Summer time in Washington not only means warm days and beautiful sunsets it also means Berry Season. For local growers, berries, like Strawberry, are ready to pick and harvest come June. It's not until September that the true berry season is over in Washington. Past years of early heat and late rain have, of course, changed the times when harvest is ready but in general terms when summer starts you can be sure that the farmer's markets will start to have those amazing northwest berries available for purchase.
Why talk about Berries? Besides the fact that they are a delicious healthy bounty and can be used for various food applications they're also a very popular flavor and well known food to consumers. No matter how trendy we get with our product offerings, having a known flavor/fruit is desirable because as consumers we have grown to expect a certain flavor.
Beyond flavor berries are known for their health benefits too. For example lets review Blueberries: Harvest in Washington state is between July and September. According to the U.S. High-bush Blueberry Council, blueberries are low in fat and sodium and only contain 80 calories per cup. They also have phytonutrients called polyphenols. One category of polyphenols would be anthocyanins, which are the compounds that give blueberries their blue color. Blueberries are also a good source of vitamin C, manganese and fiber.
Vitamin C can be linked to tissue development and growth, Manganese helps the body process carbohydrates and protein which can effect your cholesterol. Lastly fiber, we all know that having a good source of fiber in your diet is key. Fiber helps reduce your risk of heart disease.
Other Washington berries include blackberry that is harvested August to September, Raspberry which is July to August and Strawberries that are ready in June to July. We even have a festival highlighting the Strawberry Season. Regardless of the berry you enjoy during the summer they are in full harvest and should be utilized in every form of food possible. At Northwest Naturals you can find a selection of 100 percent fruit as well as a variety of Juice blends to fit your needs. For more information on fruit harvest, see our full harvest chart here.
The reason Northwest Naturals created the blends were to help better standardize the fruit. Unfortunately fruit is very subjective to its elements. Mother nature dictates what the crop is going to do that year so if you have more or less rain you may have a profitable crop or reduced availability. The blends allow us to highlight the stated fruit without having to use 100%. There is still 100% juice in the blend but at a much more affordable cost and consistent flavor, color and acid. Below is a list of Juices and Blends Northwest Naturals has to offer as well as applications to help inspire your next formulation project. For any questions please contact our customer service team or sales group. If you want to request samples please visit our sample request page.
To check out all our recipes that include summers bountiful berries go to our applications page to see all that you can do with those summer berries.