Berries are a trademark of the much-anticipated spring season. Rich, colorful and bursting with flavor, there are so many different kinds of berries and they all have their own unique tastes and textures.
Spring is also an excellent time to add variety to your meals! Choosing different berries for your dishes is a sure way to reap great health benefits and have diversity in what you’re eating. They can stand on their own as a side dish, but they can also be added seamlessly to any meal. You can get them fresh, frozen or freeze-dried. Pretty much all members of the family will eat them. In other words, they are PERFECT for celebrating spring!
Ways to Eat More Berries
Here are some basic tips suggested by Sarah Muntel, RD, a frequent guest author for the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC):
- Pack them in your lunchbox as a standalone snack.
- Mix them into your oatmeal for breakfast.
- Throw them on top of your salad.
- Create a colorful fruit salad for dessert.
- Make a smoothie with berries and low-fat yogurt.
- Sprinkle them on top of your yogurt.
- Serve them as an after-school or after-activity snack.
Cassie I. Story, RDN, is also a dietitian who contributes nutrition tips and strategies to the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). These are some of her ideas for adding berries to your favorite dishes.
- Mix them in a salad with chopped baby greens, pecans, feta cheese and balsamic vinagraitte. Top with mint or basil.
- Cut some in half and brush them with oil before slightly grilling or sauteing them. Add a splash of lemon juice to enhance their sweetness and serve as a side to chicken or fish.
- Saute them with oil and a shallot until they break down and become fragrant. Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, reduce heat and simmer, then pour over cooked fish or chicken.
- Mix them in a bag with 1/2 tablespoon of cocoa powder, coating them evenly. Place parchment paper on a large plate. Dump berries on the plate without letting them touch. Place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then remove and enjoy as an alternative to chocolate-covered berries.
- Eat them on a “pizza” made from a whole-wheat tortilla or other healthy alternative. Pair with toppings like goat cheese and chopped pistachios.
- Marinate 1/2 cup of freshly rinsed berries with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey for a tangy and sweet dessert.
- Add fresh to whole-cooked oats and let sit for 5 minutes. Mix well. The heat will gently break the berries apart and let their flavor come through.
- Blend 1 cup of frozen raspberries with 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt (vanilla or coconut) and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice until completely smooth. Freeze for at least 4 hours and enjoy!