berry berry salad

Fresh Fruits: A Summer Season Delight

Summer is here and fresh fruit is in abundance!  Locally Sourced fruit and especially fresh berries are my go to snack. Fruits and berries provide many health benefits. They are loaded with fiber, vitamins A, C and K (just to name a few), and full of antioxidants called anthocyanins.

If you recall from my previous writings,  anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid (flavonoids are phytonutrients or plant chemicals found in most fruits and vegetables) that make up the red, purple, black, and blue colors of different berries. This is influenced by pH levels. Anthocyanins also act as antioxidants. They fight free radicals, and there is additional evidence that they may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits!

Why Locally Sourced?

Enjoy fruit that is locally sourced in your area. Did you know there are many benefits to eating locally sourced fruits?

Here are a few reasons to consider: 

  • Produce is fresher – Locally grown fruits  are picked at their peak ripeness and not transported long distances, thus fresher and have more flavor!
  • Increased nutrients – Locally picked and transported fruit retains more nutrients than fruit that is picked not quite ripe (even green) and ripen artificially.
  • Supports local farmers – Buying your fruit (and vegetables) from local farms helps the local economy and to keep farms in business.
  • Reduces food waste – When you support your local farmers at the farm stand or at the grocery store (look for signs that say Locally Grown), if you are like me, you will buy  only what you need to eat and therefore reduce waste.
  • Better for the environment – Locally grown food requires less energy to produce and transport, therefore better for our earth.


Consider integrating delicious fresh fruits into your menus this summer. Here is one of my favorite recipes with fresh fruit, berries and mint. It’s so refreshing.  

To Healthy Cooking and Eating!

Melissa

P.S. Don’t forget to follow me in the Power of 5 Test Kitchen and join in the happenings!

Power of 5 Test Kitchen Cookbook ~ Your Guide to  Healthy  Cooking and Eating, is here with many more tested healthy Power of 5 recipes, even a section for healthy Power of 5 Dog Treats! Melissa’s BowWowof5 dog treats! Get your copy now!

I am very proud of my Published Power of 5 Test Kitchen Cookbook ~ Caregiver Edition!

“Full of recipes, helpful hints, and the tools you need to promote safe and meaningful engagement for those with those challenged with an illness, your kitchen can be a place where fun and health flourish, no matter the challenges you face.”

Fresh Fruit & Berry Salad

Making a fruit salad is a simple and easy addition to any meal. Or it can even be a meal on its own! Use the fruits and berries of your choice to create a delicious, flavorful and light dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Anytime!

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz Strawberries Sliced
  • 6 oz Blueberries
  • 6 oz Blackberries
  • 6 oz Raspberries
  • 2 Kiwifruit Peeled and sliced
  • 1 – 2 sprig Mint Fresh, whole leaves or chopped
  • 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips Melted (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Choose the berries for your salad
  • Wash and gently pat dry to remove excess water
  • Place all berries and kiwifruit in a bowl and gently mix

Dark Chocolate Dip

  • If you have a double boiler pan, fill the pan with water, turn stove top burner on medium-high heat and let boil.
  • Place chips in the top portion, place on top of pan, and stir until melted.
  • If you use a microwave: place chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish, heat for 1-2 minutes, stir every 30 secs until fully melted
  • Drizzle over the berries salad after they are in individual serving bowls and enjoy!

Notes

Melissa’s Modifications: There are an abundance of recipe options which include fruit and berries. It is easy to make a quick fruit salad, of course. Here are some other suggestions in keeping with our theme of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods to help strengthen our immune systems.

Add Fresh Mint

Did you know mint has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties? It does! Mint facilitates smoother digestion, makes your mouth feel fresh, and soothes swelling. It can keep mucous at bay and aid good lung health.

Dark Chocolate Dip

Dip fresh whole strawberries into melted dark chocolate (melted in a double boiler). You can eat these as-is or refrigerate to create a crunchy chocolate coating. This is a double-hit: high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties!
Nutritional Values:
Blueberries – 1 cup: 84 Calories; Fat .5g ; Fiber 4g ; Carbs 17g; Protein 1g.
Dark Chocolate: 1 ounce – 133 Calories; Fat 8g ; Fiber 1.3g Carbs 12.7g; Protein 1g.
Remember, dark chocolate and berries are packed with antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavanols. Enjoy 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate (70% cocoa and greater) and 2-3 cups of fruits and berries each day.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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