May 02, 2013 08:49AM
● By Style
WHAT’S IN SEASON NOW: Berries!
Nothing says spring and summer like the taste and aroma of a freshly picked berry, whether it’s a strawberry, raspberry or blueberry. Who can resist the sweetness and delight these small yet powerful tasty fruits deliver? They’re all an excellent low-fat, low-calorie snack and are delicious over a bowl of cereal or yogurt.
DID YOU KNOW?
Berries contain phytochemicals and flavonoids that may help prevent some forms of cancer. All three of these berries are high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. Blueberries contain proanthocyanidins, which may prevent bladder infections; the lutein in raspberries supports healthy vision; and studies show that incorporating strawberries in a diet increases the flow of blood to muscles by seven percent, preventing muscle fatigue and making exercise easier.
SELECTION AND STORAGE:
For the freshest, best-tasting berries visit your local Placer County farmers’ market. There you’ll find firm, brightly colored and incredible tasting berries. All three varieties should be stored unwashed and in the refrigerator until ready to consume. Because they’re fragile, it’s best if berries are kept in a plastic or glass container lined with paper towels to wick away extra moisture, the culprit of spoilage. While blueberries will last the longest, it’s best to eat all berries within three days of purchasing for the best flavor.
HOW TO PAIR WITH LOCAL WINE:
For a delicious springtime dessert, pair vanilla ice cream and fresh berries (for the recipe, visit stylemg.com) with chilled white Port from Fawnridge Winery. The Port, a blend of three white Portuguese grapes, is crisp and refreshing when served chilled. It has delightful aromas of apricot and honeysuckle and flavors of apricot preserves, which enhance the fresh berries. The honeysuckle also comes through on the clean finish and is a great match with the lavender in the recipe, which captures the essence of spring. Other white Ports to try include those offered at Dono dal Cielo Vineyards and Mount Vernon Winery.
For details on where to find farm-fresh berries and Placer County Port wines, among other agricultural products, visit placergrown.org.
VANILLA ICE CREAM WITH STRAWBERRIES, RASPBERRIES AND LAVENDER
Recipe by Foothill Farmers’ Market Association Chef Courtney McDonald
- 1 pint good-quality vanilla ice cream
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 baskets raspberries, carefully rinsed and dried
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lavender blossoms, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp. Snow’s Citrus Court Mandarin Orange Ice Cream Topping (or more, to taste)
- 1 crumbled oatmeal cookie as garnish (optional)
In a medium mixing bowl, toss the strawberries, raspberries and lavender. Drizzle the mandarin orange ice cream topping over and mix to coat well; let sit at room temperature to marinate for 30 minutes. Scoop ice cream into 6 small serving bowls. Spoon the fruit topping evenly over the ice cream, garnish with the crumbled cookie and serve immediately. Serves 6.