Berries are lower in sugar than other fruits, they are beneficial in preventing cancer and other degenerative diseases, improving heart health and blood pressure, boosting your brain power (who doesn't need that from time to time?) and linked to managing diabetes and weight.
Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, black & redcurrants and blueberries are colourful powerhouses of nutrition. They are all packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. The darker the fruit, the more nutritional properties they contain (blueberries are real winners!). Don't forget that vitamin C is destroyed at high heat - so eat them raw in your diet as well as cooked.
Berries can be expensive out of season so always have a bag of frozen berries available to use frozen or thawed in recipes.
The easiest way to get daily berries into your diet is to add them to breakfast.
raw berries on muesli
raw or frozen berries in porridge
raw or frozen berries in a smoothie
raw with peanut butter on toast
find more breakfast ideas in my book HERE
They also make a fantastic snack, in a small pot with some nuts. Much more nutritious and blood sugar friendly than chocolate or a processed bar. (I use little pots I get from the Indian takeaway, the sort they put the yogurt raita in.)
You can also berries in traditional recipes. Try this Healthy Berry Crumble using fresh and frozen berries:
WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4):
300g fresh berries
200g frozen berries (thaw in a colander over a bowl or jug)
2 tbsp juice from the thawed berries (or water if you prefer)
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
1tbsp runny honey
150g whole oats
50g ground almonds
50g flaked almonds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp demerara sugar
WHAT YOU DO:
Place the apples and blackberries in a pan with the juice or water, sugar (option) and cinnamon, and simmer very gently with the lid on until the fruits are just softened but still have some bite. Watch it doesn't boil dry.
While it cooks you can make the crumble topping: heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan and add oats to fry. They need to take on some colour and start to crisp - about 5 minutes.
Add the flaked almonds and gently cook those for another couple of minutes until they start to brown at the edges. Keep it moving all the time.
Finally, add the ground almonds, pumpkins seeds and sugar and stir well.
Place the warm fruit mixture into an oven proof dish and add the crumble topping. Pop in the oven at 200 degrees for max 10 mins, to crisp the top - watch it though as it browns in a flash!
Serve warm with some crème fraiche or good quality ice-cream.