Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Berry Blast Cooler

We've been berry-picking fools the past 5, or so, weeks!

First, strawberries!  We live way up north and our strawberry season peaks in June.

This was early in the season when the delicate flowers were still interspersed.

We pick our strawberries at our favorite orchard (where we've been getting our apples for years).  We'll be frequenting them every couple of weeks... or weekly... till autumn.  It's such a beautiful place to pick!

The kids enjoy it, too.  Kingston was busy exploring and wondered what was the purpose of those pipes.

Aria [berry face] was curious, too... though, more about what her brother was doing than about the pipes.

Mmmm, sweet deliciousness!

There's my beautiful girl... and my sweet lovebugs' mama.  We each took full flats home.

We picked many times before the season expired and have gallons of freezer bags stashed in the freezer.

That was June/early July... And now it's blueberry-picking time!

See the little dot of a boy at the end of this row?  He was expending some energy... "Run to the end and back while I count!"  I think I got up to 32.  [grin]  He did that several times.

Aria rode on Mama's back for only about a half hour, then she wanted down for a bit of freedom.

Ah - after running off some steam, now he's ready to help pick.  Looks like he found a good one.  The mosquitos were brutal and we forgot the [homemade, of course] bug spray.  See, one of them had a good taste of him at his jawline.

He's a good helper.... my darling boy.

Look at those curly-headed siblings.  [swoon]

She loves blueberries as much as she does strawberries!

Not many made it in her bucket, but she was proud of herself, anyway.

She knows to only pick the purple ones.  (And just look how beautiful she is.  I'm a smitten gramma.)

Fun at the blueberry patch.  Mmmm, I could squeeze her.

Wonderful tart-sweet blueberries!  We're working on the multi-gallon stash of these, too.

Don't the beautiful berries just scream summertime?!

They do to me... that, and the heatwave we've had.  Ugh. We had steady temps in the high 90s last week, with a heat index even higher.  It made gardening pretty miserable.

The beds had to get weeded, though.  The prior rains we had really made the weeds grow with gumption and they were taking over.  So, it was either eradicate them in the rain or in the heat.

I opted for the heat, and so came up with this summery, hydrating, electrolyte drink... using my freshly picked, juicy berries.

We love (and prefer) the whole fruit, as opposed to using just the juice.  We like to maintain the fiber, and enjoy the slightly heartier texture.  You can use myriad fruit to make this drink (pureed whole or juiced), but right now berries are abundant... and I'm so glad.

Benefits of Berries
"Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries… unless you overeat them, it is hard to go wrong with berries, as they contain powerful phytochemicals such as ellagic acid that provide antioxidant protection, as well as directly inhibit the DNA binding of certain carcinogens. Berries are also excellent sources of vitamin C, carotenes, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium; they’re high in fiber and low in sugar. "    ~ Dr. Mercola (source)

Why the Raw Honey

"Raw honey contains enzymes and probiotics which are destroyed when heated or used in cooking applications. These compounds are of no small significance and contribute directly or indirectly to honey’s many well-known health benefits. Take the active starch-digesting enzyme amylase, for instance, found only in the raw form of honey in a form known as diastase, which is believed to contribute to clearing antigen-antibody immune complexes associated with allergies to pollens, while also reducing mast cell degranulation associated with histamine, and related inflammatory hormone, release linked to allergic symptoms. Also, if it is local honey, it will pick up small amount of local pollen which may help to “immunize,” or desensitize an overly active immune response to these environmental triggers. There is also the enzyme in raw honey known as glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid from glucose. The hydrogen peroxide formed as a result of this enzyme is associated with honey’s well-known wound sterilizing and healing properties.
Honey is also rich in prebiotics, as attributed to some of the oligosaccharides already mentioned (e.g. FOS), and probiotics that contribute to supporting the healthy flora in our gut as well."   (source)

Don't Forget the [Sea] Salt
"Adding the right type of salt to your diet can help with blood pressure, cholesterol, fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, stress (adrenal) disorders, thyroid problems and immune system function. It helps with sinus and respiratory health and can promote bone strength and vascular health. In combination with water, it is essential for regulating your blood pressure. Unrefined salt can also help with detoxification of various harmful chemicals from the body including bromine, a toxic element that is increasing in our food supply. Bromine robs the body of iodine, a critical nutrient for the prevention of thyroid disorders and breast cancer. Bromine is found in most commercial bakery products (breads, cookies, cakes), some carbonated drinks (Mountain Dew and Gatorade) and many medications. It is also used as an antibacterial agent for pools and hot tubs as well as a fumigant for termites."   (source)

Must the Water be Filtered?

"Your body requires a constant daily supply of water to fuel all the various waste filtration systems nature has designed to keep your body healthy and free of toxins. Your blood, your kidneys, and your liver all require a source of good clean water to detoxify your body from the toxic exposures you come into contact with every day.
When you give your body water that is filled with toxins leached from plastic, or filled with by-products from chlorination, or with volatile organic compounds, or water that is contaminated by pesticides or hormones, you are asking your body to work twice as hard at detoxification, because it must first detoxify the water you are drinking, before that water can be used to fuel your organs of detoxification!
Clearly, the most efficient way help your body both avoid and eliminate toxins is to provide your body with the cleanest, purest water you can find. And that may be more of a challenge than you think."   (source)

Would you have imagined that such simple, real food could have such a healthful impact?  Ditch the sodas, bottled fruit juices, sports drinks and flavored waters and take a couple of minutes to blend this packed-full-of-goodness drink for yourself.  You are going to love it!

Affiliate Links:

This is the sea salt I use.

If you're not able to source a local honey in your area, this one is organic, free-trade.

I don't have a water filtration system yet, but I would love to have this one someday.  It's received wonderful reviews... even filters fluoride!

Linking with Hearth and Soul, Tasty Traditions, From the Farm Blog Hop


Mom said...

Wonderful post, Pammie! Loved the photos of the little ones and gained some good healthy info as well!! thank you, again!

Judy@Savoring Today said...

These are sweet times, we have such fond memories of orchard time with our kids. (sniff) They are grown now, that time passes too quickly. Love their curly hair -- so cute!

Carol J. Alexander said...

This one sounds delicious. We've been picking lots of berries, too. But not blueberries. My bushes are too small, yet. Thanks for sharing on the HomeAcre Hop. Please come back and share with us this week: http://everythinghomewithcarol.com/the-self-sufficient-homemaker-hop-10/

Carol J. Alexander said...

I'm choosing this post as one of my features this week. Be sure to come back tomorrow and grab your button. Thanks for sharing on the HomeAcre Hop. Please come back and share with us this week: http://everythinghomewithcarol.com/the-self-sufficient-homemaker-hop-10/

Pam O'Brien said...

Thanks, Carol! I'm headed over to get my button right now!!

Neighbor Chick said...

What a sweetie-pie family you have! Thanks for the berry cooler recipe, too. We love smoothies around here, but some people *cough* the boys *cough* get weird about bananas and yogurt. Your recipe will make everyone happy!! Have a lovely day!

Neighbor Chick said...

OK...we just tried the berry coolers. Love 'em!!They are much lighter than smoothies and really quench a thirst. Thanks again for the recipe. :)

Anonymous said...

Can this be stored in the fridge or frozen? My husband is a garbage man and we are tryin g to find alternatives to gatorade, but he isn't going to run the blender at 4 am.

Pam O'Brien said...

Yes - you can do both. The ingredients may appear to settle or separate (i.e. berry seeds at the bottom). Just give it a good shake before you drink it and you should be good to go!