Besides tasting delicious and being a quick and easy food to prepare, berries are also packed with nutrition, often referred to as super foods. Experts suggest eating a serving of berries two times per week to get the most benefit. We have berries almost on a daily basis at our house. I like to snack on them or put them on salads. My two-year-old loves them, especially in his yogurt.
BLACKBERRIES: composed of about 80 percent water and healthful fiber, these berries can contribute to weight loss, lower elevated cholesterol levels or manage type II diabetes. The folate in blackberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and helps maintain healthy hair. The rich blue-black color indicates exceptionally high levels of healthful antioxidants.
STRAWBERRIES: providing 160 percent of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C for immune support, strawberries are also rich in folate, fiber and potassium (for healthy blood pressure). The red anthocyanins in strawberries help protect cells from damage by harmful molecules. Strawberries are also a source of essential vitamins B1 and B5 (pantothenic acid) for energy, as well as manganese for bone growth.
RASPBERRIES: abundant in antioxidants, raspberries are particularly noted for their content of ellagic acid, a potent cancer fighter. High in fiber (4 g per cup), vitamin C, manganese and niacin, raspberries have a mild flavor but a powerful nutritional impact.
BLUEBERRIES: phytonutrients in blueberries protect cells from damage that may lead to cataracts, glaucoma, peptic ulcers, heart disease and even cancer. Also a good source of vitamin C, blueberries are an excellent source of manganese for cell production. Eating blueberries may protect the brain from oxidative stress and help guard against age-related dementia.
Freezing berries can help you enjoy them all year long and is easy to do. Simply wash the berries and lay flat on a baking sheet line with wax paper. Once they are frozen, put into freezer bags and keep for up to six months. Frozen berries work well in making smoothies, jams or jellies, pies, muffins and fruit salads. Try blending frozen berries with a little sweetener and use to top ice cream, mix into Greek yogurt or even serve on pancakes and waffles.
Recipe adapted from www.hy-vee.com
All you need:
1 large egg, beaten
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp skim milk
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 c. whole wheat or complete pancake mix
c. finely ground walnuts
c. flax seed
Pinch of salt
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbsp sugar
All you do:
1. In small bowl, mix together egg, oil, honey, milk and banana. Set aside.
2. In large bowl, combine pancake mix, ground walnuts, ground flax seed and salt. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir together.
3. Spoon batter onto hot skillet. Cook until bubbles start to appear on surface and flip. Cook until light, golden brown.
4. In nonstick saucepan, combine blueberries and sugar. Cook until blueberries are warm and softened. Spoon warm blueberries on top of each pancake and serve.
July is National Berry Month, celebrate with this recipe:
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee.