Berries are not only delicious, they are also packed with nutrients that prevent diseases and boost overall health. On top of that, berries can also help with your diet – providing you with maximum health benefits with minimum calories.
That said; why not add berries to your desserts, salads and even breakfasts? Below are four ways to enjoy your favorite berries. All recipes are from health.com.
Fresh Berry Napoleon
Fresh Berry Napoleon combines the creamy texture of yogurt and the crunchiness of a cookie. It’s just like an ice cream sandwich – without the saturated fat – thanks to the three antioxidant-rich berries in this recipe.
6 ounces blackberries
6 ounces raspberries
1/2 pound strawberries
8 ounces low-fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
8 waffle or sugar cookies
In a bowl, gently combine blackberries and raspberries. Hull and quarter strawberries; set aside. Zest lime, and juice 1/2 lime. Process yogurt with lime zest, lime juice, honey, and half of the cut strawberries in a blender. Top each of 4 waffle or sugar cookies with 1 tablespoon strawberry-yogurt mixture, 1/3 cup blackberry-raspberry mixture, another drizzle of strawberry-yogurt mixture; sandwich with another cookie. Garnish with remaining strawberries, and serve.
Black and Blue Berries in Ginger Syrup
This is dessert recipe is perfect if you’re looking for what health.com calls "a satisfying, but not-too-sweet, end to your meal." It’s all because of the mixture of the citrus flavor of the berries and the sweet tangy taste of ginger, that makes this a refreshing – not to mention healthy – dessert.
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups blackberries, divided
1/3 cup turbinado or granulated sugar
2 (1-inch) pieces peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 (3-inch) strips lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups blueberries
2 cups lemon sorbet (optional)
Bring 2 cups water, 1/2 cup blackberries, sugar, ginger, and lime zest to a boil over medium-high heat in a saucepan, stirring just until sugar is dissolved. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine strainer set over a bowl; don’t press on solids. Reserve the syrup, discarding the blackberries. Then stir in the lime juice.
Add the remaining 2 cups blackberries and blueberries to the syrup. Serve over 1/2 cup lemon sorbet, if desired.
You can’t make a berry recipe list without including one for strawberry shortcake. Sure, this one’s probably the most calorie-laden of the bunch, but and most of them is in the heavy syrups. This dessert acutally packs only 1 gram of fat per serving compared to other desserts. Plus, the strawberries are rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants.
1 tablespoon "measures-like-sugar" calorie-free sweetener
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (about 1 pint)
6 spongecake dessert shells (5-ounce package)
Combine sweetener and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in orange juice. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, and stir in extract. Cool completely.
Combine orange juice mixture and strawberries in a bowl; stir gently. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
To serve, spoon sauce over dessert shells.
Chocolate Chip Pavlovas with Raspberries and Apricots
This dessert combines the tartness of raspberries with the sweetness and delicateness of Pavlova. Semi-sweet chocolate chips keep the flavor rich, while spoonful of yogurt adds creaminess to the texture. Aside from complementing the Pavlova, the raspberries also lug nutrients, with its high vitamin C & manganese content.
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3 apricots, pitted and thinly sliced
6 ounces raspberries
4 tablespoons fat-free vanilla yogurt
Preheat oven to 200°. Trace 4 (3-inch) circles onto 2 sheets of parchment paper (8 circles total), leaving 1 inch between. Place paper onto baking sheets.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites with mixer on medium speed just until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high, add salt and cream of tartar, and beat until egg whites form soft peaks. Add 1/4 cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat just until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
Starting at the center, spoon meringue onto the circles, using 1/2 cup per circle. Use a spoon to press in center of each meringue to shape it into a nest.
Place 1 baking sheet on the middle oven rack and 1 on the bottom. Bake for 1 hour or until set, switching sheets halfway through. Turn off heat; let cool in the oven 8 hours or overnight. Pavlovas will be crisp on the bottom.
Combine fruit mixture and remaining 2 teaspoons sugar in a bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Top each meringue with 1/2 tablespoon yogurt, then fruit. Serve immediately.