July: National Berries Month!
Fresh, fun, and flavorful!
Kick off the month of July with a handful of your favorite berries! July celebrates “National Berries Month” and includes all berries including blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Since they are in season, July is the perfect time to start incorporating berries into your daily routine!
The many reasons to consume berries:
Berries pack a nutritional punch in each bite. They are highly nutritious, containing many vitamins and minerals. Did you know that one cup of strawberries provides a whopping 150% of the Recommended Dietary Intake of Vitamin C? Berries are also loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants may help boost immune function, fight inflammation, and protect against cancer and heart disease. Another great thing about berries is they are a good source of fiber. Consuming fiber helps you to feel fuller longer and promotes digestive health.
Tips on how to include more berries into your diet:
Luckily, this is an easy and delicious step! Feel free to simply add berries to the foods you already eat. For example, try adding some strawberries to a bowl of yogurt or oatmeal in the morning. At lunch, sprinkle some blackberries or blueberries on a salad with a grilled protein of your choice (chicken, shrimp, tofu). For a tasty dessert, try adding a berry of your choice to some Greek yogurt, ice cream, or frozen yogurt. Berries are also delicious by themselves. Have fun with it! Try mixing a variety of berries together to make a beautiful multicolored berry salad.
What to look for when shopping:
This is prime time to shop for berries since they are in season. Take advantage of local farmers’ markets where you can buy fresh, locally grown produce. Look for firm, plump, and full-colored berries. Avoid buying any bruised or oozing berries. If you are buying berries in a container, make sure to check the berries at the bottom, too. Before preparing or eating, wash berries under clean, running water, then let dry. Consume right away, or store in the refrigerator. For maximum flavor and freshness, use within 1-3 days.
Tip: If you participate in SNAP, for every $5 of food stamps spent on participating farmers’ markets, you will receive $2 in Philly Food Bucks, which can be used to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables! Learn more at: http://thefoodtrust.org/what-we-do/foodbucks
Try this at your 4th of July BBQ!
Strawberry Yogurt “Cake”
Serves 8 | Serving Size: 1/8th of a cake
Recipe from: foodandhealth.com
- 4 cups of sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Shaved chocolate (use a potato peeler)
- Julienned fresh mint
- Place the berries in a large mixing bowl and lightly mash them with a ladle or wooden spoon.
- Place the yogurt in a different large bowl. Top the yogurt with the mashed berries, then press down very well to compact the berries.
- Invert the bowl onto a plate.
- Garnish the “cake” with shaved chocolate and mint and serve cold.