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Berry Week: Week 27 of BigBarn’s food and drink weeks

This is a great time of year to enjoy one of Britain’s favourite natural delights, berries!  Berries are not only good for you but fun to cook with too. Gooseberry fool, Blueberry pie, homemade raspberry ice-cream, blackberry crumble or just simple berries with cream or yogurt. All delicious and can be made with local British products. Berry season lasts from summer through to the end of autumn so there is plenty of time to enjoy this sweet treasure.

Berries are certainly in the super food category and are easy to forage in the case of blackberries or grow in your own backyard.

Did you know:

1. Strawberries and honey can reduce pain and inflammation from sunburn.

2. Red raspberries have been growing throughout Europe for centuries. It is believed that they originated in Turkey and spread throughout Mediterranean Europe. The Romans took raspberries throughout their empire – including to Britain.

3. Raspberries are a member of the rose family.

4. The dark blue purple colour of Blackberries ensures they have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits. Antioxidants, well-known for lowering the risk of a number of cancers, are a huge bonus, but be aware the berries are best consumed in their natural state to get the full benefits.

5. Gooseberries contain moderate levels of minerals such as copper, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.

6. Blueberries won’t ripen once they are picked and are a high source of vitamin C, which has helped Saami people of the Arctic live in cold climates.

7. Strawberries for headaches??? They contain natural salicylates, an ingredient that’s found in aspirin! In Roman times, the strawberry was valued for its therapeutic properties.

8. Blackberries are effective in the treatment of stomach problems, such as nausea.

9. Cranberries and blueberries are both in the Vaccinium family

10.A tomato is a berry.

11. Aronia Berries have 4 times more antioxidants than Blueberries

If you prefer to save your berries for cooking then The Seasonal Berries website is the place to go to work up an appetite. Delicious recipes and mouthwatering ideas will have you racing to your nearest farm shop for a punnet of Britain’s finest.

Or, if you have a favourite berry recipe, why not share it with us? For the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

When it comes to berries, fresh and local is best, so take a look at the local food map to find producers or retailers in your area. Or visit MarketPlace to buy online.

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