In case you have missed it, me, Ida and Emelie have written a book about the way we approach training, racing, food, sustainability and life in general. It follows the season of the year and is called Moonvalley Diaries. This eclectic compilation of our thoughts, experiences and things we love is quite different from other training and diet books, it is us. The book can be found Gawellforlag in paper format and as an e-book. Here is a little excerpt about Nordic berries and their fantastic super food qualities (yeah, I nerd out a bit on the topic, but that's me…)!
Just as nature’s colours change from green to yellow, orange and red in September, so do the colours of berries. Now is the time to make use of precious gems like lingonberries, cloudberries, sea buckthorn and rose hips. All you have to do is pick, gorge and freeze – just like you did with the purple-coloured goodies of summer. It’s also fun, economical and environmentally friendly to dry and grind these Nordic superberries. That way you’ll have your own stock of super-food powder for the autumn and winter.
Sea buckthorn has long been used as a medicinal plant in Russia, China and Tibet. In the Nordic countries, sea buckthorn is most- ly found in exposed coastal locations, as it is salt-tolerant and can grow where other plants cannot. The orange-yellow berries – actually small fruits – have a tart, fruity flavour (pretty sour to be honest). The plant has sharp thorns and the berries are hard to pick, but it’s well worth the effort considering how amazing sea buckthorn berries are!
A single berry contains as much vitamin C as an entire orange! There is also plenty of vi- tamin E, vitamin K and various B vitamins. Sea buckthorn contains more than 20 different minerals and trace minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron and zinc. It is also jam-packed with antioxidants like xanthophylls, carotenes and flavonoids.
The pulp, peel and seeds are high in oil, and sea buckthorn berries are rich in the polyun- saturated fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, and in addition monounsaturated omega-7. Omega-7 has traditionally been used to treat skin conditions and dryness of the mucous membranes, which is why sea buckthorn oil is found in skincare products.
Lingonberries, our Nordic cranberries, are very rich in vitamin C, magnesium and fi- bre. They also have high levels of antioxidants such as anthocyanin, carotene and flavonoids.
Lingonberries contain benzoic acid, a natural preservative. This lets you blend lingon- berries with more sensitive fruits and berries to increase their shelf life without the addition of preservatives.
Just like cranberries, lingonberries can help if you have a urinary tract infection. The berries contain high levels of tannins known as proanthocyanidins. Studies have shown that these make it more difficult for bacteria to attach to the urinary tract.
Rose hip bushes grow just about everywhere. They are so common that we take them for granted, but be sure to take advantage of this berry. Rose hips are chock-full of vitamin C and a number of other antioxidants like vitamin E, beta-carotene and lycopene. The minerals in rose hips are mainly magnesium, potassium and iron. Rose hips also contain a type of vegetable fat called galactolipids. Rosehip galactolipids have been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties, which have been demonstrated in some studies.
The gold of Sweden’s northern marshes! Just like sea buckthorn berries, you’ll have to fight for your cloudberries, but it’s well worth the trouble to stomp through marshes to get your hands on our most elegant and beloved berries. Just like all the other golden berries of autumn, they are rich in vitamin C, and they also contain potassium, zinc, magnesium, carotenoids and water-soluble fibres. Like lingonberries, cloudberries contain benzoic acid, meaning that they preserve themselves.
Rowan berries grow on small trees in the cold climates of northern Europe and north Asia, and you’ll definitely recognise the beautiful orange-red clusters. The little berries are packed with high levels of vitamin C and water-soluble fibre. Rowan berries contain loads of antioxidants like anthocyanin, tannins and flavonols. They also have lots of sorbic acid, a natural antibacterial compound that prevents yeast and mold growth. Rowan berries are the birds’ favourite, so save some berries for them.
Text: Gawell förlag
Pictures: Toni Spasenoski