Fruity Fun

by lrmetcalfe

berriesWhen I was younger every summer holiday we would go fruit picking. My sister and I loved this cheap and fun day out. We would drive to a local fruit farm, pick and eat our way through a field full of strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries and blueberries, coming home to make jam in my mum’s giant jam pot.

The second ‘fruitful’ event of the summer would be picking the yellow plums from the tree in our garden. As the summer holidays wound on, the bees and wasps would start to circle the tree and mum and dad would sigh and say- ‘it’s time to pick the plums’. It was their most dreaded chore but my sister and my favourite treat; we would use the stepladder to climb on top of the roof of the shed and teeter on the edge stripping the plums from the boughs of the tree. Mum and dad were down below catching the plums in bowls and constantly shouting ‘be careful!’

That night mum would stew the plums and we would have plums drizzled with natural yoghurt and honey for pudding. Yum yum!

These two fruity summer memories remind me that soon these delightful summer berries are coming into season. Not just a delicious indulgence, berries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Bioflavanoids, Potassium, Folic Acid, Antioxidants and Fibre, so here are some yummy summer berry recipes for you to enjoy:

Super Berry Smoothie


150g strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries

3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

Put all the ingredients in a blender, whizz until smooth, add a little milk if the mixture isn’t blending well. Serve over ice in a tall glass, alternatively pour into ice-lolly molds and freeze.

Blueberry  Pancakes with fruit compote and yoghurt

For pancakes

100g blueberries

175g self-raising wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp caster sugar

1 egg

100ml milk

A little olive oil

For the compote

300g mixed summer berries

1 tbsp. caster sugar

1. Place the berries in a saucepan with a little water, simmer gently for 5-10 minutes until they soften. Sweeten to taste with the sugar. Leave to one side.

2. Now make the pancakes. Tip the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl and mix well.

3. Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg, then gradually mix the egg into the flour, adding the milk gradually to make a soft batter. Then stir in the blueberries.

4. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the batter in heaped tablespoonsful, well apart to allow them to spread. When bubbles appear on the surface, flip the pancakes over and cook until light golden.

5. Cook all the pancakes and keep them warm.

6. Serve 2-3 pancakes with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt and the compote.


Strawberry Salsa

100g strawberries, chopped

1 small avocado, chopped

Half a small red onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh corriander, chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for an hour.

Serve with tortilla chips or at summer barbeques with pork, chicken or fish.

Raspberry Sorbet

175g granulated sugar

250ml water

juice of ½ lemon

450g raspberries

1. Place the sugar in a pan with the water. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then boil for 1 minute until the mixture is slightly syrupy. Pour into a bowl, add the lemon juice then cool.

2. Press the raspberries through a sieve, then pour the sugar syrup over the pips in the sieve to extract as much juice as possible. Pour the mixture into a shallow container and put in the freezer.

3. After 2 hours take out and break up the ice crystals with a fork, then return to the freezer for another 2 hours. Continue to break up the ice every hour until the mixture is firm. Move the container to the fridge 30 minutes before serving.


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