Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Battling My Senior Moments with Berries by Cleo Coyle

My Senior Moment

(A Play in One Act)

Cleo Coyle author of...(?)
Cleo walks into room. Stops. Stares.

Cleo: "Why did I come in here?"

Husband: (Glances up from computer screen.) "You're asking me?"

Cleo: "I can't remember."

Husband: "Animal, vegetable, or mineral?"

Cleo: "I think I wanted to tell you something?"

Husband: "Are you asking me or telling me?"

Cleo: "I wanted to tell you something. I can't remember."

Husband: "Time to eat some berries."

Cleo: "That's what it was! My idea for today's post!" 

And here it is: Late last week, the Annals of Neurology published the results of a major medical study that suggested blueberries and strawberries might protect brain function in woman, including memory. 

The story was very big health news. Investigators found that women who had the highest intake of blueberries (more than 1/2 cup a week) and strawberries (more than 1 cup a week), delayed mental aging by as much as 2.5 years.

To quote Dr. Robert Graham, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York: "I would advise all my patients, at any age, to eat more berries. Berries are an easy, nutritious and delicious way preserve brain function."

To read more about
this study, click here.

Of course, fresh berries can be expensive out of season, but frozen berries can be eaten year round, and they carry the same benefits. You can also freeze fresh berries yourself. The process is very easy...

HOW TO FREEZE BERRIES: Wash them, dry them, place them on a baking sheet and slide the pan in the freezer for three hours or so. Once the berries are frozen, take the pan out and pour the berries into a freezer-safe plastic bag. (I like to double bag for extra insurance against freezer burn.) Then return them to the freezer.

Cleo: "Marc, what was this post about again?"

Husband: "You're kidding, right? Look at the photo!"

Cleo: "Woops. Time to eat another bowl of..."

A few more tips...

HOW TO SHOP FOR STRAWBERRIES: When shopping for strawberries, choose berries that are bright red in color. Look for firm berries with fresh, green tops. Pass by any containers that have berries that are molding or mottled with dark patches. If the berries are staining the container, they are past their prime.

HOW TO STORE STRAWBERRIES: Strawberries will not keep long, so try to purchase them a day or two before you intend to eat or cook with them. Because strawberries retain water, do not wash them until you are ready to use them. To keep the berries fresh for as long as possible, I store them in the refrigerator in a single layer on a paper towel within a moisture-proof container. They keep well for several days this way.

And so...

My post this week is not so much a recipe as a simple reminder that a breakfast, dessert, or snack can be as easy and delicious as a bowl of berries...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


  1. I've heard that it's best NOT to wash blueberries before freezing, as the skins can become tougher. I've tried it both ways (we picked 28 pounds of blueberries last year!), and I think they just turn to mush no matter what.

    Hmmn, now I think I need a big blueberry smoothie for a bedtime snack!

    1. Wendy - Wow! Twenty-eight pounds of berries is serious good eats. I have to admit that I use my frozen berries for baking. Defrosted berries will never look like the ones in my photos, whether you wash and dry them before freezing or not, lol!

      Smoothies are another great way to use frozen berries, by the way, thanks for the reminder, and thanks especially for dropping by the Kitchen.

      Eat (berries) with joy!
      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  2. Well, I think I should be eating berries morning, noon and night. My memory is totally shot LOL.

    I need to place berries on my shopping list. Not that it will do any good, I forget that too.

    Thanks for this post!

    Have a wonderful berry day :)

    1. Shawn (aka BusyMom) - Always a pleasure to see you in our Kitchen. Glad you didn't *forget* to check in.

      All kidding aside, as I get older, I find I must write things down to remember. Lists are helpful and I'm grinning on your note about forgetting the list, too. Maybe we should try a post-it to remember our reminder lists? :)

      You have a berry good day, too!
      ~ Cleo
      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

    2. I have to laugh. I actually put post-its on my door and still forget and I look right at them as I open it to walk out.

  3. Great post, Cleo -- if I could recall what it was about. Oh yes! Berries. I love berries. Now I have an excuse to eat more, if I could only remember why . . .

    ~ Krista

  4. It's always great to read that something I love is good for me! I have about a cup a day blended with 1/2 cup plain homemade yogurt. That's it. Delish!

    1. Belated reply, Nan - that sounds very good indeed, and even more healthy. Thx for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!

      ~ Cleo

  5. I actually enjoy making smoothies from fresh berries. I use skim plus milk, non-fat greek plain yogurt, lots of berries and a packet of truvia. Plus I add some ice. Blend it all together and it is a great refreshing drink, snack or meal replacement!

    1. Shawn (BusyMom) - I think smoothies are a wonderful use for frozen berries. Your recipe is close to mine. OJ or a banana sometimes makes its way into my blender, too. Agree that it's filling enough for a meal replacement, especially on a very hot summer day when drinking a tall cool one feels like a much better alternative to a hot meal. Thx again for the contribution and have a great week!

      ~ Cleo

  6. Really enjoyed reading this post, now I need to add them to my list for the store. I love to add yogurt in my smoothies. Yumm. I guess I'm a little hungry. Can't wait for your new book. Happy Berrie eating :)

  7. Jean – I'm a little hungry, too, and thirsty thinking about those berry smoothies. :)

    I'm so glad to know that you enjoyed the post and even happier to hear that you're looking forward to my new release. Cheers! Thx for dropping by today, and may you eat (and drink) those berries in good health!

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  8. Great article and since berries are in season, what a great excuse to use them for breakfast, salads for lunch and dessert. One question. What happened to your sidebar where you had a list of alphabetical subject and receipes from past bogs? I miss it| Will it be back or do I just go under receipes? Thank you. Diana M at mystery_912@hotmail.com