The best of British: Celebrate summer with a red, white and blue dessert

THIS has been a year of celebrations, from royal festivities to the summer of sport, and the patriotism now extends to our locally-sourced foods, as this month we see red and blue fruits hitting local East of England Co-op food stores for their time in the spotlight.

In the blue corner is the low-calorie blueberry. High in vitamins A, C, E, K and Z, the fruit is the perfect accompaniment to a healthy diet. With iron, calcium, manganese and a healthy dose of dietary fibre thrown in the mix for good measure, the blend of nutrients will help maintain healthy vision, digestion and lower blood sugar levels.

Fighting for the red team is the humble cherry, ranked in the top 20 foods for its concentration of antioxidants and a natural source of Melatonin helping to maintain optimum brain functionality and regulate the body’s internal clock. A standard serving of fresh cherries has 8% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, around 1g of dietary fibre, no cholesterol and low saturated fat.

Kevin Warden, the East of England Co-operative Society’s Local Sourcing Manager, said:

“Sourced locally, berries are delivered direct to our stores several times a week from the farms they’re grown in, which makes the produce fresher than fresh when our customers get them. Here’s a recipe to enjoy fresh locally-sourced cherries and blueberries in one fruity dish.”


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Mixed berry Eaton Mess recipe

Ingredients

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� cup locally sourced blueberries

� cup locally sourced cherries (pitted)

� cup locally sourced strawberries

� cup locally sourced raspberries

2 tbsp icing sugar

� cup double cream

1 � cups of plain Greek yoghurt

2/3 meringue nests, crushed into pieces (NB. You could try making these using locally-sourced free-range eggs)

Method

Mix together the fresh berries in a bowl and add the majority of the icing sugar (1.5 tbsp)

In a separate bowl mix together the remainder of the icing sugar and the cream

Gently fold the yoghurt into the cream mixture and add the berries

Pour over crushed meringue pieces and serve

Locally-sourced blueberries and cherries are available in selected East of England Co-op food stores in the Essex area. To find your nearest East of England Co-op food store visit the website: www.eastofengland.coop

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