Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Local Superfood Spotlight: Mulberries

End of June, and the mulberries are ripe.  It seems there was a nice trend to plant mulberries and service berries in public areas around our town as edible landscaping some years ago, and we are now reaping the benefits.  There seem to be ripe mulberry or service berry trees on nearly every street, often the service berries are lining the boulevard all the way along.

Tips for harvesting:
The mulberry trees are generally easy to spot - distinctive lobed leaves, and the tell-tale signs of a blue-stained sidewalk or roadway below.   These trees can be quite tall, so picking by ladder might be in order to get the most benefit.  It's often easiest to gather the berries that have fallen to the ground, or climb the lower tree limbs and shake the branches to drop berries below onto a waiting ground sheet.

Why are mulberries a superfood?
Mulberries are one of our amazing nutrient-dense local superfoods.  They are full of antioxidants, high levels of vitamins (A, C, E, K), iron, protein and fibre, and also help boost the immune system. They have been found to regulate the blood sugar, and also help cleanse the blood and detoxify the body by stimulating the liver.  They are all around wonderful, tasty, and easily harvestable locally (for free!) if you take a bit of time to find them.

How to use:
We love freezing mulberries for winter smoothies, but also eat them fresh in our granola, or by the handful as we pick them.  They make a wonderful pie, jam and jelly as well.  Mulberries, when dried, are perfect for trailmixes or eating as a snack on the go.

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