In the middle of summer, markets are positively bursting with fresh vegetables, greens, and (best of all) berries. Berries are pretty much nature’s candy. Plus, they’re loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamins A and C, which boost the immune system and promote eye health, among many other benefits. Eating a handful straight from the carton (after washing, of course) has its merits, but here are a few more ambitious ideas to spark kitchen creativity. Berries are at their best for just a few short weeks each summer; so don’t wait! Grab a few containers (or better yet, pick your own) and give these healthy recipes a go!
1. Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes This mile-high stack of pancakes with dairy-free coconut cream and strawberries makes quite the show-stopping breakfast. Plus, the pancakes are made with buckwheat flour and non-dairy milk so the whole dish is compltetely gluten-free and vegan.
2. Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Bread Somewhere between coffee cake, banana bread, and blueberry pound cake, this healthy loaf is a great way to start the morning. Whole-wheat flour, applesauce,bananas, pecans, and plenty of fresh blueberries make it super-wholesome. Top with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt for a protein boost.
3. Raspberry-Almond Muffin Tops This Seinfeld-worthy recipe proves that the top really is the best part of the muffin. These honey-sweetened soft muffins are not too sweet and make a hearty breakfast when topped with a schmear of nut butter.
4. Blueberry-Hazelnut Muesli Muesli, a classic Swiss breakfast cereal, is like granola’s healthier cousin. It’s kind of crunchy, kind of chewy, nutty, and not too sweet. This version, loaded with hazelnuts, blueberries, and coconut, is perfect with skim milk or yogurt.
5. Healthy Blackberry Muffins Blueberry muffins are dime a dozen at any neighborhood bakery, but breakfast treats with blackberries are significantly harder to come by. The tart, juicy berries give these healthy muffins a nice burst of summer flavor.
For all 45 berry recipes -- breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks and drinks -- go to Greatist.com.