Berries and Cherries
Summertime is here and markets are full of cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. Berries are packed full of flavor, rich in nutrients, naturally sweet and so nutritionally rich that they are often referred to as superfoods. These small delicacies are irresistible and important for your daily diet. Find out more about their benefits, and how to use them all year round.
Berries and cherries are an important source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. They are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that has different benefits including heart disease protection and immune-boosting effects.
Many studies recommend eating berries regularly to protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and age-related cognitive decline.
In the Market
Try to buy fresh berries, when in season and at their best. The color of fresh berries should be bright and intense, and each berry must be firm and dry. Choose organic produce to avoid pesticides. Out of season, you can find them frozen or dehydrated.
Berries are fragile and keep longer when dry and stored with space between berries. Line a large sealable container with a paper towel and place the fruit inside, cover and refrigerate. Do not wash until you plan to eat!
Freeze: wash and dry with paper towels. Cut big strawberries in halves or quarters and destone cherries. Spread fruit in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze for 2-3 hours and then transfer to freezer bags. Use frozen fruit in smoothies, juices, sauces or desserts.
Jams or Sauces: make sauces or jams and store as indicated in the recipes. The sauces can be frozen in ice cube trays for a couple of hours and then transferred to freezer bags.
Enjoy All Year
There are many ways to enjoy the intense flavors of berries. Add color and nutrients to both sweet and savory dishes.
Breakfast and Snacks: berries are a healthy snack, in between meals or added to homemade yogurt, either fresh or as a jam. Use dried berries in cereal bars or granola. Berry smoothies are a quick option for a complete breakfast. Try the Breakfast Protein Smoothie or the Strawberry Macaroons.
Salads: fresh berries add a pop of color and flavor to salads or use fresh berries in the the vinaigrette. The Nectarine and Cherry Panzanella Salad and the Chicken and Quinoa Salad made with blackberries are good options for a summer meal.
Desserts: berries and cherries are perfect for different desserts, from ice creams to cakes and pies. Using sweet in-season fruit allows you to reduce the sugar. For a quick dessert try the Berry Dream and for a lighter version omit the sugar.