Berries Galore

berriesA few weeks ago I decided to clear out the courtyard, replant my pots and try something new…. growing strawberries with my 6 year old son. It is now early June, and we have had our first fruit. These strawberries were delicious and my son hit the nail on the head with this comment, “Mummy, I want to grow them every year. They are so much tastier than the ones in the shop!”

 

Summer is here and berries abound the local food markets and superstores. How many of us make the most of these versatile and delicious health food? I’d like to highlight a couple of my favourites and their health benefits.

Berries are low in calories, high in fibre, and they contain vitamins and minerals your body needs to function normally.   One cup of strawberries contains over 100 milligrams of vitamin C, almost as much as a cup of orange juice. Strawberries also have calcium, magnesium, folate and potassium. And they’re low in calories — one cup of strawberries has only 53 calories. British strawberries are at their best between June and July. Strawberries obviously taste delicious on their own, but their sweetness can also be complemented by balsamic vinegar and black pepper.

One cup of blueberries offers a smaller amount of vitamin C, plus some minerals and phytochemicals for only 83 calories. British blueberries are available from June to September. They are great for snacking or making into jam.

The same amount of cranberries is similar, but with only 44 calories, one cup of raspberries offers vitamin C and potassium for 64 calories.

Blackberries have a tangy flavour and UK varieties are available from May to November, but are at their best between August and October. Blackberry picking is a great activity to get you out the house and exercising with a delicious treat at the end!

 

My favourite way to enjoy berries is to make a Berry Packed Super Smoothie:

Ingredients:  

  • 1 handful strawberries
  • 1 handful blueberries
  • 1 banana / teaspoon honey (your preference)
  • 200ml coconut milk (diary free version) / milk
  • Blend in a mixer and enjoy straight away!

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