The word ‘berry’ was derived from the Old English word ‘berie.’ which initially meant “grape.” As the English language travelled to other parts of the world, many similar shaped fruits that grew in a bunch took the last name ‘berry.’
Having said that, berries have always been a favourite fruit for many. But only recently, its superfood traits have gained a spotlight. These are a powerhouse of fibre, a nutrient essential to maintain a healthy digestive system and antioxidants. Also, if you are trying to keep your weight in check, you might want to include berries in your diet, as these are low in calories – in meals or as a snack to munch on, whenever hunger pangs strike!
I’ve got a list of my favourite berries. Read on…
Besides fibre and antioxidants, strawberries are high in vitamins too. Not just that, they are fat, calorie and sodium free. They protect the heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, guard against cancer and lower the blood pressure. Did you know that strawberries are the only fruit that bear seeds on the outside?
It is also suggested to grow strawberry plants for mainly 2 reasons:
Time for you to include this berry in your foods now, more than ever. This list might just help you dish out some recipes that are as gorgeous as the berry itself!
Mulberries a.k.a shahtoot, are sweet berries that grow twice a year across the Indian subcontinent, for a short period of time. Besides India, the mulberry is also popular in warm regions of America, Africa and other parts of Asia. Majorly available in 3 types – white, red and black, the leaf of this tree is also as valuable as the fruit. It is an important part of many skincare products as well as traditional Chinese medicine mixes. Remember the good old nursery rhyme, ‘here we go round the mulberry bush?’ Well, now you can teach your kids about the benefits too!
Popular as amla, the sour, bitter and astringent berry, rich in fibre, is a pride of India! With its innumerable uses in Ayurveda as well as the modern times, this is one berry that has stood the test of time in all its glory. The Indian gooseberry, thus, has takers in all its form – from raw and used in pickles to being made into refreshing sharbats and yummy sabzis too. This indigenous produce’s relevance does not end here. It is also widely used in shampoos and hair oils as it helps to nourish hair and prevents early greying of hair. We’ve got some great recipes of this berry, check them out.
Java Plum or jamun as it is commonly known in India is pretty much a wonder fruit! It is a powerhouse of both insoluble and soluble fibres. Not just that, since it is a great source of nutrients, it has proven to be helpful against many ailments.
Not just nutritionally beneficial, this versatile berry is also used in making jams, jellies, wine and other beverages like smoothies and sharbats. Not to forget, the seeds are dried, powdered and combined with different herbs and spices to make medicinal mixes. The leaves are used in a paste form to heal wounds.
And now some jamun loaded recipes just for you.
Cape Gooseberries are a small orange fruit that is mainly grown in warm regions like Asia, South America, Central America, India and China. Although the name ‘cape gooseberry’ gets its significance from its first cultivation which was in Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, it is also known as rasbhari in apna bharat!
This berry contains 2 times more Vitamin C than lemons. Oh yes! Also, rich in Vitamin B, making it a mood enhancer and energy booster; and Vitamin A, making it great for the eyes and immune system. Not just Vitamin C more than lemons, this berry also contains more antioxidants than broccoli, pomegranates and apples. Eat it fresh, use it in jams and jellies, pickle them or turn them into beautiful desserts – cape gooseberries are a star!
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.