Beautiful Berries

Published on 15 January 2018 by Liz Macri @kitcheninkau

It's the season for berries! Get the tips from Liz Macri of @kitcheninkau on how to best eat these versatile fruits. 

Berries are now available almost all year, but summer is when they are at their best and cheapest. Berries are so versatile and can turn a dull dish into something spectacular. Don’t think of berries as only a sweet treat too, they are also great in salads, salsas and great served alongside cheese.

Buying and Storage

When buying blueberries look for ones with firm tight skins (no wrinkles!), uniform in colour and free from any obvious marks or bruises. Store them in a covered container in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. This is when they are at their best.

Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries should be bright, plump and strawberries should have their green leaves attached. When ripe all berries should have a fragrant sweet scent. Avoid any with bruises or mold. Store berries in the container they are packaged in, or in a covered, paper towel lined container in the refrigerator. Strawberries are best consumed within 3-5 days and raspberries and blackberries within 3-4 days.

Before consuming berries should be washed briefly and then gently patted dry if needed. 

Additional Notes

All berries are extremely easy to freeze for future use.

Wash berries and remove any stems, leaves or spoiled berries. Place on a clean tea towel and gently blot dry with paper towel. Transfer to a baking paper lined baking tray and freeze until firm. Once firm, transfer to an airtight container or snap-lock bag. They are best used within 6-8 months.  

Berries (particularly blueberries) are an excellent source of vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre. Blueberries are considered a ‘superfood’ along with other fruits papaya, pineapple and kiwifruit. 

Most berries go well with...

Fruit and Veg: Apples, bananas, beetroot, coconut, ginger, kiwi, lemon, limes, mango, melon, nectarines, peaches, oranges, pears, pineapple, rhubarb, lettuce, spinach, rocket, watercress and watermelon.

Herbs and Spices: Basil, mint, thyme, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, chilli, nutmeg, mixed spice and ground ginger.

Dairy: Ice-cream, cream cheese, sour cream, crème fraiche, custard, cream, milk, buttermilk, ricotta, mascarpone, yoghurt and mild cheeses.

Pantry Items: Chocolate, orange-flavoured liqueur, rum, vodka, champagne, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, oats, biscuits and biscuit crumbs, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and honey.

Quick ideas for berries

Raspberry coulis – Puree raspberries until smooth. Strain out seeds (if desired). Stir in a little sugar and lemon juice to taste. Serve with vanilla ice-cream, pancakes, waffles or fresh fruit.   

Superfast strawberry crush – Blend strawberries with watermelon, a little ice and a few mint leaves.

Savoury blueberry bruschetta – Combine blueberries, chopped cooked beetroot, a little oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Serve on garlic rubbed crusty toasted bread with baby rocket leaves and a crumble of toasted walnuts.