Last Updated on September 6, 2022
It’s June, so it’s time to dig into juneberries — or serviceberries, or saskatoon berries, or shadbush if you prefer. If you have serviceberry trees growing in your yard or neighborhood, you have an abundance of delicious fruit to use in soooooo many yummy serviceberry recipes!
WHAT ARE JUNEBERRIES?
These yummy little berries go by many different names and mark the beginning of the summer fruit season for many eager foragers. They look a lot like blueberries and grow on trees or large shrubs, which landscapers and horticulturalists usually refer to as serviceberries, Canadians call saskatoon berries, and American gardeners most often call juneberries. They’re sometimes also called shadbush, shadblow, or sarvis, but they’re all the same berry.
Juneberries are actually in the rose family and not related to blueberries. They have a richer, sweeter flavor than most blueberries, and they lack the tartness that often balances the sweetness in blueberries. Serviceberries also have bigger, more noticeable seeds that have a bit of almond flavor to them.
Best of all, they’re abundant and easy to forage and grow. You’ll likely have waaaaay more than you can eat fresh, so check out some of the ways you can enjoy your berry haul in this collection of more than 25 delicious serviceberry recipes!
While we’re talking about getting free food from the trees around us, you might be interested in the numerous medicinal trees you could be making use of — some are likely already growing in your yard! Use those pine needles for pine needle tea, harvest some ginkgo biloba, or gather up yummy spruce tips for all kinds of cool uses.
Intrigued? Check out loads more foraged foods to gather this season here.
HARVESTING TIPS FOR SERVICEBERRY RECIPES
First things first, since serviceberries are not something you can just pick up on your next grocery run, you’ll need to gather them yourself for your favorite juneberry recipes. I highly recommend growing these delightful native plants in your garden, but you’ll also find plenty growing around town, as they’re a popular street tree.
Yes, people might look at you quizzically as you drop berries into your pail in front of City Hall, but don’t let that deter you!
Of course, any time you’re foraging, you need to make sure you’ve correctly identified the plant before consuming. ALWAYS consult a good foraging guide. Here are some top recommendations for the best foraging books.
If you’re interested in learning more about foraging, consider taking a foraging class. The Herbal Academy’s online foraging course can help you learn plant identification, ethical wildcrafting practices, and much more.
Find out more about identifying and harvesting juneberries here.
If you have room in your garden, I highly recommend growing serviceberries as part of an edible landscape. These tough native plants come in both tree and shrub form, are a snap to grow, and will provide you with masses of delicious fruit for years to come. Imagine all the juneberry recipes you can try!
Adding fruiting plants to your landscape is an easy way to enjoy homegrown food from your yard, even if you don’t have a dedicated food garden.
For lots more shortcuts to growing abundant food using perennial plants, check out my new e-book, Quickstart Guide to Permaculture. It’s a super-short guide that can help you begin harvesting so much more food from your yard with very little effort.
WHAT TO DO WITH JUNEBERRIES / SERVICEBERRIES / SASKATOONS
This delicious little berry with many names can be used in all sorts of ways:
- Enjoy juneberries on their own, straight from the tree
- Add to smoothies, though note the seeds may be more noticeable than other berries
- Blend with yogurt and freeze for healthy juneberry popsicles
- Add to homemade fruit leathers
- Top yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal with them
- Add to chia pudding
- Use in any recipe that calls for blueberries (muffins, pancakes, scones)
Or try them in some of the 25 delicious serviceberry recipes below!
SERVICEBERRY RECIPES (JUNEBERRY RECIPES / SASKATOON BERRY RECIPES)
Serviceberries are absolutely delicious eaten fresh on their own, but these trees produce so bountifully, you’ll likely have plenty extra for juneberry recipes like muffins, crisps, scones, pie, jam, ice cream, and more.
I recommend freezing surplus berries so you can try them in numerous serviceberry recipes even after the short season has passed.
