Why Berries Are the Best Summer Treats

blueberriesNothing quite says “summer” like berries! And that’s a good thing, because not only are berries excellent sources of antioxidants—anthocyanin is the purplish-reddish pigment that makes blueberries blue and blackberries black—berries contain less sugar than most fruits do. (Tropical fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and bananas contain the most sugar.) And thanks to tiny seeds found in/on most berries, they also have higher levels of fiber compared to other fruit. The delicious moral of the story? Enjoy fresh berries while they last!

Note that frozen berries are also a good option—they typically cost less than fresh fruit, and if you’re going to bake them into pies or blend them into ice cream, it’s fine to use frozen berries. In fact, if you find a deal on summertime berries, you might want to freeze them yourself to extend their life: just spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet, pop them into the freezer until they’re completely frozen through (that usually takes a few hours), then stash them in a zip-loc freezer bag.

One caveat: according to the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list, strawberries are the #1 most-sprayed produce in the US, so you might want to pay a little bit extra for organic strawberries. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php

 

Blueberry Peach Crisp

Makes an 8”x 8” crisp

16 ounces fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried

2 large peaches, sliced

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¾ cup raw buckwheat flour or sorghum flour or brown rice flour*

½ cup rolled oats (be sure to use gluten-free oats if you’re making a gluten-free crisp)

2 tablespoons sucanat, divided

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 stick butter, chilled

 

Preheat oven to 375F. Thoroughly grease a 8”x 8” glass baking dish with butter.

In a medium bowl, toss the blueberries and peaches with the maple syrup. Place in the baking dish, arranging in an even layer.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, 1 tablespoon of the sucanat, and spices. Cut the butter into chunks and use a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the flour mixture to make coarse crumbs.

Scatter the flour mixture evenly on top of the fruit, then sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sucanat on top of the flour. Bake for 50 minutes or until the berries are burst and bubbling and the top of the crisp is golden brown.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving to give the fruit juices a chance to thicken and set.

*These are gluten-free flours. If you’d rather make a wheat-based crisp, substitute ¾ cup kamut, spelt, or whole-wheat flour.

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