Cheap, delicious, and healthy; berries are the superfoods of the fruit aisle.
They are also perfect for summer recipes, as they are so readily available.
So what is all the fuss about the nutritional value of berries?
As well as being portions of your five a day, berries also contain large amounts of antioxidants from their vitamin C properties.
Blueberries contain the most antioxidants of any fruit, and these can help protect the body from conditions like heart disease or cancer.
They are also low in calories, for example a 100g of blackberries only has 43 calories. 100g of strawberries is only 50 calories, and contains no grams of fat.
Raspberries and blackberries also contain fibre, with 100g of blackberries containing 14 per cent of our RDA of dietary fibre, which helps to speed up the metabolism.
Additional health benefits include the cholesterol reducing properties in strawberries, which can help prevent the clogging of the heartís arteries.
Raspberries are also a good source of vitamin K, which helps wounds to clot and bones to grow.
With the health benefits of berries being so abundant, here are 5 easy recipes for you to incorporate summer berries into your diet. Raspberry Kulfi
A berry twist on traditional kulfi. Ingredients
- 150g fresh raspberries
- 150g condensed milk
- 2-3 drops vanilla extract
- 75g whipping cream
- Press the raspberries through a sieve into a bowl using a wooden spoon. Make sure you scrape the underneath of the sieve to get any raspberry bits underneath.
- Add the condensed milk into the bowl with the vanilla extract and stir together well.
- Whip the cream into stiff peaks in a separate bowl, making sure you donít over beat it. Then fold this into your condensed milk mixture thoroughly.
- Pour into moulds of your choice and freeze, for about 8 hours.
- To serve, run hot water on the underside of the mould to remove the kulfi. Garnish with raspberries if you wish, and leave to soften for about 20 minutes before you serve it.
A berry flavoured ice, similar to sorbet. Itís perfect for dinner parties or as dessert on warm evenings. Ingredients
- 750g summer berries (this could be strawberries, or a mixture of any berries!)
- 140g caster sugar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Clean, destalk and chop the fruit, and place in bowl with sugar and lemon juice. Pour 300ml of boiling water over the fruit in the bowl.
- Leave the mixture to cool, and then blend until smooth. Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove pips and seeds.
- Pour the mixture into a tray and place inside the freezer to chill. Once it has frozen around the edges, remove and use a fork to break up the ice. Put the mixture back in the freezer and repeat method three times at least until it is all frozen.
- You should hopefully have a mixture similar to the texture of snow. Spoon into small bowls and enjoy.
A sweet indulgence whatever the weather. Ingredients
- 225g fresh blackberries
- 225g fresh raspberries
- 225g fresh blueberries
- 1 recently ripened medium size banana, broken into pieces
- 150ml plain natural yoghurt
- 150ml milk
- 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
- Measure out all of your ingredients and then blend until smooth inside a food processor. You could use a hand held blender if you donít have one.
- Pour the mixture into a large glass and enjoy!
An unusual but tasty dressing, ideal for summer salads. Ingredients
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
With your choice of the following:
Ė 3 large ripe strawberries, hulled and finely chopped
Ė 75g raspberries, roughly crushed
Ė 4 tbsp redcurrants, stripped from stalks and lightly crushed with a fork
Ė 4-5 tbsp blueberries, roughly crushed or chopped Method
- Put the vinegar and oils in a jar or bottle which has a secure fitted lid. Shake these until blended.
- Season with salt and pepper to your own taste, and then place the fruit inside the bottle.
- Shake the mixture gently before you use. It should keep for three days if kept airtight in a container in the fridge.
A refreshing summer drink. Ingredients
- 500g raspberries
- 500g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Place the raspberries into a pan with the vinegar and the sugar. Mash them together over a low heat for 10 minutes, until you have a syrupy smooth mixture.
- Pour this mixture through a sieve to remove seeds and into a clean pan.
- Place the seeds that you have in the sieve into another bowl and stir in 300ml of water. Sieve this mixture through again to remove the last of the pulp from the seeds. Pour the liquid back into a pan along with your sieved pulp, stir this well and then boil for a minute.
- Pour the mixture into air tight bottles. The cordial will now keep for the next few months. Once opened, store in the fridge.
We hope that these summer berry recipes have inspired you to get experimental with your cooking!