Now that school is back in session, I’d give anything to preserve the carefree feeling of summer. Well….I figured it out. And I’m letting you, my friend, in on the juicy secret.
Shhh… EAT MORE BERRIES.
Blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are true super foods. Naturally sweet and delicious, berries are low in sugar and high in life preserving nutrients – they are among the best foods you can eat!
And every July and August in Oregon they are everywhere. Dripping and draping all over the landscape West of the Cascades, succulent blackberries line every roadway and riverbed and untamed patch of land as far as the eye can see. Blueberries can be hoarded cheep at “U Pick and Pay” places along the River cut canyons that tumble from the mountains of Central Oregon all the way to the coast. Organic strawberry farmers welcome picking your own delectable gems of juiciness along the McKenzie, and even Fred Meyer discounts huge clamshells of berries during the height of berry season for 4 quid apiece. It’s a veritable berry Barmitzvah!
Hard to be unhappy with that kind of gorgeousness going on all around you. I mean, how do you badmouth a fresh berry? Or anyone or anything, for that matter, when there are fresh berries in the house? It’s inconceivable.
Last week a fun friend invited us for a berry picking expedition. We loaded up the cars with kids, cups and containers and headed over the mountains to hunt for edible treasure.
6 hours later we rolled back into the driveway, tired, full of berries, purple fingered ALL, and still damp from our bridge jumping challenges on the McKenzie River. After dining on all the fresh berries we cared to eat that week, a large berry stash is tucked away in the freezer to last until Spring or whenever friends come up for a little getaway (yes, that’s you).
I especially love the random blueberry leaf or tiny stems that end up in my breakfast bowl, or the occasional greenish blueberry whose tartness reminds me that we did it ourselves…because we can.
You’re invited, my friend. Add a few more berries to your life and extend the magic of summer wherever you are.
Favorite Banana Berry Smoothie (Serves 8)
4 cubes ice
1 cup frozen berries (Costco has our favorite Oregon Berry Blend for a great price yearround)
1 (13 ounce) can coconut cream
2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
¼ cup frozen OJ concentrate
sprig of mint for garnish (totally optional)
Blend until smooth and dive back into summer!