It’s berry season, and we’re overloading on them, to say the least. Whether it’s the great prices at Costco or the buckets you’re getting at the strawberry picking farms, local farm stands, or greenmarkets, we’ve got some more berry recipe ideas if you want to go beyond strawberry shortcake.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with strawberry shortcake!)
We’re thinking desserts, salads, and other creative uses for seasonal berries you might not have thought of. Be sure to grab those huge bulk containers, because you’re going to want to make all of them.
Creative ways to use berries: make compound butter
Saturday morning breakfast will be so much sweeter with this delicious Sweet Berry Butter at Mom Needs Chocolate on your biscuits or toast. Since you’re whipping up store-bought butter, not churning your own, this is a fantastic activity for kids to do with you in the kitchen. It’s so simple, but something that’s probably not normally on your breakfast buffet…so they’ll feel like they’ve contributed something really special to your breakfast spread.
Creative ways to use berries: freeze them for quick smoothies later
One of the first ways we think to use our berries up is to toss them in a smoothie. We found great tips at The Kitchn that show how to freeze the extra berries we have right now into individual smoothie kits. Bonus: it makes prep that much faster in the morning or for a quick snack.
If you’re looking for ways to really boost the health level of your smoothies, you’ll want to check out the tips from Marcel at Refresh My Healt. They add healthy fats, burn energy, and keep you full, like recipe for a Berry & Red Beet Smoothie, above.
Creative ways to use berries: add them to your summer drinks
We’re all getting creative with drinks this summer, and a good Southern trick is to add some fresh berries to your iced tea, then let it brew outside in the sun for a delicious flavor you just can’t get inside your kitchen. If you want to go even fancier, you could brew some of this sparkling blueberry hibiscus tea at Grateful Grazer (above) for a really refreshing, fizzy drink that would go perfectly with that chicken salad above.
Creative ways to use berries: Add them to your savory dishes
Don’t forget about adding fresh berries to a savory dish or salad! I love this Grilled Balsamic Chicken Berry Salad from Jen Around the World, with a perfect balance of savory and sweet. If you don’t feel like grilling chicken for a lunch recipe, then skip it and just add a scoop of store-bought chicken salad instead.
Other savory ways to work those berries in: layer them on a peanut butter sandwich instead of jelly, or mix your favorite berry jam with some white wine for a delicious salmon glaze.
Creative ways to use berries: homemade ice cream, of course
It just feels right to be making homemade ice cream right now. If you’re not sending all your money to Ben & Jerry’s, that is. I love this recipe for Roasted Berry Ice Cream at The Perks of Being Us because it doesn’t require an ice cream maker. Hooray! She includes instructions for roasting those strawberries and blackberries over the grill or in the oven, after which you just mix and freeze. In fact it requires just a short, simple ingredient list and reaps huge rewards. Yum.
If you don’t have the patience for ice cream, this blueberry milkshake recipe at Noshing with the Nolands is a terrific way to satisfy your sweet tooth quickly.
Creative ways to use berries: as pizza toppings
If you’re not sure about adding berries and balsamic vinegar to a homemade pizza, you need to check out this recipe for asparagus and prosciutto pizza at Kiwi and Carrot. It’s fresh and summery, filled with unexpected ingredients but so good. You can also make one to slice up into little appetizer-sized bites before your dinner main course to keep the family sated before dinner is ready. Or, when you entertain… once we’re allowed to have people over for dinner again, that is. Bookmark!