Summer is berry season! Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are all harvested during the summer months. Not only do berries taste good, they also pack a nutritious punch. Berries contain important phytochemicals and antioxidants that support the immune system. Now is the perfect time to add some berries to your meals and snacks. For fresh berries, buy them at your local grocery store or farmer’s market or go to a farm where you can pick your own berries.
According to MyPlate.gov’s recommendations, half of your plate should be made up of fruits and veggies. Daily fruit recommendations vary depending on age and sex. Women who are 31 years old and older should aim for about 1 ½ cups of fruit a day. Women who are 19-30 years old and men men who are 19 years old and older should aim for about 2 cups of fruit per day. To read more about daily fruit recommendations and what counts as a cup of fruit, visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov/fuit. If you are a cancer patient in treatment or need additional calories, more fruit than the standard recommendations may be helpful. Ask a registered dietitian what a good daily goal is for you.
Berries stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to one week, but it’s best to eat them within three days. Store berries in a sealed container (except for blackberries which can remain uncovered). Before eating berries, rise them in cold water. Use a colander for easy rinsing. For more tips on buying berries, visit eatright.org from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Here are a few ideas to use your fresh berries.
- Add fresh berries to your oatmel, cereal, or yogurt at breakfast.
- Eat a handful of berries as your mid-morning or afternoon snack.
- Drizzle berries with a little melted dark chocolate for dessert.
- Blend frozen berries with yogurt and a banana to make a tasty smoothie.
- Add berries to a pitcher of ice water for a sweet, rehydrating drink.
Check out these PearlPoint-approved recipes for inspiration on how to add more berries to your day:
Ricotta, Basil, and Strawberry Toast