By Craig T. Hunt RDN
Summer is a unique time for enjoying freshly picked Washington strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blackberries, blueberries and apricots. My family visited a local Spokane farmers’ market and bought an array of berries from ‘The Berry Lady’. The berries were sun-warmed, and exquisitely sweet and delicate, and were consumed within two days.
Another local berry experience occurred at Spokane’s Anthony’s Restaurant, renowned for its fresh seafood and picturesque view of the Spokane River’s falls. The occasion was celebrating my grandmother’s 99th birthday. For dessert, grandma ordered berry shortcake containing four varieties of Washington-sourced berries, sparkling within a dollop of whip cream!
Surprisingly, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries originate from the rose family, and their rich colors provide a bounty of health-boosting anti-oxidants that fight inflammation, and may help prevent cancer by reducing blood flow to tumor cells, a process known as anti-angiogenesis.
Besides their health-promoting properties, berries and cherries have been a food source for millennia. During the civil war, soldiers would eat berries to ward off scurvy, and berries have been added to flap-jacks, cobblers, yogurts, and pies since the invention of the griddle and oven.
While they’re still freshly available, why not surprise a friend or relative with a gift of berries; you never know, you might be invited back for pie!