by Joanna Latimer
With summer just around the corner, we’re all looking forward to getting our hands on some fresh berries. These sun-kissed fruits are not only delicious, but they’re also packed full of health benefits. Just a few servings of berries a week can help keep your brain running on all cylinders and prevent diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Also, their high content of fiber and liquids aids in weight loss, making you feel fuller for longer. These, along with many other benefits, are just some of the reasons you should include berries in your diet.
Below are some ideas on how to use berries this summer.
Simple Berry Sauce
A berry sauce is an excellent way to spice up your bowl of vanilla ice cream or even pour over top of a sweet and creamy cheesecake. It’s also a good option if you bought too many berries and they’re starting to go bad (you could also use frozen berries if you just can’t wait to make this, though). To go into details, click here.
Take 2 cups of your choice of berry (could be strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.), if you’re feeling adventurous you may go with a mix of berries for your sauce. Place them in a saucepan along with 1/3 cup of sugar and some lemon zest (no more than a teaspoon). Heat up the mixture and let it simmer for 2 minutes, occasionally stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. And voilá, your sauce is done. Let it cool and spoon it all over that ice cream.
Summer Berry Tart
You can make an excellent looking tart in no time with nothing more than store bought puff pastry, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and plenty of fresh berries. For this summer berry tart, you will need to get your hands on some fresh fruit, the fresher, the better. Since they won’t be getting cooked in any way, you want them to be juicy and firm, but still sweet. Bake the puff pastry until it’s nice and golden, once it’s completely cool, add a layer of cream cheese sweetened with a bit of sugar and vanilla, then pile on the fresh and washed berries. You could go with your favorite berry, or choose a mix of them. Finish off with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Check out the recipe for exact ingredients and amounts.
Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
Take your vanilla cupcakes to the next level by adding half a cup of fresh chopped strawberries to the batter before baking them off as usual. Once they’re done and have had plenty of time to cool, you can decorate them by using a strawberry buttercream (add 4 Tbsp of strawberry jam to your favorite plain buttercream recipe) and finish it with any other big fresh berry on top.
Check out the recipe for more details.
Watermelon and Strawberry Sangria
Combine watermelon and strawberries in a blender and strain it into a pitcher. Then to the resulting juice, add vodka, orange juice, a bottle of rose wine, and orange liqueur. Let the mixture macerate in the fridge for 24 hours, and you’ve got a killer sangria that everyone will love. Remember to add some extra berries for garnish.
Frozen Berries as Ice
Keep your drinks cold without watering them down by using frozen berries as ice. Just wash the fresh fruits and put them on a tray in the freezer for a few hours, or maybe just grab a bag of frozen berries from your local grocery store. Then you can plop these frozen treats straight onto your glass. Keeps the liquid fresh and makes the glass look cool too.