Christ is risen!
Lately I have decided to add new foods into my daily life. I tend to go to Julie Morris’ cookbooks when I need inspiration for a healthy meal that’s vanguard and bold with creative flavors. Furthermore, I’ve been eyeing her books “Superfood Juices” and “Superfood Smoothies” for quite some time and I finally have the perfect reason to get them. Alcohol has not been agreeing with me since the beginning of Great Lent so I purchased those books to help me take the edge off things with a glass of maqui berry lemonade or mulberry plum instead of glass of red wine! Anyways, I am really excited for summer now! A glass of wine gladdens the heart, but God has made it disagreeable for me otherwise. Many of the dishes result in fabulous brilliant hues of color and as an artist who loves color, this approach makes it joyful to eat deliciously healthy; at least for me it does. Additionally, I am someone prone to anemia so I try to make sure I have sufficient nutrients in my diet; I haven’t had any issues for 10 years or since I went vegetarian but it doesn’t hurt to keep things at bay, does it? Iron needs vitamin C to help with nutrient absorption. As you’ll read further on, mulberries contain both rich sources of iron and vitamin C; can I just say, managing anemia just got better and much more delicious!!!! I guess you can say I am not excited at all about incorporating these new recipes into my life, giving myself an exciting healthy upgrade. 😛
Today’s topic is about mulberries, which Julie Morris happens to use in her recipes. It was through her cookbooks I have decided to give them a try. I wasn’t raised using mulberries in my daily life, so discovering and adding a new ingredient is quite exciting. And I trust Julie Morris’ recipes so I don’t have to go far to find recipes that are delicious and healthy at the same time. Once I learned the benefits of mulberries, how could I not incorporate them.
I bought my mulberries from Anthony’s Goods, same place where I buy my active dry yeast and vital wheat gluten. Great prices, great quality, and great humor! If you would like to buy fresh, they are available for a short amount of time in some parts of the country. Julie suggests that they are not the best for smoothies. Sun dried mulberries, on the other hand, are great for blending in smoothies. Organic white Turkish mulberries are the sweetest– keep an eye out for these if you have a sweet tooth.
White mulberries can be eaten dried or fresh. You can sprinkle them onto cereals, salads, smoothie bowls, and yogurts. Add to trail mixes, granolas, and baked goods, make jellies and jams, or simply snack on them straight from the bag or jar! Julie Morris even transforms them into mulberry licorice chews! (I am not a licorice person myself but my husband this. What’s even better is that the fennel seeds in the recipe makes the treat with the hidden potential as also being a digestive aid and breath freshener aside from being a jolly snack for those who love licorice!)
Some notes on mulberries (and possibly persuade you to adding them into your life):
- originally from China and Turkey and now grown in many other areas around the world (including North America)
- purple or white in color with an elongated blackberry-like look
- when sundried, they have a crunchy and chewy fig-like flavor with hints of vanilla
- Flavor: taste like sweet raisins but deliver all the same sweetness with less than half the sugar
- watery, mildly sweet berry flavor when fresh; when dried, the flavor is enhanced tremendously
- add a sweetness that compliments other flavors, from citrus to berry to vanilla — Julie I am convinced! Mulberries are indeed a very versatile berry.
- if adding them to a smoothie, its best to add them to smoothies that will be consumed within the hour– Julie Morris says that they swell up and thicken the smoothie if allowed to sit for a period of time. I am slow smoothie drinker — and do not like thick smoothies!!– so this is note worthy for anyone who shares a kindred mind.
- If you need to substitute mulberries, use raisins or dates — keep in mind they don’t have the same nutritional benefits as mulberries themselves
- Dried mulberries are high in digestion-friendly fiber: 1/3 cup of dried mulberries provides 20% of your daily needs.
- Good source of protein and calcium
- Rich in iron (more than 5x the amount of spinach)
- Excellent source of vitamin C ( vitamin that helps increase iron absorption)
- Mulberries contain powerful antioxidants that help thwart free radical damage
- has one of the few strong sources of resveratrol (the same anti aging antioxidant that is found in red wine) which makes them especially good for heart protection, help prevent aging, and promote circulation
- According to Traditional Chinese Medicine,
- It helps maintain and tonify the yin.
- Mulberries have a cooling thermal nature
- It is used to counteract wind/heat as a cooling wind-reducer.
- Mulberry calms the mind
- Mulberry nurtures the kidney
- Builds the yin fluids and blood
- Moistens the lungs and gastrointestinal tract
- Strengthens the liver and kidneys
- Treats wind conditions, including vertigo and paralysis
- Beneficial for blood deficiency signs such as anemia, prematurely grey hair, irritiability, insomnia, and constipation from fluid dryness
- Used in treating stomach ulcers, diabetes, dry cough, ringing in the ears and poor joint mobility
Fresh mulberries can always be used in place of other fresh berries in recipes but for snack making, the dried white mulberries, which are the sweetest, most flavorful, and most shelf stable variety. Julie Morris’ recipes favors dried white mulberries in her recipes for these reasons.
Superfood Snacks, Julie Morris
Superfood Juices, Julie Morris
Superfood Smoothies, Julie Morris
Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition 3rd Edition, Paul Pitchford