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The Main Different Kinds of Edible Berries

31 May, 2022
Forest fruit berries overhead assorted mix in studio on dark background with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, red curr

Different kinds of edible berries

Raspberry

Raspberries are the ever popular summer soft fruit packed full of vitamin C and dietary fibre.  They can be found throughout much of northern Europe, as well as in the United States and Canada, and are thought to have evolved in eastern Asia.  

The raspberry's distinct tartness can make its sweetness more subtle than its popular ally, the strawberry, making it a decidedly more sophisticated alternative.  

Delicious eaten field fresh, raspberries are also great in jams, pies and tarts or smoothies and drinks. Raspberry leaves can also be used fresh or dried in herbal teas,

Alongside the ubiquitous red raspberry, there are also other varieties to look out for, including black, golden and white and even blue.

Full frame of juicy red raspberries

 

Strawberry

Possibly the most popular and widely known of all edible berries, these large red pops of sweetness benefit from high vitamin C levels, like raspberries. In fact, five medium-sized strawberries can provide you with 60% of your vitamin C daily requirements. 

If that wasn't enough to add them to your seasonal diet, they're delicious to enjoy whole, just as they come, as well as blended into smoothies, cooked into jams, or simply decorating a creamy pavlova. 

In addition to the famous red strawberry, there's also a white strawberry called a pineberry as well as a new tropical tasting yellow strawberry.

a heap of strawberries on a wooden surface

 

Blueberry

These small purplish berries, native to North America, have an age-old reputation as a super food. They contain a host of vitamins and antioxidants are low in fat and high in fibre as well as vitamins C and K.

Blueberries can be found in all number of sweet dishes from topping waffles, sweetening up yogurt and cereals, blended into smoothies or syrups, folded into muffins and sweet breads and baked into blueberry crumble cake. Blueberries can even be turned into wine.

a bowl of fresh blueberries and blueberries scattered on a wooden surface

 

Lingonberry

These small tart red berries, also known as lingonberry, partridgeberry, mountain cranberry or cowberry, are often found in jams, syrups, compotes, or added to smoothies which tends to mellow them out. Their rich vitamin C content and trace minerals can help to improve the nutritional content of many foods. 

Particularly popular in Nordic countries - where they can be foraged in the wild in Sweden, Finland and Norway - and served as a sauce or gravy alongside reindeer or elk steaks.  

Try our recipe for buckhweat cake and lingonberries.

Wild ripe lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) in a forest in Finland

 

Cranberry

These colourful, shiny berries, related to the blueberry, are synonymous with the frostier months, when Thanksgiving and Chrismas see lashings of cranberry sauce decorate festive plates alongside slices of turkey.

Typically from North America or eastern Europe, the small hard, sour and bitter berries are not usually eaten raw, but juiced, made into sauces or dried.

Cranberries also rich in antioxidants and an 80g serving of fresh cranberries or a single glass of 150ml unsweetened cranberry juice counts as one of your five-a-day. 

From homemade cranberry sauce to spiced cranberry buttermilk bundt cake discover our favourite selection of sweet and savoury cranberry recipes.

Red fresh cranberries spillin out of a bowl against a dark background

 

Boysenberry

Sweet and tangy boysenberries are a type of dark red or maroon berry that looks similar in shape to a blackberry. Infact they are a cross between the European raspberry, European blackberry and loganberry.

Although these red berry fruits don’t have as many vitamins as blackberries, they have just as much fibre and contain many important nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

They're perfect for canning and preserving and for use in pies and cobblers.

closeup of boysenberry bush with ripening berries

 

Elderberry

Unlike other dark edible berries, elderberries must be cooked before eating. They're also not grown commercially and best foraged for in English hedgerows.

Elderberries have lots of culinary uses such as crumbles, pies, jams and liqueurs. 

a trug full of freshly picked elderberries

 

Gojiberry

Goji berries are yet another berry classed as a superfood. Researchers have found that the high levels of antioxidants, such as in goji berries, can help to slow down ageing, boost immunity, and improve blood health.

They tend to be sold dried, where they are enjoyed for their very sweet taste, with a slight bitterness. Some people use goji berries in baked goods to cut down on sugar and increase nutritional value.

Discover more about how many goji berries you should be eating.

a bowl of fresh goji berries against a wooden background

 

Açai berry

Açai berries are small black-purple grape-sized berries that grow on the açai palm tree. A Latin American super food, their taste is a mouth-watering cross between dark chocolate and blueberry, with notes of hazelnut.

Use them to add an exotic edge to your hot chocolate exotic, give a new twist to cocktails or make energy-packed long drinks.

Açaí pulp may also be cooked with and makes a great jam for serving hot or cold with toasted bread and cheese.

two hands cupping a handful of acai berries from large baskets below
a yellow strawberry against a blue background

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