Chokecherry Recipes From Our Farm

Chokecherry Recipes From Our Farm

A deciduous tree from coast to coast, the chokecherry is often overlooked but it is such an important part of the ecosystem, providing a home and food for many animals and insects. From fragrant white blooms in the spring covered in pollinators, to colourful foliage in the fall with drooping clusters of deep purple berries, it is a plant to be admired.

chokecherry purple berries

Chokecherries are astringent or puckery, especially before the first frost, but the berries can be made into jelly, wine, syrup...or soap! Our chokecherry soap is a featured soap in our 2023 Fall Soap Collection.

A favourite on our farm is to make Chokecherry Syrup.  Nothing quite like having this sweet syrup poured over hot pancakes on a winter day.

Chokecherries contain a large pit inside that contains the toxin cyanogenic glycoside amygdalin and should not be consumed. Be sure to spit this out if you’re eating them fresh off the tree (most people can’t tolerate the sour anyways!). We find the best way to use the chokecherry is to juice it, making it very versatile.

So this is how to make Chokecherry Juice (which then can be turned into fruit punch, jelly, syrup, wine… soap).  If you have a steam juicer then you’re ahead of the game because this is the slickest piece of equipment when it comes to berries and apples.  I do not, but my mom does and I happily borrow hers when needed!  But you can also just follow this basic method:

How to Make Chokecherry Juice:

  1. Wash your berries and place into a pot, then add water to cover them.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool 
  4. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the berries and smush the berries into pulp and seeds to get all the juices out
  5. You can now use this resulting juice, or can or freeze for later

Grandma’s Chokecherry Syrup Recipe:

4 cups chokecherry juice

3 cups sugar

Add juice to a large pot and bring to a full boil: add sugar. Bring to a hard rolling boil and boil for 2 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from heat. Use fresh in your fridge and preserve the remainder. 

Do you have a favourite way to use chokecherries? You could use this syrup over baked brie in the oven, or maybe to try a new cocktail! We might try adding some to our chutney this year. So fun to experiment with prairie berries!

Go ahead and try our Chokecherry soap this year too.. A limited fall scent.  Your skin will love all the extra vitamins and antioxidants from the chokecherry juice :) 

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