In a recent article here on Associated Content from Yahoo!, Dr. Kristie Leong explained some of the many important nutritional virtues of berries. Yes, berries! We love berries of all sorts; strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, you name it! To read the full article click here.
Grow Your Own Berries
The best way to ensure that you have a nice fresh supply of berries is to actually grow them yourself. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Not everyone is in a position, or a place in the world, where they can set in a nice big orchard of vines of assorted berries. Impossible, right?
Not necessarily. You don’t have to grow a massive amount or variety of berries to ensure that you and your family get to enjoy your favorite berries straight from the vine. For most households only a few producing plants will suffice. And for those who live in regions that are not conducive to growing berries outside smaller plants, such as strawberries, can be grown in containers indoors.
Still, you’re right, it isn’t as simple as all that. There are other things to consider, like having the time to maintain the plants, which could be impossible for those who travel a lot on business, or have to worry about pets constantly knocking pots and hanging systems down. And then there are those who suffer from the cursed Black Thumb.
Buy Your Berries In-Season
This is when we hit the stores looking for our favorite berries. Of course, we want to find them on sale. Finding our berries on sale ensures three things.
First, is that buying them while on sale won’t make us go broke. Like it or not, fresh berries can cost a lot. Many in-season sales will have berries at a fraction of the cost of the regular off-season price.
Second, is that sales ensure to the laymen that the berries are, in fact, in-season. Growers can only afford to offer screaming deals when they have an abundance of berries in stock. This only happens when the fields and vineyards come into season and are heavy with fruit.
Third, when berries aren’t on sale that means they are off-season. Good, higher quality berries that come to us off-season were probably grown in industrial hothouses, which require massive amounts of resources such as electricity, designer soils, soil supplements, and water filtration systems to accommodate. Not only is all of this passed on to the consumer in price, but it’s bad for the environment as well. Even if you don’t buy organic, you can help do your part in going green by buying your berries in-season.
But, what are we supposed to do about berries in the middle of winter, when berries aren’t growing on the vine or displayed in huge stacks of clamshell containers in the stores?
Buy Your Berries Frozen
We’re in luck! Frozen berries actually have a higher nutritional content than the fresh berries you’ll find in the fresh produce section of your local supermarket. No, frozen berries don’t taste quite the same, but it’s not like they suddenly taste like liver either.
The fact is, the overwhelming majority of frozen berries are processed in-season. Add to that, they are frozen within hours of being picked. The very moment you separate the berry from the growing vine it begins to loose nutrients. Freezing them saves the nutrients, which is then passed on the to consumer in their own kitchens. Think of industrial freezing as a nutrient time machine designed to help us get the most out of our fresh berries.
Frozen berries are also extremely versatile. They can be used in pies, cakes, smoothies, sauces, glazes, homemade ice cream, and even certain kinds of cookies!
No matter what time of year it is you can enjoy your favorite berries in one incarnation or another. And, as Dr. Leong points out, berries are excellent brain food!
Related Recipe Collections From This Author
3 Uses for Frozen Strawberries
3 Uses for a Frozen Blueberry