There isn’t a thing that spells summer to my mouth more than fresh berries. And not just fresh berries, any berries, really. Frozen berries, dried berries, freeze-dried berries. Even in the middle of winter, I can trick myself into thinking it’s spring for about half a minute by eating berries. I’m going to share with you a recipe that was passed down from a friend that is the epitome of spring to me. There isn’t a recipe out there that allows berries to shine more than this one.
Yummy Berry Pudding
2 cups juice (part from canned pineapple, part from your favorite juice – I used pomegranate this time)
1/2 cup tapioca pearls
1/4 cup agave nectar (honey can also be used)
1 can crushed or chopped pineapple, drained
2 cups frozen berries (any kind will do – I used strawberries & blueberries)
a few fresh berries of any kind for garnish
1. Mix juice, tapioca, and agave nectar in a 2 quart saucepan. Let stand for at least 5 minutes (longer is okay), then bring to a boil over low heat until most tapioca is clear, stirring VERY frequently. Remove from burner and allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, mix pineapple and frozen berries. You can use a food processor, blender, or just chop them finely if you’d prefer a chunkier pudding.
3. Mix the two parts together and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
4. Top with fresh berries!
Besides being delicious, berries are one of the best nutritional foods around. Most berries are low in fat, carbs, and calories, and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not only can berries contribute to overall health by giving you a dose of immune boosting vitamin C, they may even help to prevent cancer and heart disease, as well as slowing the aging process.
Want to snag a bunch of berries this spring and freeze them for use throughout the entire year? That’s easy! And these berries will taste better than any frozen bag you’ll get at the store.
You’ll need fresh berries (of course), heavy duty freezer bags, a baking pan/tray that will fit in your freezer, and a strainer. (I bet you can see where I’m going with this)
1. Rinse berries in strainer. Allow to sit in strainer for about 10 minutes so most water can drain off of berries.
2. Spread berries on pan/tray in single layer so they are (mostly) not touching. This way they will not freeze in clumps and make it easier for them to break apart.
3. Place tray in freezer and allow to freeze overnight.
4. Put frozen berries in heavy duty freezer bag. Get AS MUCH air as you can out of the bag! I do this by sealing the bag until just a corner remains open. I then put a straw in the remaining opening and suck out as much air as possible. Remove the straw and quickly seal the bag! (This may not be the most sanitary, but I am using these berries for myself)
5. Label the bag! You want to know what kind of berries you have, don’t ya?
Voila – fresh berries all year round! You can use these berries frozen, or thaw them and use them as fresh berries in your recipes.