Fresh berries are packed with so much flavour, and the ease with which you can pop them in your mouth makes it seem like you’re eating candy. But unlike berry-flavoured Skittles, actual fresh berries are surprisingly low in sugar and high in vitamins and powerful antioxidants. If you’re trying to scale back on the carbs, but you still have a sweet tooth, they’re awesome options for snacking.
Now, I do admit, I enjoy occasionally sitting in front of the TV with a full bucket of berries and eating them like movie theatre popcorn, but lately, I’ve been trying something different. With the high volume of summer fruits available right now, I’ve been getting more creative with recipes to use them in. I’m actually kind of surprised by how versatile they are””they’re definitely not just reserved for desserts and snacks.
Here are my favourite healthy, easy berry recipes that you can make with your recent harvests here in Edmonton!
Berries and Cream
Okay, on a very serious note: this is my all-time favourite fresh berries recipe. On those late summer nights when I’m too tired to whip up something elaborate, I love making fresh whipped cream and serving a big dollop on top of a mix of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries. The whipped cream is super simple””just buy a carton of whipping cream, add some sugar and maybe a drop or two of real vanilla extract, and then beat it until it’s nice and thick.
Whole Grain Berry Crumble
A healthy berry crumble is a classic comfort food that still packs some considerable nutritional benefits. Use a mix of old fashioned oats and whole wheat flour, butter, cinnamon, and coconut sugar as the crunchy coating. Toss your fruit with a little extra coconut sugar and lemon juice; coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than most other natural sweeteners, so it’s a great alternative that tastes incredible in baking.
Strawberries and rhubarb are a perfect combo if you like fruit desserts that are more on the tart side. Currants are a super underrated berry that go really nicely in crumbles, while blueberries are pretty much perfect in everything. Though, a dollop of vanilla frozen yogurt will take it to a whole other level of tasty.
Berries, Candied Pecan And Goat Cheese Salad
For those who don’t exactly cheer at the mention of salad for lunch, this fruity recipe will likely win you over. It’s also an excellent opportunity to use up fresh garden spinach or other lettuce greens. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are the best contenders, and they’re balanced so perfectly with creamy, crumbled goat cheese and crunchy, salty-sweet pecans. Toss in a creamy raspberry poppyseed vinaigrette, and you’re good to go!
Big Kid Berry Freezer Pops
No matter how old you are, it’s so lovely to enjoy an ice-cold popsicle on the patio on a summer day, but the sugar-packed storebought varieties aren’t the healthiest. Instead, I make classy popsicles with fancy herbs and fruit, because I’m a mature adult. (Okay, sometimes I still buy the Star Wars lightsaber pops, but that’s beside the point).
In a blender, mix your choice of fruit with a suitable herb like mint, lemon balm, or even basil, which goes surprisingly well with strawberries. To reduce tartness, you can add some yogurt, coconut milk, or the remarkably delicious dairy alternative, oat milk. It kind of tastes like the milk leftover at the bottom of a bowl of Cheerios!
A little bit of honey or coconut sugar will add a touch more sweetness. Freeze your blended mix in a popsicle mold, and when you want to remove them, run the mold under warm water for a few seconds, but avoid getting any water on your pops.
Berry Basil Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
My mind was blown the first time I tried pork tenderloin with a berry glaze. I had no idea how good it would be! Once again, basil is the perfect sidekick for strawberries or blueberries in this recipe, but the tangy acidity of balsamic vinegar gives it that aromatic, savoury quality. Crush up your chosen berry with a potato masher (I usually stick to one berry instead of doing a mix for this recipe), add a splash of balsamic, minced basil, salt, oil, pepper, a little lemon, and a drizzle of honey.
Marinate your pork tenderloin in the mixture for a few hours, and then throw it in the oven or the barbecue until it’s cooked through. (A meat thermometer is helpful for getting the doneness just right!) Since the sauce has some sugar in it, it caramelizes and chars a bit faster on the grill, so if you don’t want it to be as blackened, cook it in the oven. Serve with mashed potatoes and some steamed green beans from the garden!
Mixed Berry Chia Pudding
Eating berries for breakfast is a fantastic way to get a big dose of vitamins and a little energy to sustain you through your workday. Overnight chia pudding is the latest recipe craze that is blowing up the internet, because chia seeds are packed with a phenomenal amount of fibre and other valuable nutrients, and they’re so simple to prepare. All you have to do is toss them in a cup with milk or a dairy-free alternative and then add any fruit or nuts you want to jazz it up. Pop it in the fridge before bed, and in the morning, you’ll have a soft, sweet parfait that seems way too good to be a superfood.
Want to add some berry shrubs into your yard? They add plenty of ornamental value to the landscape, and the steady supply of snacks available at your fingertips is a major bonus. Visit Salisbury in-store, or check out our Grow Store to see what we have available to plant now! We still have curbside pickup and delivery options available, so feel free to call us at the shop if you’d like to make those arrangements.