Summer is berry season so expect to find blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and other types of berries at your local grocery store or farmers’ market. The dark, rich red, blue, and violet colors of berries are associated with a host of antioxidants and health benefits. Besides the fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and folate, short-term berry consumption has been linked to improved hearth health, improved memory, and cancer prevention.
The harvesting season for berries is short, so take advantage of in-season low prices or stock up on frozen berries. There are lots of ways to incorporate berries into your meals and snacks. Easy and quick ideas include blending a handful into your smoothies, throwing a few on top of your morning cereal or oatmeal, adding a cup or two to flavor muffins or breads, or using them to add sweetness to a salad. Swap in any type of berries you want when making any of the following recipes.
From Avocado Alice
- 3 cups of blueberries
- 2-3 tablespoons of molasses (agave, maple syrup, or honey would also be fine)
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional add-in’s
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 sprigs of mint, chopped
- 3 leaves of basil, chopped
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon or nutmeg
- In a medium sauce pan or pot, bring blueberries and molasses to a low boil, stirring frequently. Turn heat down to medium and let mixture simmer for five minutes before mashing blueberries slightly with a fork or masher.
- Add in chia seeds and let cook until a jam-consistency is reached (5-10 minutes). Stir in vanilla extract and any add-in ingredients.
- Store in glass jar or other air-tight container in refrigerator for up to a week. Makes enough for 1 16 oz jar.
Adapted from Curls n Chard
- 1 tablespoon of flax or chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup of applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup of plant-based milk of choice
- 1 cup raspberries
- In a small bowl, combine flax or chia seeds with water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until a gel forms.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Add in applesauce, vanilla, milk, and gelled flax or chia seed mixture. Stir until batter is just mixed, then fold in raspberries.
- Divide batter in an oiled muffin pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.
- 1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
- 1 12-ounce package of spinach, washed
- 1/3 cup of almonds or pecans, chopped or slivered
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Salt, pepper, and paprika to taste
- Toss strawberries, spinach, nuts, onion, and cucumber in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar, and poppy seeds to make dressing. Season to taste before adding to salad. Serves 3-4.