Easy, Healthy Summer Berry Recipes

Summer is the peak time to enjoy locally harvested, fresh berries. These berries taste and look different than berries you can get in the middle of winter: they are more vibrant in color and depth of flavor. Take advantage and make these dishes!

If you need another reason to stock up on berries any time of the year, consider this. Berries are packed with fiber, unique antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Research has shown a higher intake of berries is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease.

Most adults, depending on age, activity level, etc, should get between 1.5 – 2 cups of fruit per day. However, it is estimated only 1 in 10 American adults get the recommended fruits and vegetable servings per day.

TIP: Stock up on fresh, local berries when they are in season. Store them in the freezer so you can enjoy them throughout the year in smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, muffins, yogurt, etc.

The following are easy, healthy ways to enjoy fresh berries this summer. Many berry recipes can use either fresh or frozen berries.

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Fresh Berry Pudding

Forget fake tasting pudding mixes with artificial flavors and stabilizers. This simple Banana & Berry Hemp Seed Pudding from Minimalist Baker has just seven ingredients: bananas, fresh berries, coconut/almond milk, hemp seeds, chia seeds and a dash of ground cinnamon.

Simply blend everything together and put in the refrigerator for 2 hours to set. Kids and adults will love this naturally sweet, healthy, refreshing pudding for breakfast or as a snack.

The chia and hemp seeds naturally absorb some of the liquid to form a pudding consistency. They also boost the fiber and protein content.

Photo Source: minimalistbaker.com

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Easy Berry Jam

Possibly one of the quintessential ways to capture the goodness of fresh berries is to make them into jam. There are many delicious family passed down, homemade jam recipes that requires the longer process of canning.

However, this Bumbleberry Chia Seed Jam from Broma Bakery can be made in about 15 minutes with no canning process required. This jam has only 3 cups of berries, maple syrup to taste, chia seeds and lemon juice.

Spread this jam on everything: bread, PB & J, into yogurts, oatmeal, pancakes, etc. It can keep about 7 days in the fridge and in the freezer up to 3 months.

Photo Source: bromabakery.com

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Berry Salad

Want a simple, fresh berry recipe as a quick side for dinner or for a BBQ? A berry salad can be the answer. This berry fruit salad recipe simply contains strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries stirred together with a honey, lemon juice mint dressing.  

A handful or two can easily be added to any leafy green based salad. This berry salad with lime-basil vinaigrette simply has berries mixed with spinach, sliced almonds and goat cheese mixed with a dressing of olive oil, fresh lime juice, honey and chopped basil.   

Adding in fresh herbs, acidity and a heart healthy fat are simple tips for making a healthy, balanced, satisfying summer salad with berries. Any of your favorite salad ingredients can pair well with berries.

You can even make a berry vinaigrette with fresh berries that can be used as a salad dressing or as a dressing for other savory dishes.

Photo Source: showmetheyummy.com

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Berry Gallette

A gallette is basically a simplified, un-fancy pie that can be made fairly quickly. Gallettes can be made any time of year with any fruit. A berry gallette can be a delicious way to enjoy the fresh taste of summer berries without spending all day in the kitchen.

This Jammy Strawberry Gallette by Half Baked Harvest can be a family winning way to enjoy fresh berries. This gallette’s filling simply has 4 cups of strawberries (can be subbed for other berries), a little honey, jam, cornstarch and vanilla for the filling.    

Photo Source: halfbakedharvest.com

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Berry Oats

Whether you prefer hot or cold overnight oats, fresh berries can be easily added for either healthy breakfast option. In fact, frozen berries can also be easily added to oatmeal any time of year.

This Mixed Berry Overnight Oats recipe has ½ cup of berries and ¼ cup of banana per serving. Simply combine the night before oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, banana and berries in a container in the refrigerator.

You can also make a baked oatmeal dish using fresh berries and re-heat (or eat cold) for breakfast throughout the week. Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas combines blueberries, oats, bananas and walnuts (optional) to provide an easy, delicious breakfast/brunch option throughout the summer. 

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Holly Klamer is a registered dietitian (RDN) with a MS degree in nutrition and exercise science. She specializes in sports nutrition, helping people cook and building healthy relationships with food. She writes nutrition based content for various platforms and teaches culinary nutrition classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.