July 8, 2019
National Berry Month
Summer is here and so are seasonal fruits like berries! Some berries that are in season for the summer include blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Health Benefits of Eating Berries
- Berries are rich in vitamins and minerals that also provide antioxidants to boost the immune system and protect against damage to the body’s cells and tissues.
- Antioxidants can also reduce risk for cancer, heart disease, age-related vision loss, and dementia.
- Berries are also a good source of fiber.
Adding Berries to Your Diet
- Berries are easy snacks to take with you on the go.
- Place fresh or dried berries in a small container, mason jar, beeswax reusable wraps, or Ziploc bags.
- Click here for extra storage tips!
- Berries can be:
- Added to yogurt parfait, oatmeal, or cereal
- Frozen and blended into a smoothie
- Used to make fruit-infused water
- Used to make homemade jams and jellies
Shopping for Berries
- Choose berries that are dry, firm, plump, and have a solid, bright color.
- If purchasing in a container, avoid bruised, moldy or wet berries (signs of spoilage).
- Support your local farmer’s markets:
- Berries bought in season at local farmers’ markets are fresher and have higher nutritional value than imported berries found in supermarkets.
- Cheaper in cost than imported berries due to less distance from farm to table
- Less likely to be exposed to pesticides and herbicides
Enjoy fresh berries using this recipe for Berry Oatmeal Bars:
Serving Size: 18 bars Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 30 min.
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups ground oats
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped walnuts and/or almonds
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups frozen or thawed mixed berries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a square (8×8 or 9×9 inch) non-stick baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil and brown sugar.
- Stir in ground oats, old fashioned oats, walnuts and/or almonds, baking soda, and salt.
- Place 2 cups of mixture from bowl into the prepared pan.
- Gently press down until an even crust forms.
- Pour in mixed berries.
- Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely at room temperature.
Serving option: with icing – lemon juice and powdered sugar mixture
(Adapted from recipe: https://showmetheyummy.com/vegan-raspberry-oatmeal-bars-recipe/)