Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's Mulberry Time! But are they worth eating?

My baby girl knows local foods are my favorite!

In our nutrition obsessed culture, I am saddened when people ask if certain foods are even worth eating because they "are so low in nutrient content."  To me, taste ranks very highly as a reason I eat, with a bit of nutrition thrown in.  If a food is incredibly nourishing, but doesn't taste good, I'm not eating it!  I once read a study that said people absorb more nutrition when they enjoy what they are eating.  Does that mean when I thoroughly enjoy my ice cream sundae I absorb more calcium than my Dad does when he chokes down a glass of blue skim milk?  Hmmm, something to ponder.

You may have noticed it's mulberry time again.  Chris, Clara and I are picking mulberries to preserve and the free fruit is decreasing our produce bill.  As we talked about picking mulberries this week, Chris asked, "I wonder if they have any nutritional benefit."  My thought, "it's a plant food, of course there is benefit."  But, as a good dietitian does, I looked it up on the USDA Nutrient Database.  Below is a bit of the info I found.  If you'd like the complete nutritional breakdown for mulberries or blueberries, click on the fruit names below.

Mulberries, 1 cup raw                                   Blueberries, 1 cup raw
60 Calories                                                  84 Calories
2 g. Protein                                                 1 g. Protein
13 g. Carbohydrate                                  21 g. Carbohydrate
55 mg. Calcium                                        9 mg. Calcium
2.5 mg. Iron                                              0.4 mg Iron
25 mg. Magnesium                                    9 mg. Magnesium
53 mg. Phosphorus                                 18 mg. Phosphorus
272 mg. Potassium                                 114 mg. Potassium
51 mg. Vitamin C                                  14 mg. Vitamin C

There are differences between mulberries and blueberries, and you can see that mulberries are actually higher in many nutrients.  Now, taste?  There are ways I prefer to eat blueberries, and ways I prefer mulberries.  For fresh eating, I prefer blueberries, although straight off the tree mulberries are pretty tasty.  In a crisp, I really like mulberries.  Yes, fresh from the oven with a little ice cream melting on top...and if the enjoyment study is true, I'm sure to be absorbing some major nutrition from that dessert!

Now, why don't you head out there and find a mulberry tree!  


  1. Great Post Luv. See you tonight for more pickin.

    1. :) Lookin' forward to more pickin' too...along with some mulberry rhubarb pie!

  2. Thanks for the mulberry info... I too enjoy these wonderful freebies! Perhaps do you know where I might be able to buy or trade for sweet potato slips?

    1. I haven't tried to find sweet potato slips this year, so I'm not sure what to tell you. When we wanted to plant sweet potatoes a couple years ago everywhere we went was sold out of the slips, so we decided to try growing our own. It's incredibly easy and that's what we do now, although, there's not enough time to do it if you plan to plant so I understand you wanting to find them. For future reference, here is how to do it:

      If you feel comfortable, I'd put a listing on craigslist and see if anyone wants to trade. Some people don't feel safe using craigslist, but I have never had any problems and only met really kind people, and I've done LOTS of craigslist transactions.

      Best wishes on your local food endeavors!

  3. Talk to Susan from Infinite Growth. She always has tons of sweet potato slips left over from the community gardens, and usually sells them (and gives them away) at the Delano farmers market.

    1. THANKS! Karen, appreciate your always informative input! Hope Jeannie is able to get what she needs.