July is National Berry Month and the folks at Driscoll’s were kind enough to share some information about berries and some recipes with me. Enjoy!
• Portable, palate pleasing and packed with nutrition, berries are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Simply put, eating fresh berries is a smart thing to do.
• The pigments that give berries their red, blue, yellow, black and purple colors are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our cells from oxidative damage and inflammation, and they have been linked to heart and brain health, supporting a healthy immune system and protection against certain cancers.
• Toss colorful berries into your leafy green salads or get creative and make a simple vinaigrette dressing with puréed berries to add visual distinction and extra antioxidant power to your meal.
• Berries show up on almost every list of “Super Foods” recommended by nutritionists to improve the quality of our lives. Combine berries with other nutrition stars such as salmon, spinach, flaxseed, olive oil, beans and tomatoes.
• Berries are a classic smoothie ingredient and with good reason – brilliant color, great flavor and nutrition. Combine them with other fruits and veggies to achieve a power drink that delivers multiple servings of fruits and vegetables, yet is still “berry-licious.”
• Berries blended with yogurt, banana, spinach (yes, spinach!), flaxseed oil and the juice of your choice is a refreshing, heart-healthy pick-me-up. Did you know if you toss frozen berries straight from your freezer into the blender you don’t need to add ice?
• On the go? Grab a container of tasty blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries for your next hike, picnic or errand-running afternoon.