Blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries not only are delicious, but they are also top in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. (Antioxidants may help increase our immune function and protect against cancer and heart disease.)
Berries (except for cranberries) are “in season” in late spring and summer which means they will be less expensive now than other times of the year.
When buying, look for firm, plump, full-colored berries. Avoid buying bruised or oozing berries. Turn the container over to check berries at the bottom. Berries don’t continue to ripen after harvest, so when choosing strawberries stay away from green or yellow ones.
When I see a good deal on berries, I buy extra and freeze them. To freeze, put a single layer on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. When frozen, put them in a freezer bag. This way they don’t freeze together and you can take out just what you need.
When you get berries home, cover and refrigerate them but wait to wash them until you are ready to use them. This way they will hold for several days. To wash, put the berries in a colander and spray with clean running water and then spread on a paper towel to dry.
Try to serve berries au natural so you don’t add a bunch of calories to them. Here are a few ideas:
- Put some in a plastic container to eat as a snack or lunch on the go
- Add to a bowl of whole grain cereal
- Make a yogurt parfait
- Sprinkle on salads
- Make fruit kabobs along with other fruits such as pineapple chunks, bananas, and grapes.
- Add to frozen ice cream or yogurt
- Make smoothies
For more information about berries, here is another resource: