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Finland is famous for its clean nature filled with wild berries. As many Finns, I also enjoy berry-picking, home-freezing, and preserve-making during the berry season. As wild berries are not that commonly available overseas, I thought to share two recipes which show how you can easily get berry flavoured sweet treats using natural berry powders.
1 liter water
3 tbs potato starch
50cc cold water
generous 3 tsp Biokia cranberry powder
Bring the water to boil in a saucepan and add the cranberry powder into the water. Let it boil for a minute to get the cranberry flavour out. Add sugar. With slowly whisking, add potato starch that has been first mixed with cold water into the gently-boiling berry water. Let it gently bubble for a couple of minutes and then add frozen (or fresh) strawberries into the soup. Take the saucepan off the stove and it let it cool down a little before eating. (Not boiling the fresh or frozen berries, leaves more vitamin C in the soup.) Put the soup into a bowl and after the soup is completely cooled down cover it with a lid or cling film. The soup will keep well at the room temperature for a day, in the fridge for a couple of days.
Berry soup also tastes good eaten cold. In Finland, you can buy berry soups (sold in milk cartons) in supermarkets. You can eat it or drink it, have it hot or cold, eat it with cereal, porridge, whipped cream on top etc. You can keep the berry soup in a bowl at room temperature for a day. If kept in the fridge, berry soup makes a nice cooling summer treat.
Blueberry Rice Chocolate
Melt the chocolate using two bowls and hot water. Chop the chocolate bar into small chunks and put into the smaller bowl and place it into the larger bowl that has hot water in it. While the chocolate melts, break the rice cakes into rough junks (size of your choice). Add the blueberry powder into the melted chocolate and mix well. Dip the rice cake pieces quickly in the melted chocolate and place the pieces on a plate that is covered with cling film or baking sheet. Cover the plate with another plate and place the plate into the fridge for the chocolate to harden for at least an hour.
Serve with coffee or tea as a small treat. Keep the chocolate pieces refridgerated in an air-tight container. They will stay good for about a week in the fridge.
Cover Photo by Visit Finland/Vastavalo/Soili Jussila
Monika Luukkonen is a Finnish lifestyle expert and she writes books about the Finnish way of life for the Asian market.