A Whole Foods Market recently opened near our kitchen and all of us girls went running out for organic produce, cold-pressed juices, berry bowls and “healthy snacks” . We all went skipping along not a care in the world, perusing all the aisles, adding to our baskets…until we got to the check out.
They call it Whole Pay Check for nothing! Realizing my new obsession was quickly bankrupting me, I decided that I could do Whole Foods one better. Instead of paying $6.00 a berry bowl, I decided to take matters into my own hands. With a little time each week, some know-how and the right tools I knew I could make a delicious, healthy and more cost-effective bowl that would satisfy my growing addiction.
I start by purchasing organic assorted berries, depending on what they have at my local farmer’s market or grocery store; my usual cast of characters include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. I love this mix because the berries are tart, yet sweet and they kill my sweet tooth in its wake.
Once I get home I unpack my berries, separate into their respective bowl, wash and de-stem the strawberries. I prefer to not wash the other berries as it will encourage molding due to their delicacy. This is why it’s important to buy organic that way you won’t ingest any pesticides or the like, besides a little dirt never hurt anyone!
I get my 16 ounce delis from work, but you can also find them here and here. Also, if you are a fan of Indian takeout, most items, I have found, come in this type of container. Just be sure to give them a good wash to remove any lingering curry. These containers stack well in the fridge, are resusable and are small enough to transport. You can also get them in a variety of sizes including 8, 24 and 32 ounces.
To make your own berry bowls you will need:
7-8 16 oz deli containers with lids
32 oz strawberries, rinsed and de-stemed
12 oz blackberries
24 oz blueberries
12 oz raspberries
I line my delis up and start my assembly line. I start with the strawberries first, followed by the blackberries, blueberries and finally the raspberries, trying to make even laters. I then lid them all and seal tightly. The bowls can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, but I typically go through them in a 2-3 days.
Berry bowls are perfect for a mid-morning or afternoon snack, a side at breakfast or lunch and are always a great alternative for dessert. In conjunction with helping you get your 5-a-day, raspberries contain a whopping 8 grams of fiber for every cup, blueberries are chock full of antioxidants and all berries contain high levels of Vitamin C and K. In addition, if you are looking to slim down for bikini season, berries are proven to reduce belly bloat, keep you full longer and aid in digestion.
For a rough 15 minutes once or a couple of times of week, I would say there are so many good reasons to incorporate building your own berry bowls into your routine and once in the habit you will have a hard time saying bye-bye to berry season!