Let's talk berries! These low-cal treats hit a nutritional sweet spot and brighten up our summertime menus. Berries are low in calories, high in fiber, and they contain vitamins and minerals your body needs to function normally.
Be sure to look for bright, plump strawberries with healthy-looking green caps. Ten medium-size strawberries have only 38 calories (one cup=about 50 calories) and deliver 118% of your daily vitamin C and 10% of fiber needs. How's that for a dose of 'good-for-you'??? This little berry is also loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants that have been shown to prevent skin, bladder and breast cancer in lab studies.
One cup of blueberries provides a smaller amount of vitamin C, plus some minerals and phytochemicals for only 83 calories. The same amountof cranberries is similar, but with only 44 calories, one cup of raspberries offers vitamin C and potassium for 64 calories.
Some simple ways to enjoy berries are:
- Top a bowl of berries with a dollop of light-whipped topping and a sprinkling of chopped pecans or walnuts.
- Add strawberry slices to a bowl of whole grain cereal.
- Sprinkle blueberries on a salad.
- Stir fresh raspberries or blackberries into Greek yogurt.
- Combine frozen berries with bananas and low-fat milk to make a smoothie.
- Add dried berries to warm oatmeal.
Here's some of my favorite summer recipes including berries.
BAKED WAFFLES WITH RASPBERRY CREAM CHEESE
8 frozen buttermilk waffles
4 Tb.cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 c. sliced fresh raspberries (or strawberries)
(I cut the raspberries in half, but you wouldn't have to)
1-1/4 c. milk
6 lg. eggs
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
Garnish: fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 350. Arrange waffles in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Spray an 11" X 8" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line waffles in a single layer on the bottom of dish.Spread cream cheese over waffles. Top with raspberries. Arrange remaining waffles over raspberries. In a small bowl, whisk together milk,eggs,and maple syrup.Pour mixture over waffles. Cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 375. In a small saucepan, whisk together brown sugar and butter over medium high heat until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Pour over waffles. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set in the middle. Remove from oven;let stand 10 minutes before serving. Top with additional raspberries if desired.
I think this is one of the very best strawberry pies you'll ever enjoy! So thankful my blogging buddy "Cooking with Kay" shared it!
EASY ALMOND STRAWBERRY PIE
1 sm (4-serv.size) pkg. (sugar free) strawberry Jello
1 pkg (4-serv.size) vanilla flavored cook and serve pudding, (not instant)
1-1/4 c. water
1-1/2 pt. (about 3 c.) strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tsp. almond extract
2 c. whipped cream
Combine Jello and pudding mix in a medium saucepan. Stir in water, cook and stir over high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Add almond extract and stir in sliced strawberries and pour into the pie shell. Chill until set, about 2 - 3 hours. Top the pie with whipped cream. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the whip cream if you like.
Can't resist sharing the easy pie crust included with this awesome recipe. No rolling pin required. Just push the crust into the pan with your hands. And it's oh so tasty too.
HOMEMADE BUTTERY SHORTBREAD PIE CRUST
1/2 c. butter, melted
1-1/4 c. flour
3 Tb. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325. In a medium bowl, mix butter, flour and powdered sugar until crumbly. In an 8-or 9-inch pie plate, pat crumb mixture evenly with your fingers being sure to go all the way to the edge. Crimp the edge of the dough. For pre-baked crust such as for a icebox fruit pie, cream pie or chiffon pie, bake for 25 minutes. Fill when completely cooled.
WENDY'S COPYCAT BERRY ALMOND CHICKEN SALAD
Mixed greens (spring mix or romaine)
Strawberries, washed and chopped
Asiago cheese, grated
Sliced (or slivered)Almonds, roasted
Grilled chicken breast
Add greens to your bowl, then add desired toppings. Pour on some raspberry vinaigrette to enjoy a fabulous salad.
We've been enjoying this next recipe since I was a newlywed. Always my 'go to' recipe when I have lots of blueberries. I recently received a letter from Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks informing me that this will be my fifth recipe in one of their upcoming books, "Mom Knows Best", being released next spring. Yippee!
BLASTIN' BLUEBERRY CRUNCH
1 c. brown sugar
(can use 3/4 c.)
1-1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. all purpose flour
(or white wheat)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt, optional
1/2 c. butter or margarine,melted
1/2 c. white sugar
1 heaping Tb. cornstarch
3/4 c. water
2 Tb. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 - 4 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter; mix well .Line bottom of 8" square baking dish with half the oatmeal mixture.
Combine sugar and cornstarch, then add water and lemon juice. Boil until thick, stirring constantly, then add vanilla and blueberries. Pour over oat mixture. Sprinkle top with remaining oat mixture and bake 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.
Enjoy your summer! Be sure to remember: Life is the Berries!