The Magnificent SEVEN: Bring on the Berries (2 of 3)

Beautiful, Bountiful Berries. While it’s borderline criminal to not include the beautiful and virtuous raspberries and blackberries in this blog post, we are going to focus on the two most consumed berries in summer months, blueberries and strawberries.

Blueberries

alpine-cheesecakeHolding the title of “The World’s Healthiest Food”, blueberries rank second to only strawberries in popularity according to U.S. fruit consumption numbers. The little blues pack a punch with flavor, but also have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings.

The antioxidant properties of blueberries have been well documented, but for those that are unaware, blueberries contribute to optimized health by combating the free radicals that can damage cellular structures, as well as DNA. Recently, there has been even more exciting news regarding the little health warriors… a growing body of evidence that blueberries can improve memory. Who knew? Who can remember?

But back to the taste. Raw blueberries are, in a word, exceptional… and provide the greatest nutritional benefits consumed raw. That does not, however, stop us from stuffing them in our Cheesecake, or baking them into our Blueberry Crumb Pie. Take a look at our Fresh Fruit and Custard Pie, and the beautiful way fresh blueberries crown the top of that creation!

We get inventive with seasonal specials, and incorporate them into salads, and dressings. We recently served a Summertime Blues Salad created with blueberries, blue cheese crumbles, and sliced walnuts… finished with a Creamy Strawberry-Dijon dressing.

Strawberries

paris brest 2The fragrantly sweet, and “most popular” strawberries are abundant right now at the peak of their season (April through July). While becoming increasingly available year round, they are the most delicious now. So, we encourage you to consume mass quantities!

Strawberries possess a unique combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and are known for their health benefits in three major areas. (1) cardiovascular support and prevention (2) improved regulation of blood sugar, and (3) prevention of at least five major cancers.

Ironically, while the health benefits of strawberries are powerful, they are very sensitive and perish quickly and easily. Here are some tips.

  • Do not remove their caps and stems until after you have gently washed the berries under cold running water, and patted them dry.
  • Do not, however, wash them until right before eating or using in a recipe. This will prevent them from absorbing excess water, which can degrade the texture and flavor of the strawberry.
  • To remove the stems, caps and white hull, simply pinch these off with your fingers or use a paring knife.

Take a look at our bakery menu and check out desserts like our Strawberry Swiss Roll, and Fresh Fruit Chocolate Cheescake. We LOVE serving the unexpected… we recently served Fettuccini in a sauce made from strawberries and finished with parmesan. Surprising, very fresh, and innovative executions with beautiful strawberries. Taste the Freshness. Taste the Love.