Summer is coming, and that means all sorts of yummy produce goes on sale. My favorite: Berries. They’re sweet, they’re delicious, they’re kid-friendly (if your kids aren’t picky eaters, that is). When berries go on sale, you may find yourself buying a ton and then wondering what to do with it all! You can only eat strawberries straight up for so long, right?
I get excited in summer because it means devouring berries in many different ways. Here are my favorite ways to use cheap summer berries, both in summer and during the off-season!
Having dessert-like items for breakfast is one of my favorites. Since berries are so low-calorie, I load up my breakfsat with them so I can eat more and stay full longer. For the longest time, for breakfast I’d eat a cup of Greek yogurt, some sort of granola/cereal/breakfast bar crumbled in, and about a cup of berries (Usually strawberries).
Oatmeal is really good, too! If you can’t stand the thought of eating hot items in summer, overnight oats are super good and berries work well with them. Here are some of my favorite recipes- Although not all of them specifically have berries in the recipe, I always add blueberries or strawberries on top:
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
- Oatmeal Cookie Overnight Oats
- Strawberry Shortcake Overnight Oats
I LOVE smoothies. I sometimes try to call them milkshakes so Allison will actually drink it (What kid doesn’t like smoothies?). The best way to make smoothies, in my opinion, is to freeze your fruit first so you don’t have to use ice. It makes the smoothie really creamy and delicious! Here’s my typical base smoothie:
- 1 cup milk (Usually almond milk)
- 1 frozen banana
Then you can add whatever you want- strawberries, blueberries, oats, honey, peanut butter, cocoa powder… It’s all good, really.
Again with the dessert for breakfast. Allison loves pancakes and could probably eat them all day, so I want to make sure there’s at least a little nutrition in them. In addition to adding carrots to my pancakes (In this Carrot Pancake recipe), I’ve been adding blueberries to them at Allison’s request. I think blueberries are really the perfect addition to pancakes or waffles; they’re small and easy to mix in, and so delicious!
Adding sliced strawberries on top is also pretty amazing. Especially when it’s topped with maple syrup. Don’t you want to just eat a big plate of this every day?
I’ll be honest- I’ve always been weirded out by adding fruit to a salad. I like fruit salad, mind you- but adding sliced strawberries to a salad with cheese and other savory foods? No thanks. But I recently tried strawberries in a salad, and it truly works; I was really surprised! You have to use the right salad ingredients; like I’m not sure ranch dressing would taste good with the strawberries. But fruit can definitely make a great addition to a summer salad.
Have you ever made jam? I haven’t, but I’ve been willing to try. I don’t have canning materials and don’t plan to, but I’m open to using my freezer!
Freeze for later
You can definitely freeze berries! When I see them go on sale or get marked down to 99 cents or less per pound/pint, I snag as many as I can. I remember at one point buying 5 each of strawberries and blueberries and then thinking, “How int he world am I going to deal with all this?”
The easiest way to freeze berries is to wash and slice, then lay them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them in the freezer; and once fully frozen, you can transfer them to a labeled freezer bag. I may be weird, but I prefer frozen berries in my yogurt because it has a good texture to it. Plus, the berries help freeze the yogurt ever so slightly, creating an almost-frozen yogurt!
What are your favorite ways to use up cheap summer berries? Leave a comment below!