One of the things I love most about summer is the berries! Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries … mmm … the only problem is, though they’re plentiful, there’s a very short window of opportunity to get them.
To make sure you get the most out of your spoils, I’ve put together a little “guide to berries” for you.
But before you pick, there’s a few key things to know about shopping and storing your fruit to maintain the best flavor.
- Only choose berries that are plump and juicy and fully colored; for example, skip blueberries that are slightly red or have a hint of green.
- Don’t seal up your berries when you get home … in fact, don’t even wash them. Let them sit in the refrigerator and only wash what you’ll use, right before you’re going to use them.
- Pick with your nose. Smell the fruit … if it smells like you could eat it right there, it’s ready.
Berries are great raw and right out of the container. They’re wonderful to put on fruit or in smoothies or popsicles. What’s Cooking America has fantastic recipes for all sorts of berries. They also have tips on how to best freeze berries, which is important to know if you plan on saving some for winter enjoyment.
And if you’re planning on saving some of those berries for the colder months, check out this awesome book for the modern canner (or even a beginner canner).
Want to grow your own? I love this idea from HGTV on building your own berry trellis … in fact, I might try this in our backyard this summer! Both the girls love fresh berries, and I think they would love being able to go outside and just pick them anytime!
The Go Organic Gardening website also has tips on growing these sweet and yummy treats.
photo credit: HGTV