Candy That’s Good For You

Berries: Black, Blue, Red

Berries: Black, Blue, Red

Berries are like nature’s candy: sweet and delicious.  However, unlike regular candy, they are a powerhouse of nutrients for good health.  Berries are low in calories and contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and water with no fat, cholesterol, or sodium.

With such a variety of berries to choose from, there is a type for every taste.  The most popular berries include cranberry, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry.  They are so simple to prepare and are ready in practically no time.  Berries are perishable and should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within a few days of picking or purchasing.  Select plump, full-colored berries.  Avoid bruised, smashed, and slimy berries.  Before eating, discard bruised fruits, stems, and leaves, then gently rinse under cool tap water.

Portable and no fuss, they don’t even need to be cut.  Eaten alone or mixed with other sweet and savory foods, they complement most meals, salads, desserts, and snacks.  They are even good pureed for smoothies and sauces.

Adding berries to your diet is an easy and delicious way to boost your health without adding a lot of extra calories. Check out your local farmers’ market for berries and other fruit and vegetables in season.

Nutrition Information for Select Berry Varieties:
serving:  ½ cup raw     
Berry
Calories
Carbohydrate
grams
Fiber grams
Potassium milligrams
Blueberry  whole
42
11
2
57
Blackberry whole
31
7
4
117
Cranberry
whole
23
6
2
40
Strawberry  sliced
27
6
2
127
Raspberry  whole
32
7
4
93
Berry Jams Party Bites

Berry Jams Party Bites

Try this simple breakfast idea from the USDA What’s Cooking Mixing Bowl.

Berry Jams Party Bites

Ingredients
3 whole grain English muffins, split in half
6 tablespoons peanut butter (or any other nut or seed butter)
1 cup fresh sliced strawberries
½ cup fresh blueberries

Directions
1. Spread one tablespoon peanut butter on each English muffin half.
2. Layer strawberries and blueberries on top of each English muffin half, covering peanut butter.
3. Serve immediately or chill until served.

Nutrition information per serving: Makes 6 servings (½ muffin each)
Calories: 177; 9 g fat; 20 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 4 g fiber; 225 mg potassium; 195 mg sodium; and 
100 mg calcium.

Click here to visit the USDA Nutrient Database for complete nutritional information for all kinds of berries as well as other foods.