metabolic syndrome, a frequent precursor to heart disease, stroke and diabetes^^; and improved urinary tract health.^^^

But the best news is how easy and delicious BC blueberries are to incorporate into your family’s daily diet, even in the middle of winter. So sweet that they’re known as “nature’s candy,” you can find them in the freezer aisle of your local grocery store year-round. Creating a healthy start to the day is a breeze – add an Apple, Pear and Blueberry Puree to your oatmeal, enjoy breakfast-on-the-go with a slice of Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cake, or entertain a crowd with a Blueberry Breakfast Bake. Recipes for all three are below.

About the British Columbia Blueberry Council
The British Columbia Blueberry Council represents over 700 blueberry growers, located in some of Canada’s most rich and fertile farmland. Plantings of premium quality high bush blueberries top 8,100 hectares in British Columbia and produce upwards of 40 million kilograms of blueberries annually. With more than $1 billion in sales in the past five years, Canada is the third largest producer of sweet and juicy highbush blueberries in the world. Available fresh in BC from July through October, delicious BC blueberries are also frozen, dried, juiced, pureed and powdered, available for year round-distribution throughout Canada and around the world.


Apple Pear and Blueberry Puree


  • 1 small, sweet apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • ½ ripe pear, peeled, cored and diced
  • 4 oz (½ cup) fresh blueberries


  • Remove any stems from the blueberries, then place all the ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Just cover with water and simmer gently for approximately 5 mins, until all fruits are tender.
  • Drain (reserving the cooking water), then transfer the ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Use the reserved cooking liquid to thin the puree, if necessary.

Makes: 1 ½ cups

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cake


  • 1 ⅓ cups flour
  • ¾ cup quick-cooking oats
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease an 8-inch round baking pan; set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • In a 1-cup measure stir milk, oil and egg; pour all at once into flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy).
  • Fold in frozen blueberries; spoon batter into prepared pan.  Bake until cake is golden and pulls away from sides of pan 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Cool on a rack, 5 to 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

* When baking, frozen blueberries should be very firm.

Makes: 8 portions

Blueberry Brunch Bake


  • 1 loaf (450 g) sliced, firm white bread, crusts removed
  • 2 cups (500 ml) frozen (not thawed) blueberries, divided
  • 4 ounces (100 g) light cream cheese, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups (500 ml) low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup (50 ml) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) ground cinnamon


  • Butter an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking dish; set aside.
  • Cut bread in 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) cubes.
  • Layer half the bread cubes and half the blueberries in prepared baking dish; sprinkle with all the cream cheese; cover with remaining bread cubes and blueberries.
  • In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, salt and cinnamon; pour over bread.
  • Gently press bread down to absorb milk mixture; refrigerate, covered at least 20 minutes or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  • Bake, uncovered, until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Slice in 8 rectangles; serve with maple syrup, if desired.

Makes: 8 portions

Quick and easy fall meals, snacks and desserts featuring the best of B.C. blues


Pull those frozen blueberries out of the freezer or pick up a few bags of locally grown from the grocery store.  It’s time to liven up meal time with one of B.C.’s best crops.  Frozen blueberries are perfect for quick breads, pancakes and desserts. They also add depth, colour and flavour to savory entrées. Beautiful blueberry sauces, spreads, marinades and chutneys present all kinds of meal options.

Mix up a batch of moist and seemingly decadent pumpkin blueberry loaf.  Consider a blueberry chutney, brie and grilled chicken sandwich – hearty, healthy and soooo delicious.  Warm up and fill up the family with blueberry-onion pork tenderloin.    Top the evening off with a classic blueberry betty or put a blue twist on an old favourite with blueberry rice pudding parfait.    Visit the B.C. Blueberry website for these, and many more, great recipes.

It’s pretty hard to top the ease and health benefits of cooking with B.C. blueberries – fresh or frozen.  Every half-cup serving represents one of the seven to ten recommended daily servings of fruit and vegetables by the Canada Food Guide.

Considered one of the leading “Superfruits” by North American researchers, the known health benefits of these little beauties continue to grow.  Absolutely loaded with antioxidants and bursting with tannins, eating blueberries is extremely beneficial – helping to stave off cancer, aging, heart disease, urinary tract infections and more.

British Columbians can feel good about BC blueberries for so many reasons.  Buying local means supporting over 700 Lower Mainland farmers who proudly represent one of the world’s largest blueberry growing regions as the rest of the planet continues to discover the “taste good-feel good” effects of BC blueberries.

