Oh so berry nice!

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LENA PEACOCK grabs a handful of Australian raspberries and blackberries, which make a delicious, naturally sweet addition to recipes

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Yes, summer is here and that means those red and black hand-picked small juicy mouthfuls of deliciousness are back. And back with a bang. And even better news? The fresh Australian ones are here to hang out with us and our recipes until Easter time.

Not only do they add a colourful touch to your meal, but they’re also low in calories, high in dietary fibre and jam packed full of vitamin C. And because they’re so sweet, you don’t even have to bribe kids to eat them.

“The long process of growing Australian raspberries and blackberries starts in late autumn or early winter depending on the region,” says Phil Rowe, an Australian berry grower. “And due to their delicacy, we don’t use machines to pick the fruit. It’s an intensive process”. But so long as they make their way into our hands, we don’t really mind. Thanks for doing the hard work Phil!

You can use berries as a snack, in a fruit salad, on top of your cereal, or turn them into a healthy ice-cream by adding them to yoghurt and then chuck them into the freezer. Other suggestions are:

Berry yoghurt swirl popsicles

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Chill time: 2 hours

 

Ingredients

Raspberry puree

125g raspberries

2 tablespoons

caster sugar

Blackberry puree

125g blackberries

2 tablespoons

caster sugar

Vanilla yogurt mixture

2 cups(500ml) Greek style natural yogurt

¼ cup (55g) caster sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Method

To make each puree: separately blend berries and sugar in a food processor, strain through a sieve, set aside.

To make yogurt mixture: place all ingredients in a bowl, whisk until combined.

To assemble: pour a few teaspoons of raspberry puree into each 200ml popsicle mould, do the same with the yogurt mix and then the blackberry puree to give 3 layers. Repeat sequence to create more layers.

Gently swirl the layers with a wooden skewer. Cover moulds, insert sticks and

freeze for 2 hours or until frozen.

 

 

Raspberry, blackberry and yoghurt jelly cups

Serves 8

Prep time: 20 minutes

Setting time: 2 hours

 

Ingredients

Yoghurt jelly

1 cup (250ml) thickened cream

¼ cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2½ teaspoons powdered gelatin

1 cup (250g) Greek style natural yogurt

Raspberry jelly

3 cups (750ml) white grape juice

2 tablespoons caster sugar

3 teaspoons powdered gelatin

125g raspberries

125g blackberries

 

 

Method

To make the yogurt jelly: place cream, sugar and vanilla extract into a small pan over a medium heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved and gently bring to boil, remove from heat. Sprinkle over gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Add yogurt, whisk until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve, set aside to cool.

To make jelly layer: pour one cup of the grape juice and the sugar into a small pan over a medium  heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved and gently bring to boil, remove from heat. Sprinkle over gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Add remaining juice, strain through a  sieve and set aside to cool.

To assemble: divide half the berries between eight 200ml cups or glasses. Pour over halfthe grape juice mixture, refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Pour all the yoghurt mixture over the first layer of jelly, refrigerate until set. Place remaining berries on top of set yoghurt mixture and pour over remaining grape juice mixture. Refrigerate until set. Serve chilled.

 

Raspberry, spinach and Persian feta salad with salted candied walnuts

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

 

Ingredients

Salad

60ml (¼ cup) olive oil

2 tablespoons ver juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon caster sugar

100g baby spinach leaves

2 tablespoons chives, roughly chopped

1 lemon, coarsely zested

125g raspberries

100g Persian feta, drained, crumbled

Salted candied walnuts

2 tablespoons caster sugar

½ cup walnuts, lightly toasted

½ teaspoon salt flakes

¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes

 

Method

To make the candied walnuts: heat sugar in a medium, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook, tilting and swirling the pan occasionally for 2–3 minutes or until sugar melts and a light caramel forms. Working quickly, remove pan and add walnuts, salt and chilli flakes. Carefully toss to cover nuts in caramel, and pour mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper and spread out using a wooden spoon. Allow to cool. Then using your hands to snap the caramel, separate the

clusters.

To prepare salad: for the dressing, place the oil, verjuice, mustard and sugar in a small screw-top jar. Season with salt and pepper. Shake well to combine. Place the spinach in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the chives, lemon zest, raspberries, candied walnuts and feta. Drizzle over half the dressing, serve immediately.

Note: For a simpler and quicker salad serve with plain walnuts rather than candied.

 

Recipes courtesy of: Australian Berries