Have you ever added local haskap berries to your smoothie? Commonly known as Blue Fly Honeysuckle, these nutrient-laden berries are highly nutritious.
Let’s ask our friends at Kelowna’s Don-O-Ray Farms about these summer gems of health.
What are haskap berries?
Haskap berries are in the honeysuckle family, and they are sometimes called honeyberries. Native to BC, haskap is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 1 metre above the ground. The plant flowers are yellowish-white and produce an edible, blue-coloured berry with a boxy, rectangular shape.
What are their nutritional benefits?
Long seen as traditional medicine, these versatile berries are high in vitamin C, anthocyanins, and antioxidants. Haskaps have 4 times as much vitamin C as blueberries! As an antioxidant, haskaps are superior to blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
When are they harvested?
In the wild, berries mature slightly before our local strawberry season. When cultivated, they can be picked as late as August. The berries are picked when the inner layer of the berry’s shape is dark purple or blue. The outer layer is dark in colour but it’s the inner layer that reveals whether the fruit is ready to harvest or is still ripening.
What do they taste like?
This berry’s flavour is unique, of course, but it’s sometimes described as both tart and sweet. Not as sweet as a blueberry or as tart as a cranberry. Haskap berries are popular for jam, juice, smoothies, sauces, as a topping on cereal, yogurt, or ice cream, and in baking.
Where can I buy?
Haskaps are now grown commercially in many places in Canada, including BC. We are in contact with the high concentration of growers between Vernon, and Salmon Arm to Blue River. Plan to try a new, local superberry this summer. Watch for this year’s haskap crop when it arrives at Don-O-Ray Farms in sunny Kelowna! Visit our online store for our jams and sauces.