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No the summer is in full swing, even if the weather isn’t playing ball, now is a brilliant time of year to enjoy one of Britain’s favourite natural delights, berries! Berries are brilliant, not only because they’re a fun food, but because they’re brilliant for you too! Admittedly at this time of year, they’ll find their way into desserts; Gooseberry fool, Blueberry pie, homemade raspberry ice-cream, blackberry crumble or just simple berries with cream or yogurt, but so long as we’re all enjoying them in moderation it’s not a problem. The best thing is that all these foods are delicious and can be made with local British products. Thankfully, we’ll be enjoying the berry season until the end of autumn, so there is plenty of time to enjoy this sweet treasure.
So make the most of this local super food category and head out for an easy forage to track down local blackberries or grow some in your own backyard!
It wouldn’t be a food week at Big Barn if we didn’t have some facts for you! So here are our 11 berry related facts for the week:
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 want some ideas for cooking your berries then The Seasonal Berries website is the place to go to work up an appetite and find some additional inspiration. 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? 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.