Fruit can be a great and healthy way to sweeten up your meals, and they make for an especially refreshing and lower-calorie treat during the warmer months.
Berries weigh in at only 25-45 calories per half cup serving and contain fiber and vitamin C.
Hy-Vee Registered Dietician Melissa Jaeger shared information about some favorite summer berries:
- Blueberries: The fruity flavor of blueberries works to “lighten” the taste of meat and cheese dishes while still remaining a compatible flavor pairing for already light dishes such as salads and snacks. A pigment called anthocyanins gives blueberries their color.
- Blackberries: Blackberries have a slightly sour flavor, so recipes often include added sugars to accommodate the taste. Be mindful of your sugar intake when cooking with extra sweeteners.
- Raspberries: Washing fresh raspberries can cause them to be mushy, or even fall apart. Just dip them in cold water to allow them to maintain their shape, whether using in a recipe or eating fresh.
- Strawberries: To get children on board with a berry recipe, strawberries are the way to go. More than 50 percent of 7- to 9-year-olds consider strawberries their favorite fruit. Americans eat between 3 and 4 pounds of fresh strawberries every year (plus almost 2 more pounds frozen).
What is acai? Acai is a berry that grows on palm trees along the riverbanks of the Amazon rainforest and is famous for its use in açaí bowls. Acai berries are antioxidant-rich (just like blueberries) and are rich in omegas (supporting brain and heart health).
Recipe: Strawberry Banana Acai Bowls
All you need:
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1 (3.5-oz) package frozen unsweetened acai, thawed
- ½ banana, sliced and frozen
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp honey
Optional toppers: sliced strawberries, chopped mango, coconut flakes, sliced almonds, chia seeds
All you do:
1. Combine strawberries, acai, frozen banana, mint and honey in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into 2 (8-oz.) serving bowls. Top with desired toppers.
You can find more delicious recipes from Hy-Vee here.