Good news pudding lovers! It turns out not only are the phytonutrients in berries surprisingly heat stable, cooking may even cause them to shoot up significantly. This means compotes, pies and jellies could be just as good (if not better for you) than the fresh fruit, in the antioxidant stakes at least.
As always in food science, it appears it is all about how much and how long can you cook them for that is key. In one study published in the journal 'Food Control' an international team of researchers found that baking or boiling blueberries for under 30 minutes had a negligable impact on their antioxidant capacity, as did whacking them in the microwave for 3 minutes.
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Only when baking or boiling time was extended to 30-60 minutes or nuking to 5 minutes (quite a long time in a microwave) did they see a significant decrease. Other studies have found that although the total anthocyanin content does dip slightly, the total level of antioxidants and polyphenols remained stable during cooking.
In fact a brief blast of heat by sauteeing them over a medium flame has been shown in several trials to trigger a spike in nutrition. In fact, as much as doubling their antioxidants and a tripling in the polyphenol content in one study by Oregon Health Sciences University. Now, where's my pudding bowl?