Ready to dive in? I’ve scoured the interwebs for the best serviceberry recipes to share with you! Because these berries go by so many different names, I ran separate searches on juneberry recipes and saskatoon berry recipes as well, just to make sure you wouldn’t miss anything scrumptious.
Serviceberries are a natural for most recipes calling for blueberries, so if you’re a fan of blueberry muffins, scones, or pancakes, check out some of the juneberry versions below.
Now onto the serviceberry recipes!
♦ These serviceberry scones from Sweet Sugar Bean use whole grain flour and oats, making them a cut above your average white flour scone.
♦ For a juneberry recipe that’s more like dessert than breakfast, try these white chocolate and saskatoon scones from the Kitchen Magpie.
♦ I love when pancake recipes use better-for-you ingredients rather than refined white flour. If you’d like healthier serviceberry pancakes, be sure to try these whole-wheat saskatoon berry pancakes from Food Meanderings.
♦ I prefer muffins to be more than sugar bombs, so I favor whole grain flours, oats, or almond flour. Made with white flour and lots of sugar, I generally think they should be called cupcakes and treated as such. Most juneberry recipes for muffins I found fall into the latter category. This one at least uses some whole grain flour. I’d try subbing in serviceberries using a good whole-grain blueberry muffin recipe, like this one from Sally’s Baking Addiction, which I use often with rhubarb and black chokeberries. The texture is fantastic.
♦ This decadent saskatoon coffee cake recipe from Join Me for Dinner gets a little nutritional boost from whole wheat flour and yogurt.
♦ If you prefer cobblers to crisps, try this serviceberry cobbler recipe from the Kitchen Magpie.
♦ If you’re more of a pie person, try this beautiful saskatoon berry pie from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs. You can also try an extra-easy 4 ingredient juneberry pie from Sew Historically, or add some of the last rhubarb of the season and make this rhubarb saskatoon pie from The Kitchen Magpie.
♦ This serviceberry galette from Peel with Zeal looks like another great way to make an easy serviceberry dessert.
♦ Serviceberries complement cheesecake beautifully. Try this No Bake Saskatoon Berry Cheesecake from Shifting Roots.
♦ Need a new cookie recipe? Try these saskatoon berry oatmeal cookies from Food Meanderings.
♦ How about cookies for breakfast? These juneberry flax breakfast cookies from Golden Valley Flax are filled with healthy ingredients to fuel your morning.
♦Ever tried making cake in a skillet? This serviceberry skillet cake from Girl in an Apron looks both simple and delicious.
♦ This saskatoon berry clafoutis by Diversivore looks AMAZING!
♦ Did you know you could make dessert pierogies? Try these Saskatoon Pierogies from Recipe Rebel.
♦ This lightly-sweetened juneberry jam recipe from Margaret Wertheim looks like a divine way to enjoy serviceberries.
♦ Fat of the Land shares a simple juneberry sauce recipe that could work for both savory dishes and desserts.
♦ Cynful Kitchen has a recipe for barbeque sauce with juneberries worth trying at your next cookout.
♦ If it’s a refreshing drink you’re after, try this serviceberry shrub from Brit in the South.
♦ In Forage, Harvest, Feast, Marie Viljoen includes a fermented serviceberry syrup that can be used to make delicious spritzers or cocktails. The sweetened berries left over would be great on oatmeal or pancakes.
♦ Kitchen Frau has some great tips for making the most of your juneberry harvest plus a saskatoon juice recipe meant to use up berries that aren’t ideal for other serviceberry recipes.
What are your favorite serviceberry recipes? Please share in the comments!
We collect unusual recipes around here, whether it’s uses for creeping Charlie, an underappreciated wild plant, uses for orange peels, or banana peel tea. If you want to cut food waste, be sure to check out the ever-growing collection of root-to-stem recipes.
Pin to save these serviceberry recipes for later!
Thanks to all the fantastic bloggers sharing these delicious serviceberry recipes with us!
Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.