July 24, 2020

Tashia Hart

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Field Guide: Juneberries

What do do with an often overlooked wild fruit

Juneberries are ripening across the Midwest. In some places, like Minneapolis and central Wisconsin, the harvest has been waning for weeks, while in more northern latitudes, folks are still waiting to bring out their berry buckets.

The often overlooked juneberry goes by many names: serviceberry, sarviceberry, shadbush, saskatoon. Members of my tribe, the Anishinaabeg, call the sweet, almost meaty fruit “Ozigwaakomin” (oh-zeh-gwahk-oh-men).

Juneberries are a good source of iron, full of anthocyanins, and they are versatile in the kitchen. A traditional food source for multiple tribes, they liven up venison soup and pemmican. They are delicious freshly picked and tossed with leafy greens or stirred into hot wild rice with roasted hazelnuts and maple sugar.  They make wonderful jams, jellies, pies, syrup, and marinades like this one, ideal for summer grilling.

Zingy Summer Berry Marinade

Zingy Summer Berry Marinade

Makes enough for about 2 lb. of meat or veggies


1 cup juneberries
1 cup red raspberries
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup oil
1 tbsp. maple sugar (or white sugar)
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno (optional)
Kosher salt to taste


Blend berries and juice in a food processor for just long enough to puree the fruit. Strain the seeds out and put the liquid blend back into the processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Marinate poultry, venison, beef, pork, or veggies for 2-3 hours in the fridge before grilling.


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