Organic Berries: Pick the Season's Sweetest Stars

Sweet! There’s just no other way to describe summer’s organic berries ... well, besides juicy, flavorful, perfectly ripe and ready to enjoy right now.

Sweet! There’s just no other way to describe organic blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries ... well, besides the fact that they’re deliciously juicy, bursting with flavor, perfectly ripe and ready to enjoy right now.

Picking berries Our produce buyers and field inspectors work closely with growers to offer you the berry best (hehe) in flavor, color, size and freshness. But what should you look for when choosing luscious organic berries in the store?

Here’s a field guide:

Blueberries. Look for firm, dry, plump berries with a subtle, whitish bloom (natural powdery coating)

Strawberries. Choose firm, dry berries that are uniform in color with a good sheen and fresh green caps attached

Raspberries. Pick plump, dry and even-colored berries — some varieties have a natural bloom and some have a shinier appearance

Blackberries. Reach for berries deep in color with a nice sheen. Ideal color ranges from deep blue/purple to deep purple/black

Tip: When in doubt, ask any Team Member for a taste! (It’s really no trouble. Just ask.)

Storing berries So you’vepicked the best berries of the bunch, have a basket ripe for devouring, but you’re not ready to eat just yet. Here are three tips to help you preserve summer’s bounty.

  • Don’t wash berries until you’re just about to serve them

  • Store your berries in the refrigerator

  • For maximum enjoyment, consume berries as soon as possible after purchase. (I mean really, why wait?)

Anytime, anywhere One of the best things about enjoying organic berriesis that they’re a perfect match for nearly any meal or snack – anywhere! Here are our picks for easy and delicious ways to celebrate these versatile seasonal standouts.

  • Balance flavor and nutrients in your green smoothie by adding fresh or frozen berries.

  • Freeze berries and water or juice in ice cube trays to cool iced tea, lemonade or sparkling water.

  • Layer berries, granola and yogurt for a delightful breakfast parfait.

  • Gently toss berries in powdered sugar and a splash of organic balsamic vinegar, and let sit for about five minutes for a quick sauce to spoon over vanilla ice cream or lemon panna cotta.

  • When adding berries to pancake batter, dust lightly with flour and add them last to keep them from sinking in the batter bowl.

  • Top grilled flatbreads or split pita pockets with sweetened mascarpone and berries for dessert pizzas.

  • Bake into muffins, cakes, cobblers or crumbles. Arrange berries in a design on top of a custard-filled tart shell for an elegant dessert.

  • Add berries to spinach salads with fresh goat cheese, toasted slivered almonds and citrus vinaigrette.

How do you enjoy organic summer berries? Do you experiment with savory-sweet dishes and snacks? Or are you a traditionalist, who sticks to eating berries as a sweet treat at breakfast or dessert time?

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