These are a storehouse of nutrients, high in vitamins and fibre,
and an excellent source of antioxidants.
Berries have it all. With their jewel-toned colours,
strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are a feast
for the eyes and for the taste buds, too. And they are a storehouse
of nutrients, high in vitamins and fibre, and an excellent source
Buying and Storing
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are
available both fresh and frozen. You can also find canned
strawberries, but their texture is rather mushy and best suited to
sauces and drinks.
When purchasing fresh berries, look for those that are firm and
brightly coloured. Blueberries should have a whitish powdery
appearance over the berry called a "bloom." Avoid berries that are
mouldy or shrivelled. Blackberries should be shiny and black, not
dull or reddish.
Fresh strawberries, blackberries and raspberries don't keep very
long, so plan to use them within a couple of days. Blueberries stay
fresh longer and can be stored for up to five days. Refrigerate
berries as soon as possible after purchase, but don't wash them
until you need them.
Frozen and imported fresh berries are available in supermarkets
year round. But all berries are less expensive and tastier when
they're in season.
Peak season for fresh berries are:
Strawberries - June and July
Raspberries - July to September
Blackberries - early July for about three weeks
Blueberries - September
Fresh berries should always be washed just before they are
Wash whole berries in a solution of water that contains a drop
of mild dish soap or a commercial vegetable wash.
Place berries in a colander, then dip them repeatedly in the
bowl of the cleaning solution.
Rinse well under running water and spread them out on paper
towels to dry.
To maximize their flavour let berries reach room temperature
before serving. After washing and drying, you can slice
strawberries, but leave raspberries and blueberries whole.
A simple way to serve berries is with a sprinkle of sugar to
taste and a splash of lemon juice or orange liquor. Let them sit
for about 30 minutes while the juices mix with the sugar. This
concoction makes a yummy topping for ice cream, cake or pancakes.
Stir fresh or frozen berries into yogurt, sprinkle them on cereal
or blend them in smoothies. To freeze berries, simply wash and dry
them thoroughly, then place them on a cookie sheet lined with
parchment paper. Then, put them in the freezer. Once frozen, place
the berries in freezer bags.
Try it today:
Strawberry and Cracked Black Pepper
Blueberry Dumplings with Creme
Summer Berry Pudding