Celebrate Canada 150 with a Berry Grunt

Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday with a traditional East Coast berry dessert – grunt! Yes, it has a funny name, but there is nothing funny about how easy and tasty this dessert is. Berry grunt, most commonly blueberry grunt is an East Coast traditional dessert. Berries are cooked in a sweetly-spiced sauce, and then topped with light dumplings. It originated as an early adaptation of English steamed pudding. The dessert was named “grunt” from the sound the dumplings make while cooking over the berry sauce.

This easy dessert recipe can be made on the stove top or in an electric skillet. Any berries can be used in the recipe – strawberries would make a great red and white plate for Canada Day. Strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, cherries, and blueberries are all in season throughout the month of July.

Recipe: East Coast Berry Grunt






Ingredients for Sauce

  • I L (4 cups) fresh berries or 1 600 g bag frozen berries
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) allspice
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) orange juice

Ingredients for Topping

  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 7 ml (1 ½ tsp) baking powder
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) margarine or butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) milk
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla


  1. Begin with preparing the sauce. Heat large pot to medium heat. Add berries, sugar, spices, and juice to skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients for the topping - flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add margarine or butter and rub into flour with clean hands.
  3. In a small bowl combine the wet ingredients for the topping – egg white, milk, and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture.
  4. Drop topping by the spoonful on top of berry sauce, avoiding the edge of the pot. Cover with lid and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. When topping has cooked through, serve with sauce.

Adapted from: Food Network Canada. http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/blueberry-grunt/18541/#QxlFIeY0XcZIGqwz.99

By Rachel Morgan, RD, MPH