Berries are a delicious part of summer and a great addition to a healthy diet. Some of the fabulous nutritional benefits of eating berries are:
- “Is best known for helping to keep food moving efficiently through your body. This is only one of the many ways fiber contributes to good health.” To learn more: EatRight.org
- “Such as vitamins C and E and carotenoids, which include beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein — help protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals.” To learn more: EatRight.org
- Are biologically active compounds found in plants that have been associated to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and help protect the good cholesterol in your body (LDL cholesterol). Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid found highest in blueberries, then bananas and strawberries (in the typical U.S. diet that is). To learn more: USDA
Don’t miss out on this refreshing Light Freezer Berry Pie below!
Fresh berries are available all summer long and in honor of that, July is Berry Month! I love incorporating tart, sweet, juicy berries into a variety of snacks, meals and desserts.
Here are ten delicious ways (and recipes) using berries:
- Freeze fresh berries while in season or purchase frozen berries to add into a smoothie, try our Berry-Nana Smoothie!
- Add to plain greek yogurt with granola and a drizzle of honey.
- Tumble berries into hot or cold cereal to add a fresh burst of flavor.
- Infuse water, seltzer or unsweetened ice tea, try our 3 ice tea ideas on Instagram! (@NourishedNCE)
- For a trendy sweet treat, push a dark chocolate chip into the cavities of fresh raspberries and enjoy!
- Incorporate berries into a summer fruit salad along with cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon.
- Want a treat for breakfast? Try adding fresh or frozen cranberries to oatmeal muffins!
- Make a delicious frozen treat like fresh Strawberry Sorbet (click here for our 3 Ingredient Strawberry Sorbet)
- On the go? Try a homemade trail mix with lots of dried fruit like apricots, blueberries, mangos and strawberries.
- Whip up one of my favorite desserts right now, our Strawberry Rhubarb Trifles, made with angel food cake to keep it light!
- Add any type of berries to fresh greens with crumbed goat cheese, walnuts tossed with a raspberry vinaigrette.
Have you tried berry picking?
A few years back I went blueberry picking and it was so much fun!
This is great activity to do with the whole family and friends, and you will leave with as little or as much fruit as you desire.
When I went blueberry picking we hauled home 13 pounds! So there are pros and cons of picking a ton of fruit. Pros: you have a ton of fruit! Make applesauce or jam, fruit salad or a pie, freeze for smoothies or to add to muffins! Con: cleaning, picking out stems, sorting, peeling, etc.
(I added inspirations quotes from Pinterest to the top just for fun!)
All in all it was definitely worth it! My mom and I made delicious no-sugar added blueberry jam and as a treat a blueberry crumble (hey everything fits into a balanced diet with moderation!)
Check out Pickyourown.org to find a farm you can go to experience it yourself!
To learn more about canning your own jam safely from the University of Florida IFAS Extension, click here
Now, for the grand finale, Light Freezer Berry Pie!
Gather a pre-made graham cracker crust that is labeled #8 servings, along with light whipped topping (defrosted).
You will need diced blueberries, diced raspberries, and seedless blackberry jam for the inside.
For the topping/ pretty garnish, slice strawberries and a few blackberries whole.
Now, just fold all of the berry-ness into the light whipped topping!
Spoon the filling into the pie crust and smooth out the top.
Here's the fun part! Decorate your pie with the remaining fruit.
Cover the pie with the plastic lining that came with your crust, just flip it around and it's a perfect fit.
Light Freezer Berry Pie
by Caitilin Perez, RDN
For the Filling:
½ c fresh strawberries, diced
½ c fresh blackberries, sliced
3 tbsp seedless blackberry preserves
3 c light whipped topping
1 -9in graham cracker crust (8 servings)
For the Topping:
½ c fresh strawberries, sliced
½ c fresh blackberries, whole
1) First, measure out berries separately for the filling and topping. Cut berries for filling into small pieces.
2) Fold preserves and berries for filling into the light whipped topping until combined. Fill crust with filling, spread evenly.
3) Top pie decoratively with sliced strawberries and whole blackberries.
4) Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
NOURISHING NUTRITION (per serving)
Calories: 189 Fat (g): 8 Sodium (mg): 130 Protein (g): 1 Carbs (g): 27