How to use berries? Why should you eat Finnish wild berries? Are wild berries real superfoods?
It's easy to admit that Finland is not world famous for its cuisine.
Coming from hunter-gatherer tribes, the Finns have always directly fed on the forests, lakes and fields that cover most of the country, and still do today. Large mammals like reindeer and elk, birds like wild goose and mallard ducks and fresh fish have been delicacies in Finland for centuries. Often accompanied by potatoes, vegetables and berries, all these delicacies from the terroirs of Finland are found in fine gourmet restaurants or as a classic home-cooked meal.
Berries as superfood
It all begins in the forest! Over 80% of Finland is covered by forests. There exist about 50 different kinds of berry plants, of which over half have edible berries. Picking wild forest berries is almost a national sport in Finland, with forests filled with wild berries begging to be picked.
Wild berries growing on the northern latitudes gather in themselves the force of an intense growth period and the midnight sun. The clean forests of northern Finland are ideal for growing berries: clean and bright, untouched and free of pesticides. Nordic berries are an authentic superfood rich in nutrients and flavor.
Due to their arctic growing conditions, Finnish berries contain exceptionally many bioactive compounds, i.e. vitamins and polyphenols. Free oxygen radicals causing oxidation make holes in cell walls. Foodstuffs containing plenty of antioxidants prevent the involution of the organism.
The antioxidants are vitamins C and E, beta-carotene (vitamin A), selenium, zinc, carnosine and ubiquinone. In addition to these, there are many polyphenolic compounds with similar characteristics protective of the organism. There are a lot of them particularly in wild berries, which grow in the north.
Using berries as food
The berries are used in the preparation of many desserts or are used to make jams, fresh fruit juices, or eaten as such as soon as they are picked.
Wild berries are true superfoods filled with delicious natural flavours and added health benefits. Harctic sells Finnish wild berries as dried berries or in powder form. The wild berries have been air-dried or freeze-dried after harvest. These drying processes preserve all the nutrients, taste and colour of the wild berries.
Whether you live to eat or eat to live, do not miss the opportunity to have a good time savoring the products of Finland's terroirs, as succulent as they are excellent for your health.
Original text by Visit Finland and Finland Naturally. Adapted freely. Title picture by Laura Ekman.