AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. –Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, oh my!
The summer is the peak season for most of the delicious berries we like to incorporate into many of our favorite meals. However, not only are berries tasty to eat, but they also come with several health benefits that make them the perfect companion to your summer meals.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries and more provide different nutrients, including an array of vitamins, fiber, calcium, potassium and folate. Additionally, these berries are also fat- and sodium-free and have tons of antioxidants for your body.
“Berries are a great lower-calorie, sweet treat,” said Sofia Sanchez, a registered dietitian and Alabama Extension community health specialist. “For example, one cup of blueberries contains 85 calories and 114 mg potassium — a nutrient we all need more of due to its benefits for cardiovascular health.”
One of the best things about consuming a large variety of berries is the different ways to add them to your meals. They are delicious all by themselves. There’s nothing wrong with taking a handful of berries on a hot day and eating them as a cool snack. They also go well in salads, parfaits and a perfect partner with nonfat Greek yogurt.
Berries are also the perfect road trip snack. They travel well in a cooler and could be used to enhance your water’s flavor on a hot day instead of turning to a sugary drink. Try adding these versatile fruits into your summer lineup for snacks or meals this summer.
Here are some of Live Well Alabama’s favorite recipes that use a variety of berries.
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, 12 ounces
- Nonfat blueberry Greek yogurt, 12 ounces (optional flavors: vanilla, honey or strawberry)
- Wash and dry blueberries.
- Place wax paper on a baking sheet.
- Using a toothpick, dip each blueberry into the yogurt until completely coated. Place on baking sheet.
- Repeat until all blueberries are coated.
- Place baking sheet in the freezer.
- When frozen, serve or store in bags for later.
- 2 whole-wheat English muffins, split
- 4 tablespoons plain yogurt
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
- 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1 can diced pineapple, 8 ounces, drained
- Toast each English muffin half in the toaster.
- Spread each half with plain yogurt.
- Sprinkle tops with cinnamon.
- Top each half with strawberries and pineapple.
For more information about the benefits of berries, or for more recipes including berries, visit LiveWellAlabama.com.