By Louise Oliver
The last days of summer may be upon us – the suitcases are unpacked, the deckchairs are folded. But wouldn’t we all just love one last paddle along the beach? One more sun-kissed lazy day in the garden? I know I would and it got me thinking: this year’s berry crop is still in its prime and while our thoughts are naturally turning to preserving the harvest in a variety of jams, vinegars and preserves, those classic summer staples – the ice-cream and the ice-lolly – may be the perfect way of capturing not just the wondrous flavour and scent of the berries but also those long, warm days when they were first picked.
From the vibrancy of the summer strawberries, raspberries and brilliantly bright brambles to the more unusual tayberry and Fife grown blueberry – there is certainly a berry to suit everyone this year. Berries are bursting with health giving properties; raspberries, blackcurrants, strawberries and blueberries are jam packed with vitamin C, which aids the absorption of iron and protects cells against damage. They are also brimming with phytochemicals, which research suggests provides an antioxidant action that, amongst other things is thought to have an anti–cancer and anti- inflammatory benefit. This is just the tip of the iceberg as there are many more nutrients squeezed in. Freezing these delights soon after they are harvested results in minimal deterioration of their anti-oxidising benefits.
While ice cream, with its sugary content, is not known for its health benefits, the homemade fruity variety are certainly a treat worth making and streets ahead of many shop-bought alternatives. There is no denying some extra effort is required but it is a lot easier than you may think and as soon as you have a taste you’ll realise it was worth it- not to mention the hit it will be with any age of guest. A lick or two of this delicious raspberry ripple and you will be transported back to warmer times – summer sun on your back, warm breeze on your face.
The supermarkets are full of berry yoghurts, frozen with additives and various other chemicals, yet making your own is simple, healthy and economical. These berry yoghurt ice-lollies are particularly suited to overripe and mushy berries and any whole fruits can be allowed to glisten through the ice. This is when your creative side can really be allowed to shine, from Rockets to Fabs, the possibilities for creating your own ice lolly are endless.
For even speedier- not to mention delicious- frozen delights, simply wrap your fruit in a lovely thick yoghurt coating, pop them in the freezer and hey presto – a frozen yoghurt berry bite awaits.
The creamy cover of yoghurt is perfect partner to the tartness of the fruit.
So, as the sun dips behind the horizon and the leaves begin to flutter and fall lets freeze-frame and flick through another summer’s worth of berry-filled memories.
Go here to download or open the whole recipe sheet.