Mulberries: For a Refreshing Spring Drink
May 21, 2012
The Mulberry is one of the most overlooked and abundant berries of them all. Spring heralds in those ambitious blackberry and blueberry harvesters, but it is also a time to look out for the mulberries which will be in peak ripeness.
Red Mulberry trees are the ones that you will most likely encounter here in the US. A Mulberry is deep purple in color when at peak ripeness. A Red Mulberry tree has redish-brown bark, can grow upwards of 60 feet tall, and will have numerous dark purple berries dangling from the branches.
There are a number of health benefits to adding mulberries in your diet. Mulberries have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called anthocyanins. Scientific studies have shown that consumption of berries have potential health effects against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. They also contain resveratrol, another polyphenol flavonoid antioxidant. Resveratrol has been found to be protective against stroke risk by alteration of molecular mechanisms in blood vessels, reducing susceptibility to vascular damage. They are also high in Vitamin C, contain Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and a plethora of other antioxidants. Mulberries are also a good source of iron, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. All of these health properties are jam packed into the tiny mulberry hence why they make a healthy and tasty treat.
Once you have gathered these little berries you are ready for some wonderful and fresh tasting beverages. Here are a few of my favorite Mulberry drink recipes.
- 6 lemons
- ½ cup mulberries
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups ice
- Extra lemon slices for garnish
Squeeze the juice from your 6 lemons and place it to the side. You should have about one cup of juice when finished. If you have a juicer you will only need to use 3-4 lemons to achieve your one cup. In a pan boil one cup of water and mix in the sugar. Turn down heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Next add the lemon juice and remaining cup of cold water to the pan and stir.
In a food processor (or blender if you do not have a processor) blend the mulberries. Stir mulberries into the lemonade. Pour lemonade through cheese cloth or sieve into a pitcher. This will remove the seed pieces from the mulberries. Refrigerate and enjoy. Store in a covered pitcher for best results and use within 2 days of making.
- 1 cup mulberries
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1 banana
- 1 cup almond milk (or you can sub coconut milk or any seed milk such as hemp milk)
Simply blend all ingredients in blender until smooth and enjoy. Best served cold.
Mulberry Ice Cream Smoothie
This makes a wonderful dessert smoothie.
- Vanilla ice cream (3 scoops)
- 1 cup mulberries
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup milk
Place mulberries into blender with maple syrup and blend until mostly smooth. Add in ice cream and milk and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
What is your favorite mulberry recipe?