Tuesday, Jul 23, 2019 | Last Update : 02:45 PM IST

The merry Berry time

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 7, 2019, 6:43 am IST
Updated : Jul 7, 2019, 6:43 am IST

Each type known for its unique taste and nutritional property, berries are essential part of a balanced diet.

Berry Bowl
 Berry Bowl

Fresh, frozen, dried, freeze-dried or powdered, berries are the ultimate nutritional powerhouses. High in antioxidants, the compounds that slow cancer growth, berries have immense health benefits. The darker the berry, the greater it’s phytochemical content— those naturally occurring nutrients that help protect cells from damage. Apart from its anti-inflammatory effects, berries are a memory-protecting food. Research shows that people who eat at least two servings of berries a week have a 25 percent less chance of developing Parkinson’s disease. Each type known for its unique taste and nutritional property, berries are essential part of a balanced diet.

Blueberries, known for its high anti-oxidant anthocyanins, help heart health, bone strength, skin health, blood pressure, diabetes management, cancer prevention and mental health. The berries are also a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, copper, and manganese. These are also low in carbohydrates and sodium and are high in water content. Cranberries prevent bladder infection by preventing bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary bladder. Strawberry, the most preferred berry, is high in the plant compound ellagic acid that can inhibit the growth of tumours caused by certain carcinogens. Blackberry, mulberry, and raspberry are easily available and
consumed by people in many parts of the world.

However, mere consumption of berries doesn’t ward off cancer or other chronic diseases, say studies. Good health depends on factors like number of berries consumed, the tome period of consumption, the dietary pattern of the person and other risk factors. Intake of processed berries is also not advisable as processing results in a significant decrease of anthocyanin in berries.

One of the most popular berry fruits in the world there are more than 10 varities of strawberries that differ in flavour, size and texture. Yet they all have the same characteristic heart-shaped, red flesh and seeded coat together with small, regal, leafy green caps and stems that adorn their crowns.

Berry Bowl

Ingredients

Frozen mixed berries (strawberries, mulberry and blackberry)                       1 cup
Medium-sized ripe banana (sliced and frozen)                                                   1nos                                       
Low fat milk                                     1/4 cup

Toppings

Chia seeds                                1 tbsp
Fresh fruits and nuts
                  
method    

Add frozen berries and banana to a blender. Add milk and blend on low until well combined.
Pour into a bowl and top it with chia seeds and fresh fruits and crushed nuts.

Mulberry Pie

A tiny fruit that resembels blackberry, mulberry is cylindrical in shape and can be white, red, purple or black depending on the type of tree.  The berry has some pretty big health benefits as well. It can aid in weight loss, keep the liver healthy, and even provide a hefty dose of vitamins and minerals with each serving.

Ingredients
For Pie Crust
Maida                                     1.5 cup
Powdered sugar                      1 tbsp
Softened butter         100 gram
Ice cold water or milk         2-3 tbsp

Mulberry Filling
Mulberries        300-500 gms
Sugar                                            1 cup
Cinnamon powder          1 tsp
Clove powder          1 tsp
Vanilla pod                                1 nos
Grated nutmeg                          a pinch
Corn flour                             1/4 cup
Fresh orange juice                    1 tsp
Milk for glazing
method
    
For Pie Crust

Cut the softened butter into cubes, put them in a large mixing bowl and sift the flour over it.
Mix the butter and flour using a spatula or with hands (do not over mix it as the mixture should have the consistency of bread crumb after mixing)
Add sugar and mix well. Gradually add enough cold water or cold milk to the mixture to make the dough.
Wrap the dough with a cling wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Clean up your workstation and dust it with some flour so that the dough dosent stick to it. Place the dough on the greased surface and roll it evenly with a rolling pin.
Roll the dough evenly in circular shape a little bigger than the pan in which you are going to bake the pie. This helps the crust to fill the pan and the edges can be trimmed easily after the filling is poured in.

Pie filling

Add mulberries, sugar, cinnamon powder, clove powder, nutmeg, slitted vanilla pod, corn flour and lemon juice and mix well.
Cover and cook for 8 to 10 min untill the mulberries become mushy and the sauce thickenes.

Fill the mixture in the pan linned with pie crust.
Cut the left over dough into 1-inch strips and place them over the filling in a pattern as shown in the photograph.
Brush some milk over it and sprinkle some sugar.
Preheat the oven at 200 degree celsius and bake it for 40-50 min or until the crust turns into golden brown colour.
Let the pie rest for a few hours at room temperature before slicing it.

Strawberry Crumble squares

One of the lesser known facts about strawberries is that they are not actually fruits as their seeds are on the outside. These berries are actually a member of the rose family. In addition to being an excellent source of Vitamin C and K, strawberries are also loaded with fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium.

(The recipes are by Sony Dinesh who is a passionate cook and food photographer who loves capturing and recreacting the traditional as well as healthy dishes which are easy to cook)
Ingredients

Wheat flour                         3/4 cup
Rolled oats                              1 cup
Brown sugar                       1/2 cup
Baking powder                    1/2 tsp
Salt                                        1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter                      100 gms
Cinnamon powder                   1 tsp  

For Strawberry Filling

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Fresh strawberries    300gms
Sugar    2 tbsp
Cornstarch    1tbsp
Cinnamon powder              1/2 tsp

method    

Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius. Grease a  square pan and line it with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder,

cinnamon powder and salt. Add butter and slowly rub it while incorporating  the ingredients in the bowl with it till a crumbly texture is achieved

Keep one cup of the mixture aside and set the rest in the pan. Press properly so that it forms proper square shape.

For the filling, cut strawberries into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add sugar, cinnamon powder and cornstarch and toss well.    

Spread the strawberry mixture on the crust and sprinkle the reserved cup of crumb mixture over the mixture.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely before cutting into square pieces.

The strawberry crumble tastes best when enjoyed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Overnight Berry Oats

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Ingredients

Oats 1/2 cup
Mixed berries (strawberries, mulberry and blackberry)                                                                                               1 cup
Honey   2 tsp
Low fat milk  1/2 cup
Chia seeds    1 tbsp
Chopped nuts (almonds, cashew, pista)                  2 tbsp    

method    

In a canister, add oats, chia seeds, honey and milk. Mix untill all the ingredients combine well.

Add the mixed berries and nuts on top of it.

Close the container and refrigerate it over night.

Take it out of the refrigerator the next morning and the overnight berry oats breakfast is ready to be served

Those who prefer it warm can microwave it for 60 seconds.

Homemade strawberry syrup

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Homemade strawberry syrup is a best topping for ice-cream, pan cakes, desserts, strawberry soda cocktails etc. As it can be refrigerated and stored for some weeks, one can prepare it while strawberries are in season and enjoy it while they are not ready available.

Ingredients
Fresh strawberries 4 cups
Water 2.5 cups
Sugar (can add more if the strawberries are not so sweet)    1 cup

 method
    
Clean the strawberries well and slice them into small pieces.

Place the strawberry slices into a pan, add water and bring it to a boil.

Turn the heat to sim and let the strawberries cook for about 20 minutes.

After 15 to 20 min strawberries will start oozing  their colour and the water will become red. Switch off the heat and let it cool.

Strain the liquid through a fine strainer (muslin cloth is more appropriate)

Make sure not to press the strawberries much. Remove the foam that rises on the top.

Add 1 cup of sugar to the strained strawberry liquid and bring to boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar into the syrup.

Let the syrup simmer for 5 minutes till the sugar is completely dissolved, keep removing the foam from the top while stirring it.

Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool completely.

lPour into a clean glass jar. seal, and refrigerate. The syrup will last for several week.

Tags: food recipes