The benefits of wild blueberries
There are a few good reasons for using wild blueberries in this recipe. To begin with, wild blueberries are much smaller than cultivated blueberries. They are the ideal size to mix well into the batter and cook embedded in the pancake. As they are roughly pea-size, they are the perfect size to blend into the batter and get cooked smoothly into the golden pan-fried cakes. The larger berries tend to poke through the batter as it cooks and then pop open, often spilling their berry juice in the frying pan. Another benefit to going wild, is their incredible flavour. Good things do come in small packages as these berries are packed with more blueberry punch and sweetness. The wild berries also have greater health benefits. The fruit’s antioxidants are found mainly in the skins. So smaller berries mean more skin compared to cultivated berries pound per pound.
Where to find wild blueberries
Did you know that wild blueberries are now Canada’s number one fruit export and are shipped and sold across North America, Japan and parts of Europe? While both are native to North America, the wild blueberry or lowbush grows differently than the cultivated or highbush variety. The lowbush are found across Canada but are most abundant in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. They thrive in this this cooler eastern region of the country and across the border in Maine as well, where the growing conditions there are similar. The blueberry bushes are not actually planted but commonly grow wild in fields, forest floors or near swamps. Blueberry fields called barrens are managed by farmers who harvest them commercially. If you want to experience them fresh-picked at a roadside stand, make sure to plan a trip to the growing region in late summer. Outside the growing region, you should find them fresh in your grocery store or produce market for a limited time in August and September. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy them in frozen format – which have the exact same nutritional qualities by the way.
Top it off with maple syrup
Of course, you’ll want to top off your pancakes with some maple syrup. You really must try the real thing if you haven’t already. Learn more about sourcing pure natural maple syrup here: Pancakes from Scratch. Incidentally, the world’s top maple syrup producing region happens to be Quebec so there’s even more reason to eat your fill of pancakes or perhaps some crepes in this part of the world.
Wild Blueberry Pancakes
- 1 cup wild blueberries fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 1¼ cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ⅓ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Mix the dry ingredients
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg, milk and mix well.
- Stir into the dry ingredients until smooth
- Stir in the melted butter and vanilla
- In a separate bowl, toss the blueberries with a little flour to coat them
- Gently fold the blueberries into the batter
- Add a little lard or oil to a large frying pan and heat to medium
- Ladle out portions into pan and fry until bubbles form. Flip over
- Cook for about a minute on the other side.
More from external sources
- 5 Things You Didn’t Know about Wild Blueberries
- Canadian Wild Blueberries
- Wild Blueberries of North America
- Where to Buy Wild Blueberries