Great local blueberry recipes from B.C. chefs and restaurants

The excellent health benefits of blueberries are well documented and numerous

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      The B.C. Blueberry Council sent the Georgia Straight the following blueberry recipes, from local chefs and restaurants, to share with readers before the local bounty of fresh blueberries disappears.

      Go here for more recipes and information about B.C. blueberries.

      Besides being delicious and versatile in cooking, the diminutive berries punch well above their weight class when it comes to delivering health benefits.

      Blueberries have almost no fat and weigh in at only 80 calories per cup. They are full of antioxidants (the highest capacity of all popular fruits and veggies), phytoflavinoids, vitamins C (scads) and K, and offer manganese (again, loads) and potassium, not to mention being a good source of fibre.

      They also reduce oxidative DNA damage and may help lower blood pressure. and they have some anti-diabetes effects, as well as aiding in memory and brain function. It is possible that they help reduce urinary-tract infections too, because of their close relation to cranberries, and aid in lessening muscle damage after hard exercise.

      Doctors recommend them for their anti-inflammatory properties and the fact that they can lower your risk of certain cancers and heart disease. The phytoflavenoid quercetin may even help reduce some people's risk of asthma. Anthocyanins in the berries are also thought to be extremely beneficial.

      Like natural little blue pills for which you will never need a prescription. Enjoy.

      Torafuku Blueberry Corn Bread

      Nothing screams summer more than seeing fresh corn and blueberries together at the farmers market, and what a beautiful combination of flavours. The following recipe is a great way to celebrate both ingredients together. I am a big advocate of adding fresh corn into our cornbread for both sweet and savoury applications. I am also very specific when it comes to cooking corn. We always bake the corn in its own husk in a high temperature oven (400F). A dry cooking method (in this case, roasting in the oven) ensures the flavour isn’t diluted as where a wet cooking method like steaming or boiling will. And we keep the husk on because it adds an extra layer of aroma when the husk gets roasted, plus its keeps the corn kernels from drying out. After the corn is cooked, you can shuck it and grill over a barbecue or add it in a cornbread. The best way to buy blueberries is directly from a farm or from a stand at a farmers market. Blueberries are always best right before a rainfall is coming as it has time to develop flavour under the sun. Once a rainfall hits, the crop will suck up a lot of water thus diluting the flavour. 

      250g blueberry
      125g sugar
      2 tablespoon yuzu juice

      1. combine blueberry and sugar together in a pot and bring it to a boil
      2. let simmer until thick. ( do the plate tests where it won’t just drizzle off the plate)
      3. add yuzu juice at the very end. store in an air tight container up to a month.

      For the cornbread:

      380g corn meal 
      360g flour
      1tablespoon baking powder
      1.5 teaspoon baking soda
      200g sugar
      3 eggs
      3 tablespoon honey
      740g buttermilk
      360 butter, melted
      corn niblets (optional)

      1. preheat oven to 350F
      2. combine first four ingredients in a bowl
      3. cream egg, sugar, honey until foamy
      4. add buttermilk until liquid mixture is well combined.
      5. add dry ingredients in 3 batches and careful not to over mix
      6. add melted butter into the batter, mix then add corn and mix
      7. pour into buttered cast-iron and bake for ~20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean
      ( for extra crispy bottom, preheat the cast iron in the oven while making the batter, and add butter into heated cast iron pan before pouring in the batter.)
      8. serve (cold or hot) with blueberry jam and fresh cream.


      Vegetable-blueberry summer roll

      Vegetable Blueberry Summer Rolls


      Yields 8 to 10 rolls, ¾ cup of dipping sauce


      If you're packing these for school lunches, use seed butter to make a peanut-free dipping sauce. 


