Berries: The Summer Vitamin Bombs

Berries sweeten our summer. How do you know if blueberries, raspberries, etc. are ripe and how do you store them correctly? tips and recipes.

In summer, the range of berries is particularly large. Raspberries, currants, blackberries, blueberries, and gooseberries can now be found again at the weekly markets. They taste best freshly picked because they do not ripen after harvesting. You can only buy gooseberries green and let them ripen at home.

How do you recognize fresh berries?

You can’t always tell whether the fruit is ripe by the color. Ripe strawberries, for example, are evenly red and still fresh as long as their calyx leaves are not curling up. Fresh raspberries are pink to dark red and have a matt finish and firm flesh. Blueberries and blackberries should look plump and give slightly when pressed lightly. Freshly harvested currants are plump and have elastic stems.

Many ripe blueberries have a greyish-white veil – similar to that of plums. The plant forms the wafer-thin wax film as natural protection so that the fruit does not dry out so quickly. On the other hand, if the blueberries are shiny and very dark, they are no longer quite fresh.

Store berries properly

It is best to store berries in a cool, dark place, in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator or in the cellar. Remove the transport packaging first. Only remove the calyx, petals, and stalks just before eating, and do not soak the berries in water for too long when washing them, otherwise, they will lose their aroma.

Protection against mold: freeze or boil down

Berries go moldy quickly. If a berry is moldy, you should also throw away the berries in the immediate vicinity. You could already be infested with mold without showing it. Overripe fruits can be processed into smoothies or jams. You can freeze large quantities of berries to prevent them from going moldy. Place in a flat bowl or on a tray and pre-freeze first. In a second step, pour the berries into freezer bags or cans. In this way, the berries do not freeze into a block and can later be removed individually.

Berries are very healthy

Berries are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that can repair damaged body cells. At the same time, they are low in calories: 100 grams contain a maximum of 44 calories. Because they contain a lot of fiber, berries still fill you up quickly.

  • Strawberries contain a large amount of folate, which the body needs for cell division. They’re also high in vitamin C: 57 milligrams per 100 grams. That’s more vitamin C than lemons, which have 50 milligrams per 100 grams.
  • Currants contain three times more vitamin C than the same amount of lemons. This strengthens the immune system. They can also help with rheumatism and gout, have a diuretic effect, and promote bone formation.
  • Raspberries contain the dietary fiber pectin, which promotes healthy digestion. They also contain anthocyanins. These phytochemicals are even said to protect against cancer.
  • Blackberries contain a particularly large amount of vitamin A, which is important for the retina, skin, and mucous membranes.
  • Gooseberries keep the connective tissue of the arteries elastic and are also good for hair and nails thanks to their high silicon content.
  • Blueberries contain a lot of vitamin E, which keeps cells elastic and can lower high blood pressure. The tannins in blueberries have an anti-inflammatory effect and are good for the brain.

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