A Berry Affair
Berries are my favorite fruit...I used to love looking at boxes and boxes of summer berries in American supermarkets on my vacations.Now we pretty much get most of them here....strawberries,mulberries,blueberries,gooseberries and raspberries.Other ones available abroad include Chinese Wolfberry(which I have tried in a Chinese dish),Acai Berry (tried as a drink) from the Amazon Forests,Cloudberries available in North Scandanivia which are eaten by Eskimos and Boysenberries which are available in California and resemble raspberries
Berries are a good source of vitamin C and fibre.They are power packed packages of antioxidants
Recently a study from England published in Circulation journal showed that risk of heart attacks in women was cut by one third by having berries thrice a week.
My grandparents' house used to have a mulberry tree and we would pick them from the balcony.We were really sad when termites destroyed the tree.Fortunately these are available in the market these days
If you go to Mahableshwar and Panchgani in Maharashtra,thanks to the rich red soil,strawberries and raspberries are available everywhere.Some as milkshakes,some as ice-cream,berry juice or just by themselves.
Bought blueberries which were imported and they tasted cool and fresh! Some farms in Panchgani are considering growing these as well.
My talented and conscientious friend Saee who writes a blog My Jhola (and conducts customized cooking classes wherever you want) happened to go to Mahableshwar recently and bought a whole lot of berries and made jams to preserve them.The last four pictures on this post are taken by Saee.Yes,she is an avid photographer as well.
I have never seen a strawberry plant and got really excited when I saw her pictures of the plants she got from Mahableshwar.I must go berry-picking someday!
Jams,jellies or preserves are ways of preserving fruit for seasons when they aren't available.Jams contain fruit pulp,jellies have fruit juice and preserves have fruit pieces in them.These contain sugar to prevent spoilage."Sugarfree" jams do not have any extra sugar added but natural sugars from fruit are present.Some jams have apple juice or grape juice added to sweeten it.This too is a source of sugar.People with Diabetes and Obesity should make a note of this.