The Benefits of Summer Berries
It’s August, meaning we’re in that summer period when the sticky days and nights call for a cool, refreshing drink. Instead of sodas or juice filled with sugar and unnecessary calories, why not opt for a nutritious smoothie made with seasonal summer berries?
Very Berry Spinach Smoothie
Ingredients (serves two)
- 2 cups of spinach
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ cup strawberries
- ½ cup blackberries
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 1 cup kefir
- ½ cup ice
- 2 tsp goji berries
- 1 heaping tsp almond butter
- Add all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until fully combined
- Pour and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve
Different berries come with different nutritional benefits. For instance, strawberries are high in fibre, which helps to keep your digestive tract moving smoothly; blueberries are widely known for being extremely high in antioxidants, which help protect our bodies from the damage caused by free radicals; raspberries have been shown to aid in the fight against inflammation; and blackberries are high in bioflavonoids and vitamin C.
One thing they share in common? They’re all delicious and also nutritious, especially this time of year. Buying locally grown berries when they’re in season is important because chances are the fruit has been picked at its peak and there’s a much shorter time between the farm and your plate. When fresh food is picked, packaged, shipped and stored, many of the nutrients are lost. Buying local not only means you’re supporting the farmers and businesses in your community, but that you’re also getting the most nutritious and delicious berries.
When berries are in season, it’s also the perfect time of year to stock your freezer to use throughout the rest of the year.
To properly freeze your berries, put them in a big bowl filled with water and add one part vinegar to three parts water to make sure they’re clean. Next, give them a good rinse. Lay them flat on top of a dry towel and let them dry completely. Finally, stick them into a freezer bag and now you’ve got organic frozen berries whenever you want them! Feel free to throw anything else in there. Got some ripe bananas you won’t finish in a day or two? Chop’em up and add them to your berry bag. Mangos, peaches, kiwis, and whatever else you fancy can go in here, even after the berries have already frozen.
Source: CHFA, August 3rd 2017