Berries are fleshy fruits that supply a burst of flavor and color to our plates during the summer months. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent snack choice. Eat berries on their own, incorporate them into your breakfast, blend them into a smoothie, or make a scrumptious jam—you can’t go wrong!
-Choose berries that are free of mold, firm, and not overripe (usually indicated by a dark, dull color).
-Store berries in the refrigerator, unwashed, until ready to consume.
-Remove rotten or moldy berries to prevent other berries from becoming damaged.
-Blueberries can last up to a week in the fridge, while strawberries and raspberries are more fragile and last 2-3 days.
-Freezing berries whole retains their highest nutritional value. Remove overripe or moldy berries, wash, then drain. Lay a single layer of berries on a baking sheet, and freeze overnight. Store the berries in labeled, freezer grade bags; you can pre-portion the berries for specific recipes.
-Immediately before consuming, rinse berries quickly and gently in cold water.
-Do not soak or scrub.
Kid-Friendly Eating Tips:
-Make a simple smoothie with berries, bananas, yogurt, orange juice, and ice.
-For breakfast, add fresh berries on top of granola, yogurt, pancakes, waffles, or cereal.
-Microwave lightly mashed blueberries or raspberries or sliced strawberries with a bit of orange juice to make a delectable topping for pancakes or waffles.
-Have a mixed berry salad with a bit of fresh lemon juice and maple syrup or honey.
-Experiment with berry popsicles!
-Blueberries: A good source of vitamin C, potassium, sodium, and fiber.
-Raspberries: An excellent source of vitamin C and fiber.
-Strawberries: An excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of potassium.
-Smoothie challenge: have students create a smoothie recipe, where a few atypical, but healthy ingredients must be included, such as, spinach, kale, mint, avocado, sunflower seed butter, flaxseed, cinnamon or ginger.
-Taste test uncommon berries, such as chokeberries, currants, elderberries or gooseberries,
alongside common berries.
Sources: The Visual Food Encyclopedia, http://islandgrownschools.org/ and http://www.worldcommunitycookbook.org/season/guide/