Friday, February 12, 2010

Food for thought Fridays - Berrylicious!

I love summer because it means I get to eat lots of delicious berries! They're one of the easiest thing to grow at home, and if you don't eat every single that ripens (like I do), they also freeze well for year-round use. Berries are naturally sweet and flavoursome, making them a wonderful addition to baking, smoothies and breakfast cereals, among other things. 

This week I've been making smoothies with strawberries and blueberries from my garden. 

Berries have wonderful health properties; Low in fat, carbs and calories, but high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the pigments that give berries their colour can help prevent cancer and heart disease, as well as slow the aging process.

Raspberries I inherited a raspberry cane from the wonderful Kris Scott two years ago, and now I'm giving my spare canes away to others. They really do take over, so it's wise to plant them along an empty fence lince where they have room to spread and can be easily supported. Although my raspberries have finished producing for the year, they gave me a solid two months of high production - about a bowlful a day. I'm expecting even more next year, when all my two-year-old canes start producing. 

Raspberries contain lutein, the same property found in carrots that helps maintain healthy vision. They also provide vitamin C, good for the immune system, and potassium, which is necessary for keeping heart, brain, kidney, muscle tissues and other organs in good condition.
Strawberries I bought six strawberry plants three years ago and have been planting out their runners every year since. I've got about 30 plants now and they've been giving me fresh strawberries since spring. You're supposed to cull plants once they're three-years-old, so I'm going to get rid of my original plants this winter. Eating strawberries will give you much needed vitamin C, as well as a bit of calcium, magnesium, folate and potassium.

Blueberries I've got one Incredible Edible blueberry tree I planted two years ago and it's finally giving me fruit. Blueberry trees grow quite large, so you need a decent-sized spot to plant them in. 

Blueberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidant activity of any fruit. 

Like raspberries, blueberries also help prevent eyesight deterioration, and they contain the same substance found in cranberries that can help prevent bladder infections. 

Boysenberries I only planted my boysenberry bush a few weeks ago, so I'm not expecting any fruit off it till next summer. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Like the blueberry, boysenberries are a rich source of natural antioxidants. A one cup serving has seven grams of soluble fibre, which helps to lower cholesterol and maintain heart health. One cup also provides around a third of the daily recommended amount of folate, a form of B vitamin that's particularly important during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects in the baby.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting Craving Fresh, and for taking the time to comment. Your feedback is so important to me.