Summer fruits and the tastin’ is easy! I could, and often do, eat berries every day throughout the year. I put them in smoothies, sprinkle them on my yogurt or French toast, and, freshest in the summer, I eat them right out of the characteristic green cardboard box they come in when I buy from my local market.
The nutritional job of a berry is to be an antioxidant – barricading our body from free radicals, which damage healthy cells. The darker the berry, the better they are at supplying the body with vitamins and minerals. Berries are an excellent source for iron, magnesium, and zinc. They’re also good for your gut. Most noteworthy are wild blueberries. I’ve read that these, fresh and frozen, are a top notch brain food.
When you bring your berries home, don’t rinse them until you are ready to eat them. An early rinse, and then left for a couple of days in the fridge is a sure way to invite mold and soggy berries. If you want to add berries to your smoothie, freeze them. As soon as the local berries hit my farmer’s market, I start stockpiling for the winter. I trim the stems from the strawberries, and wash and dry them on a tea towel before loading them into large ziplock bags, ready for the freezer. Raspberries and blueberries, I don’t rinse. I have a quick look through to make sure they are all in good shape, and then freeze them immediately. I buy a couple of boxes each week and by the end of August, the middle drawer of my freezer is full – ready for an autumn and winter of summer, in my morning smoothie! I’m already looking forward to Saturday’s stroll through my organic market. My berry basket will runneth over!