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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

7 Recipes to Make With Fresh Berries for the Ultimate Spring and Summer Treat

We’re in full blown spring now and summer is just around the corner. Along with the hot sticky temperatures and proliferation of allergies, these warm months bring a lot of fresh, yummy foods. One of the best and most versatile are berries. While they aren’t truly in season just yet, now is the time when they are beginning to get ripe again. And truly, it is never too early to start planning all the things you want to make with these fruits.

Berries — and the summer months in general — tend to bring out the lightness in food, so most of the recipes I’ve collected here aren’t that bad for you. I have yet to meet someone who enjoys feeling weighted down by food whilst dripping in sweat, so I have a feeling that this will be much appreciated.

Fresh Strawberry Cake {via spiced blog}
This isn’t exactly healthy for you BUT this particular cake isn’t intense or cloyingly sweet the way that some cakes are. It is also probably one of my most loved and thus most baked cakes ever. And it’s all because of the irresistible strawberry frosting, which is actually just a sweetened whip cream that you beat freshly chopped strawberries into. It is HEAVENLY and that is not hyperbolic in the least. This cake is great to make for any of the spring and summer holidays that will be here before we know it, or simply just because you had some strawberries in the fridge that you wanted to show off.

Image Credit: ashim d’silva

Dragon Berry Smoothie {via weelicious}
Smoothies are a year round thing but they’re definitely more enjoyable in the summer months when you need some cooling down versus those winter months when you are already feeling cold. Catherine McCord of Weelicious is the smoothie queen in my book and recipes like this one are exactly why. The main stars of this smoothie are dragon fruit and raspberries. Dragon fruit (or pitaya) obviously isn’t a berry, but it is a tasty fruit that is in season this time of year and helps give this smoothie that gorgeous color. The berries here are the raspberries and not only do they have that yummy flavor but they contain a lot of fiber. Pair that with the other healthy ingredients in this smoothie and you are starting your day off right. And colorful!

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins {via skinnytaste}
Blueberry muffins seem to be popular no matter where you go, what time of the day it is, or even what time of the year it is. Everybody is always down for a blueberry muffin! These are my current go-to recipe for a few reasons: 1) they are the actual size that muffins should be (NOT bowling bowls covered with glaze); 2) they contain oats (blueberries and oats are such a yummy combo); 3) they are healthy; and, 4) they are extremely quick to put together. I have a feeling once you make these even just one time they’ll find their way into your normal rotation of baked goods as well. They make a great breakfast, or breakfast side, or even just a snack throughout the day.

Blueberry Brownies {via iambaker}
I know that blueberries in a chocolate baked good might seem a little odd but if you really think about it, it’s not too far out — it’s just berries in chocolate. That’s a very common combination of flavors! If you are craving a brownie but want to do a little more than the standard, I recommend at least trying out this recipe. You might be a little surprised by how much you enjoy it. Eat bite gives you not only that rich chocolate flavor, but a nice fruity sweetness that actually enhances the deepness of the chocolate. Just in case you are feeling a little Fall-y, I have also made these brownies with fresh cranberries in place of the blueberries and adored them all the same.

Blackberry Hoisin Ginger Pork Tenderloin {via carls bad cravings}
If you’ve never tried berry preserves and pork than you are seriously missing out. Once you can wrap your mind around the fact that you are adding a sweet fruit to a savory meat than you are opening yourself up to a world of flavor. In addition to the preserves, this marinade uses hoisin sauce and fresh ginger. Hoisin is an Asian sauce that is commonly used in stir fries and has a bit of a sweetness to it. And fresh ginger is one of my personal favorite ways to elevate what could otherwise be a plain meal. The zing of flavor it adds just perks up everything else in the dish and having it here in combination with the blackberry is genius. This is a really great summer dinner.

Image Credit: danielle macinnes

Fresh Strawberry Sorbet {via paula deen}
If you have an ice cream maker at home, go ahead and pull it out of the box to make this sorbet. Similarly to the strawberry cake from above — this is the most adored sorbet that I’ve made yet. It is also shockingly simple. You are making a simple syrup that you mix with pureed strawberries and that’s it, that’s the entire sorbet. The only additional thing that you need to do is strain the mixture through a strainer and put it in the machine to churn. It might be tempting to skip the straining step but the 5 minutes it takes to get the seeds out of the mix is 5 minutes well spent. I promise you’ll thank yourself for taking the time once you taste that smooth, perfectly textured sorbet.

Blackberry Margarita {via serious eats}
Having a list of delicious ways to use fresh berries and not including a cocktail of some sort seems wrong. And since I’m not into breaking any foods laws, we’re going to drink a blackberry margarita now. It’s no secret that I love a margarita but my favorite way to put a spin on it is to crush up some blackberries and add them into the mix. The way the tartness of the berry mixes with the tequila and orange liquor is just unmatched. Truthfully, you don’t need a recipe for this; just make it to your taste, or simply take your favorite margarita recipe and smash some blackberries in there. But if you are new to cocktail making or just want to make sure you get the ingredients exactly right, this is the recipe for you.

What’s your favorite berry recipe?

Featured image is by Cecilia Par.

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One Comment on “7 Recipes to Make With Fresh Berries for the Ultimate Spring and Summer Treat”

  1. Trina and Tina April 20, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

    Tasty love!

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