Packed with sweet, juicy flavor, fresh-picked berries are a refreshing and nutritious addition to summer meals. Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, magnesium and other nutrients. Their dark, brightly-colored skins contain phytochemicals and flavonoids that may reduce cancer risk. Blueberries and cranberries help prevent bladder infections while blueberries and raspberries contain lutein, which promotes healthy vision. Now available at farmers markets and grocery stores, fresh, ripe berries are a nutrient-rich choice for meals and snacks.
For a healthy start to the day, try these quick tips:
sprinkle fresh blueberries over whole-grain cereal
stir raspberries into a cup of low-fat or Greek yogurt for a mid-day pick-me-up
add tangy sweetness to summer salads by tossing a handful of sliced strawberries into salad greens
mix berries with melon chunks for a refreshing fruit salad.
For the ultimate summer chiller, cool down with a delicious berry smoothie.
For a filling breakfast or satisfying snack, create delicious smoothies by combining berries and other fruit with your choice of yogurt, juice, water, ice or milk. (Tip: Freeze berries before blending.) Dont be afraid to experiment with different berry and fruit combinations. To get started, try this easy recipe:
Summer Berry Smoothie
1 1/4 cups frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and/or blueberries)
1 cup banana, thickly sliced (or substitute kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, plum or peach)
1 cup low-fat or Greek yogurt or silken tofu
1 cup juice, nectar or milk (skim, lactose-free, soy or almond)
1/2 cup ice, optional
Sweeten to taste with Splenda, Truvia, honey or sugar, optional
Place all in blender and blend until smooth. If necessary, add juice, milk or water to thin to desired consistency. Makes 2 to 3 servings.
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Photo Credit: Talk of Tomatoes