Frozen berries are a versatile and tasty year-round staple, says Niki Bezzant.
1. Berry crumble
For a simply delicious dessert, layer 300g frozen berries in the bottom of a baking dish. Cover with a topping made with 1/2 cup oats, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons reduced-fat spread and 4 tablespoons flaked almonds mixed well together. Bake at 180ºC for about 20 minutes, until topping is golden. Serve with lowfat vanilla ice-cream or low-fat ricotta with a drizzle of honey.
2. Warm berry breakfast
Add 1/4 cup frozen blueberries to your porridge – either straight into the bowl before microwaving, or add to the pot at the end of cooking. Serve berry porridge with a drizzle of honey and yoghurt.
3. Sunday special
For a special weekend treat, make thick berry pancakes. Just add frozen berries to the batter right before cooking. Serve them with thawed, warm berries over the top and a large dollop of low-fat vanilla yoghurt.
4. Fruity muffin creations
Add any frozen berries to a favourite muffin recipe. Experiment with different combinations, such as banana and blueberry; raspberry and chocolate; or mixed berry, apple and bran.
5. Berry coulis
Make an easy berry sauce to serve with cakes, puddings or other desserts: Simply sprinkle a little caster sugar over frozen berries, let them defrost, then purée the mixture in a blender or food processor. If you like a smooth sauce, press puréed berries through a sieve to remove any seeds.
6. Blues-busting brekky
This delicious breakfast is sure to get you up and moving. Combine 1 chopped apple, 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 banana, 1 cup skim milk or blueberry or apple juice and blend until smooth. For extra fibre and flavour, add 1/4 cup rolled oats.
7. Chocolate berry cake
Make HFG’s moist, delicious Gluten-free chocolate cake with marshmallow icing (simply search for it on our website, at www.healthyfoodguide.com.au) and add 1 cup frozen berries just before cooking – at the end of Step 2.
8. Healthy strudel
Combine frozen berries and cooked or fresh apple slices. Add sultanas and a dash of vanilla essence. Prepare 4 filo sheets by spraying each sheet with oil and stacking them. Place fruit mixture at one end, then roll up like a strudel. Brush with egg and bake for 15 minutes, until pastry is crisp. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt.
9. Berry meringue ice-cream
Soften a tub of low-fat vanilla ice-cream. Add frozen mixed berries and blend using an electric mixer or blender. The ice-cream should turn a lovely pink colour. Add more berries and crumbled meringue pieces. Mix gently so meringue doesn’t break. Re-freeze the ice-cream until firm, then serve. Top with even more berries, if you desire. Absolutely delicious!
10. Berry (ice) blocks
This treat isn’t just for summer! In a blender, blend together 1 litre low-fat vanilla yoghurt with a 500g box of frozen berries (either mixed or one type of berry) and 2 tablespoons honey. Pour mixture into ice-block moulds and freeze for several hours.