This really is the time berries are at their best with flavor, pricing and availability. Sure, I work for a company that grows berries, but I do really enjoy having them on hand whenever I need them, even in the winter. Here are three ways that I use and store berries in the summer:
1. Freeze 'em
I am one of those people that always has berries in my freezer! Summer is the best time to really stock up and plan for those months in the fall and winter when berries may not be as plentiful and affordable as they are right now. It is so easy to freeze berries, they could be your freezer ‘staple’ too.
Just drop blueberries, blackberries and raspberries right into a Ziplock bag and freeze – just make sure they are dry(so they don’t stick together) allowing you to remove a few at a time when needed. With strawberries, I remove the caps and either slice in half or leave them whole before placing them dry in a bag in the freezer as well.
Frozen berries in smoothies are part of my morning ritual and having the berries frozen eliminates the need to add any ice to the recipe. We have some great smoothie recipes on our site that I frequently rotate to keep things interesting.
Thebutter me up smoothieis perfect if you have a combination of different types of berries – just use a cup of whatever you have. Thisblackberry pineapple smoothieis also delicious and I have frozen pineapple in my freezer, so it makes this recipe that much easier to make.
2. Spread 'em
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, we entertaina lotand our friends are always asking about my favorite berry recipes and ways I like to prepare them, knowing we often feature different types of recipes.
Well, this one is perfect for my Pinterest page because it allows for creativity based on what I might have in my fridge at the time. I love using recipes as a ‘guideline’ and thisberry bruschetta with honey yogurt spreadprovides latitude when I opt to cover the baguettes with brie, or a slice of sharp cheddar.
Sometimes I just build a beautiful spread using thisberry and cheese platterphoto as inspiration and create a colorful and inviting display. No need for a centerpiece or table decoration when you have this as the star of the table.
3. Make 'em on the go
Berries are so versatile and really lend themselves to just about any eating occasion. While I love to drop them into just about any fresh recipe and freeze them all year long for smoothies, jams and cobblers, they are also great for non-cooked recipes on the go. Outdoor summer events often require easy to eat snacks out of hand for the beach or pool, so this quickblueberry energy bitesrecipe is great for that or even to throw in my purse on the way out the door to work.
Speaking of grab and go…One more favorite for recipe that is a family favorite, thisgrab n go breakfast-wrapfor those days when you just don’t have the time to sit down for breakfast. For me, this is the perfect Saturday morning breakfast as I run my weekend errands around town.
The theme of this post is creativity, so use these recipes as a guideline and feel free to improvise and use what you might have on hand to put your own spin on these and enjoy. If you come up with some great alternatives, let us know! Have a happy summer, and I hope your family enjoys time together creating memories…don’t forget the berries!