      Summer Rolls:

      • 10 8” Round rice paper wrappers (gluten-free if necessary)
      • 1 cup (150 g) B.C. blueberries, fresh
      • 1 cup (150 g) Tofu or chicken, cut into ½” x 2” strips
      • 1 cup (50 g) Whole spinach leaves, stems removed
      • ½ cup (50 g) Avocado, thinly sliced
      • ½ cup (50 g) Cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks
      • ½ cup (50 g) Bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
      • ½ cup (50 g) Carrot, cut into matchsticks
      • ½ cup (50 g) Daikon radish, cut into matchsticks (optional)
      • ¼ cup (15 g) Mint leaves, roughly chopped (optional)

      Blueberry Peanut Dipping Sauce:

      • ½ cup (75 g) B.C. Blueberries, fresh or frozen
      • 3 tbsp (45 ml) Unsweetened peanut butter
      • 3 tbsp (45 ml) Light soy sauce
      • 1 tbsp (15 ml) Lime juice
      • 1 tbsp (15 ml) Orange juice
      • 1 tbsp (15 ml) Fresh cilantro, chopped
      • 1 tsp (5 ml) Chili paste
      • 1 tsp (5 ml) Sesame oil


      1. Fill a large shallow bowl with 1½” warm water.
      2. Place a sheet of rice paper in the water for 30-40 seconds until softened. Replace with fresh warm water every 2 or 3 rolls.
      3. Transfer wrapper to a dry tea towel then to a dry surface.
      4. Place spinach and avocado across the top of the wrapper, leaving 1" on each side.
      5. Place ingredients in centre of wrapper, leaving 1" on each side.
      6. Fold bottom of the wrapper over the filling, rolling away from you.
      7. Fold sides once you roll half way then finish rolling.
      8. Cut in half - serve with dipping sauce.

      To make sauce, place all ingredients in blender


      Chef Ned’s Halibut Burger with Blueberry Relish

      Serves 4

      Chef Ned Bell's halibut burger with blueberry relish
      Kevin Clark

      Citrus mayo

      2 eggs

      2 egg yolks

      3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

      Zest and juice of 2 limes

      Zest and juice of 2 lemons

      1 tsp sea salt

      1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

      2 cups canola oil

      In a food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender), combine the eggs, egg yolks, mustard, lime zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a thin steady stream until the mixture is emulsified and thickened and all the oil has been incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, or citrus if desired. Can be made ahead of time; will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

      Blueberry relish

      2 tsp canola oil

      1 small shallot, finely chopped

      1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (divided)

      1 1/2 Tbsp honey

      1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

      1/2 tsp sea salt

      1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

      Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add 1 cup of the blueberries, honey, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Cook for 12 minutes or until saucy and the blueberries have broken down. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries. Set aside to cool. (Relish can be made and refrigerated several days ahead.

      Fennel slaw

      1 bulb fennel, halved and core removed

      1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

      1 Tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

      Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

      Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the fennel paper thin. Toss in a bowl with the oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

      Roasted halibut

      4 (4 to 5 oz) skinless halibut fillets

      Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

      1 Tbsp canola oil

      2 Tbsp unsalted butter

      2 sprigs thyme, leaves only

      1 lemon, halved

      4 soft hamburger buns, to serve

      4 butter lettuce leaves, to serve

      4 dill pickles, halved lengthwise, to serve

      Use paper towels to pat the fish dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking.

      Carefully lay the fish in the pan. (If necessary, cook the fish in batches to prevent overcrowding, which will keep the fish from caramelizing properly.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; a golden crust will have formed on the flesh.

      Flip the fillets over and add the butter, the thyme, and a squeeze of lemon over each fish. Cook, basting with the buttery juices, for another 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and almost opaque all the way through. Transfer to a plate.

      Assemble the burgers with a lettuce leaf and the fish, fennel slaw, and citrus mayo. Serve with blueberry relish and a dill pickle.

      Recipe permission line: Excerpted from Lure by Ned Bell and Valerie Howes. Photo by Kevin Clark. Copyright 2017 by Chefs for Oceans, recipes copyright by Ned Bell. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.