City Social Magazine

MAR-APR 2019

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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22 Story and photos by Teresa Day Stirring It Up R E A D U S O N L I N E A T W W W . C I T Y S O C I A L . C O M 22 BERRY Sweet Treats The weather in Louisiana is hardly an indicator of the actual season, so I have learned to lean on other signs. The appearance of plump, bright red strawberries and dark blue blueberries lining long rows in the country and in green, pint-sized berry boxes at the famers market tells me spring is in full swing and summer is near. Berry season means strawberries and blueberries are ripe for the picking at farms across the state. If you don't want to pick them yourself at a farm, save some sweat and pick up some berries at a farmers market or produce stand while they're sweet and ripe. If you'd like some Louisiana berries for later, flash freeze them as soon as you get them home. Strawberries are a healthful addition to your diet. The sweet little berries are packed with Vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, antioxidants and more. One cup of strawberries provides more Vitamin C than an orange! Fresh, locally grown strawberries are at their nutritional best. After strawberries are stored for just two days, they begin to lose their levels of Vitamin C and antioxidants. They're safe to eat well after two days, but you'll be getting less of the berries' nutrients. When choosing your strawberries, look for those with a vibrant red color and are slightly glossy. If you don't eat them right away, the best place to store strawberries is in the fridge. Don't wash them! They'll only soak up the water and go bad much quicker. Just rinse them off whenever you're about to cook or eat them. Place the strawberries in an air-tight container lined with paper towels and store in the refrigerator. If you think you won't eat them all in a few days, just cut off the leaves, hull them and freeze them in a plastic bag. Blueberries are among the most nutritious berries. Like strawberries, they are at their most nutritious when they are freshly picked. Fresh blueberries contain a good bit of your daily recommended amounts of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and manganese. Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of most fruits and vegetables. They also protect against DNA damage, which may slow aging and reduce risk of some cancers. When you're choosing blueberries, look for those that are slightly firm and dark blue in color. Fresh blueberries may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can flash freeze blueberries then store them in the freezer for up to six months. Most berries are in season in Louisiana from early spring to lake summer. So you can use these sweet little guys in icy delights to cool you down and delicious desserts to treat yourself on the sweltering days ahead. Blueberry Pie • 1/2 cup granulated sugar • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg • 4 cups fresh blueberries • 2 tablespoons lemon juice • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 1/4 cup honey • 1 pie crust • 1 egg • 1 tablespoon milk • 2 tablespoons raw sugar* Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare pie crust. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour and nutmeg. Add blueberries, lemon juice, vanilla and honey. Gently stir to coat without smashing the berries. Divide the mixture into buttered ramekins and place strips of crust in a basket pattern over the tops.

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