About the British Columbia Blueberry Council

The British Columbia Blueberry Council represents over 700 blueberry growers, located in some of Canada’s most rich and fertile farmland. Plantings of premium quality high bush blueberries top 8,100 hectares in British Columbia and produce upwards of 40 million kilograms of blueberries annually. With more than $1 billion in sales in the past five years, Canada is the third largest producer of sweet and juicy highbush blueberries in the world. Available fresh in BC from July through October, delicious BC blueberries are also frozen, dried, juiced, pureed and powdered, available for year round-distribution throughout Canada and around the world.


Serves 4


3/4 to 1 pound pork tenderloin

2 tablespoons butter, divided

2 medium onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup port wine or sweet sherry
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes


Preheat broiler.
Broil pork, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Remove to a platter, cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
Add onions, salt and pepper; cook until onions are golden, about 10 minutes.
Add sugar; cook until onions are caramelized, 3 minutes longer
Add port wine or sherry, balsamic, blueberries and tomatoes, bring to a boil.
Remove from heat.
Thinly slice pork and serve with sauce.






Foodie Friday News 1130

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Notes from the Blueberry Council – More than 700 British Columbian farmers are now out in the fields picking the first of 2011’s BC blueberry crop. This means that consumers can now find the antioxidant-rich sweet berries in their local supermarket’s fresh produce department, at farmers’ markets and farm gates.

Known as “nature’s candy,” BC blueberries are expected to be available through until mid-October this year. After a wet spring, the season got off to a slower start than usual, but the pay-off will be a longer harvest period.

Along with being available at supermarkets, produce stores and farmers’ markets, BC blueberries can also be hand-picked by consumers at the many “u-pick” farms throughout British Columbia. A list of blueberry farms is included on the council’s website and includes “u-pick” options.

Visit www.bcblueberry.com for a range of recipes using the little blue powerhouse. Tasty dishes for home cooks to try include blueberry pavlova (recipe below), blueberry chocolate mousse cups, blueberry-onion sauced pork tenderloin and power pack granola bars. And why not pair your meal with an equally delicious beverage such as pink blueberry lemonade?

Cocktail – ” Don’t be Blue” – Colin Turner CinCin

1.5 oz Beniamino Grappa
1 oz Aperol
0.5 oz lemon
6 blueberries
0.25 oz simple syrup

In a mixing glass, first muddle blueberries, then add the lemon juice and simple syrup. Add grappa and Aperol, with ice and shake hard. Fine strain into a martini glass. Garnish with blueberry.

Cookbook – Healthy Starts Here – Marilyn Smith

Circle Farm Tour – A Circle Farm Tour is basically a road map that directs you to a variety of specialty farm-gate vendors, open air markets, charming eateries, heritage sites, fairs, and other special events. There’s a brochure and map for each participating community.

Langley – Krause Berry Farms

Wine Pick – Fort Wines Valley Girl Blueberry Wine – Crafted from local blueberries, Valley Girl is our only oaked table wine. With an earthy undertone this wine has the allure of a full-bodied merlot with the exceptional flavour of blueberry. This wine pairs well with all types of barbeque such as beef, chicken or salmon.

Health Benefits Blueberries

Blueberries’ Health Benefits:

They are a cancer fighting superfood bursting with antioxidants that fight cancer and other diseases.

Have cholesterol lowering properties and promote heart health.

Prevent macular degeneration.

Promote urinary health.

Have been called “brain food” and can help with Alzheimer’s prevention.

Anti-aging foods (of which wild blueberries are one of the best) can delay and reverse the signs of aging.

Help protect circulatory health.

Are an excellent anti-diabetes food, both in prevention and control of the disease.

Are one of nature’s perfect anti-inflammatory foods.

Help to promote and maintain digestive health.

Aid with weight loss and a healthy diet.

In fact, blueberry nutrition goes way beyond antioxidants…

The University of British Columbia and the BC Blueberry Council Announce their First Annual Blueberry Fest

When: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, July 28, 29, 30, 9:00AM to 1:00PM
Where: The UBC Bookstore Plaza, at University Boulevard and East Mall.
Who: Please join us for a big Blueberry Breakfast between 9:00AM and 10:30AM on Tuesday, when you can meet with the blueberry experts and get the facts from a grower, a dietitian, a chef and an industry representative.

Supported by the BC Blueberry Council, the UBC Bookstore and UBC Food Services

Features & Events:
 Chefs will be preparing multiple blueberry items for purchase including: pancakes, parfaits, muffins, scones, cakes, crème brûlée and blintzes
 Farm fresh BC blueberries for purchase
 UBC Bookstore Discounts
 Daily prize draw and free recipes

CONTACT: Juliana Campbell Kara Daugharty
UBC Food Services BC Blueberry Council
Tel: 604.822.1812 Cell: 604-612-4420
Juliana.campbell@ubc.ca kdaugharty@hotmail.com

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