Berries Ripe for the Picking

Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are bite-size, tasty and colorful. In addition, they are bursting with nutrients including high levels of antioxidants thanks to their vibrant color. With summer just around the corner, consider berry picking as a family friendly activity. An internet search for berry picking will result in many local farms. The taste of a just-picked ripe strawberry or raspberry is sure to leave a sweet memory. Use the ideas below and serve in small mason jars or bowls.

Berry Season: Ready to Pick

  • Strawberries: June and July
  • Raspberries: July
  • Blueberries: July and August
  • Blackberries: August and September

Picking and Storage Tips

  • Strawberries are the most physically demanding to pick because they grow close to the ground.
  • Blackberries are protected with thorns, so it is best to wear a long sleeve shirt and gloves with the fingertips cut off.
  • The best berries to pick are plump, bright in color and separate easily from their stems.
  • Berries are one of the most perishable fruits. Once home, sort them on to a baking sheet to remove any stems or cracked/spoiled fruit. Store in a paper towel lined container to absorb moisture in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Keep them dry and wait to rinse them until ready to eat. They will stay fresh up to five days in the refrigerator. Berries are a great fruit to freeze if there are too many to eat before going bad.

Fun Facts

  • Washington state is the largest producer of blueberries across the United States.
  • There is an average of 200 tiny seeds on the outside of each strawberry.
  • Frozen berries are a convenient way to enjoy the taste and benefits of berries year-round and are just as nutritious.

Nutrition Facts

  • Strawberries are rich in vitamin C. One cup of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange.
  • Raspberries have the highest amount of fiber – 8 grams per cup – of any of the berries.
  • Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit or vegetable.
  • Blackberries have 60 calories in a 1 cup serving.

Recipe – Make your Own Parfait Bar

Vanilla or Plain Greek Yogurt

Topping Ideas

  • Variety of Berries
  • Honey or Jam
  • Almonds, Walnuts, or Pecans
  • Granola or Other Favorite Cereal
  • Serve in small mason jars or bowls.

Written by: Julie Treadway, Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian at PRO Medical

Julie is a registered dietitian who works primarily with 20/20 Lifestyles program clients. Weekly nutritional consultations are spent educating clients on adapting healthy eating habits to promote long-term weight normalization and improvement of metabolic disorders. Her nutritional experience includes working with the Women’s Health Initiative study at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and as a clinical dietitian at both St. Vincent Medical Center in southern California and locally at Queen Anne Health Care. She has also done sports nutrition consulting work for Columbia Athletic Clubs in the past and now specializes in seeing general PRO Club members regarding sports nutrition to enhance their athletic performance. Julie’s objective is to work collectively with each client to develop a balanced approach to eating food that is maintainable for a lifetime.

Specialties: Family Nutrition, Pregnancy Nutrition, Sport & Performance Nutrition

Credentials: RD, CD

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