4 fresh summer berry recipes

Health

Savor the last of summer’s bounty with these simple, delicious, and healthy berry recipes. Whether you favor strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries, berries are among the most nutrient-dense fruits you can eat. Strawberries contain phytonutrients that may protect against heart disease, while raspberries contain cancer-fighting antioxidants. Blueberries may reduce the buildup of “bad” cholesterol and blackberries may help reduce the risk of some cancers. These four recipes are bursting with berries, and they are sure to satisfy your sweet-tooth morning to night. 

Meringue Nests with Gingered Blueberries and Blackberries
If you need a healthful dessert that is sure to impress guests, this is it. The individual meringue nests are topped with a zesty berry compote for a treat that’s high in flavor, but low in calories. And because the nests can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week, it’s also a great make-ahead option when you’re entertaining. 

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large egg whites
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided 
  • 1 (6-ounce) container blackberries
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 2 cups blueberries 

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 200° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg whites, along with cream of tartar, extract, and salt. (Note: If even a drop of yolk falls into the whites, the meringue won’t stiffen. If this happens, just start over with new eggs.) Using a whisk attachment, beat on high speed until soft peaks are formed, around two to three minutes. Slowly pour in sugar, beating until sugar dissolves and the meringue’s peaks are stiff, about one to two minutes. Spoon meringue into four mounds on the prepared baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon, form each mound into 4-inch “cups,” using the back of a spoon to make an indent in the center of each meringue (where the berries will go). Place meringues in the oven and bake until firm, about two hours. Turn off the heat, leaving meringues in the oven for one more hour. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, add blackberries, water, ginger, and remaining two tablespoons of sugar. Warm over medium-high heat, cooking until blackberries are softened and can be crushed with the back of a spatula, about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in blueberries. Let cool, transfer to a container, and refrigerate. To serve, place meringue nests on plates and fill with berry mixture. Serve immediately. 

Blueberry and Flax Seed Pancakes  
Wake up your taste buds with these supercharged pancakes, packed with whole-wheat flour, nutty flax seeds, and sweet blueberries. You can serve them the traditional way with a drizzle of maple syrup, or topped with a dollop of creamy Greek yogurt. 

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1¾ cups reduced-fat buttermilk 
  • 2 eggs 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cups whole-wheat flour 
  • ¼ cup whole flax seeds 
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1½ cups blueberries, plus more to serve, if desired
  • Cooking spray 
  • Maple syrup or Greek yogurt, to serve

DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, add buttermilk, eggs, and extract, stirring together with a spatula to combine. In a small bowl, add sugar, flour, flax seeds, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, using a spatula to stir together until just combined. Let the batter rest for about five minutes. Then, gently stir in the blueberries. Spray a large nonstick pan with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Portion 1/3-cup amounts of batter onto the pan. When bubbles appear on the edges of each pancake, flip them with a spatula and slightly flatten each pancake with the back of the spatula. Cook until each side is browned (about three minutes per side). Transfer to a plate. Continue with the remaining batter, coating pan with cooking spray when needed, until all the batter has been used. Serve pancakes with maple syrup or with a spoonful of yogurt and blueberries. 

Spinach Salad with Paprika-Rubbed Chicken Breast, Strawberries, Avocado, and Balsamic Dressing
Light, refreshing, and satisfying, this may be the perfect summertime salad. The combination of savory chicken, creamy avocado and a zesty homemade dressing would be great on its own—but the addition of sweet strawberries and ripe peaches really make this in-season salad sing. 

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1¼ pounds boneless chicken breast tenders 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 6 cups spinach leaves
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup chopped peach 
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced 
  • ⅓ cup sliced red onion
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds

 
DIRECTIONS
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. In a large sauté pan, warm the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté until golden on one side, about four to five minutes. Flip the chicken and continuing cooking about four to five minutes more, or until the meat is no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan; when cool, slice chicken into smaller pieces. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add mustard, garlic powder, and vinegar. Pour in olive oil, whisking to combine. Add spinach into a large bowl and toss with half the salad dressing. Portion spinach onto four plates. Add remaining ingredients on top of the spinach: chicken, tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, avocados, red onion, and almonds. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve.

Pork Tenderloin with Mixed Berry Salsa 
Salsa isn’t just for chips. This fresh, fruity version is the ideal complement to warm pork tenderloin. The best part? Any leftover berry salsa can be stirred with avocado chunks for sweet new twist on guacamole. 

Serves 6 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins, each around ¾ pound 
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chopped tomato
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, finely chopped and seeded (depending on spice preference)
  • 1 (6-ounce) container raspberries
  • 1 (6-ounce) container blackberries, halved if too large

DIRECTIONS
In a large zip-top bag, add garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil. Add pork tenderloin and coat. Place in refrigerator and marinate for two to 24 hours. To cook, preheat oven to 425° F. Coat a medium nonstick pan with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Season pork tenderloins with salt and pepper; add to the pan and brown both sides of the pork tenderloin, about two to three minutes per side. Transfer pan to the preheated oven until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 145° F to 150° F, about 18 to 20 minutes. When removed from the oven, let the pork rest for five minutes. Meanwhile, prepare salsa: In a medium bowl, add tomato, strawberries, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeños, and salt. Stir to combine. Gently stir in raspberries and blackberries. Serve salsa over pork.

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