Mixed Berry Margaritas


We love creative cocktails, especially ones that can be thrown together from ingredients you already have on hand. That’s why we’re currently crushing on this Mixed Berry Margarita, which is easy to shake up from a handful of no-fuss ingredients, including your favorite berries—fresh, frozen, or a combination. Even better, the Mixed Berry Margarita can be made in larger quantities in advance, so you can get ahead on your dinner parties or brunch prep. Then simply pour, add some ice and fresh or thawed berries for garnish, and you’ve got a hand-crafted cocktail that will please even the pickiest of beverage fans.


Mixed Berry Margaritas

Makes 4



1 cup mixed berries (we used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar or agave

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

3/4 cup tequila

1 tablespoon triple sec

sugar or salt


fresh berries, optional



1. Combine the berries, water, and sugar or agave in a small saucepan, and heat over medium. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the berries are soft. Allow to cool completely. When cool, strain the syrup to remove most of the berry pieces.

2. Combine the berry syrup, lime juice, triple sec, and a handful of ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. If preparing in advance, omit the ice, and store in a covered container in the fridge until needed.

3. In a bowl large enough to fit your glasses, pour about 1/4 inch of water. In a similar bowl, place about 1/4 inch of salt or sugar. Dip the glasses, upside down, in the water and then follow with a dip in the sugar or salt. Shake off the excess, and place the glasses right-side up on your work surface.

4. Pour the margarita mixture evenly into each glass. Add extra ice, if desired, and a few fresh berries for garnish, and serve.

Classic Acai Bowl with Mixed Berries


It seems like acai bowls are available at almost every juice bar or café these days, and for good reason: the acai berry, which comes from the acai palm tree—a native of Central and South America—is one of the most potent superfoods on the planet. Like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, it’s an antioxidant-rich food that matches up to, and sometimes even surpasses, its super fruit sisters in vitamins, trace minerals, and beneficial compounds. Even better, acai bowls are incredibly easy to make, requiring only a few ingredients (acai puree is sold in many health food stores and even in major chains like Trader Joe’s) and a blender, so you can duplicate them at home for a fraction of the cost.


Because acai isn’t the most palatable fruit on its own, for this acai bowl recipe, we blend in strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries for sweetness; use frozen berries to make a slurry-style bowl, or fresh berries for a more souplike consistency. Top with more fresh berries and other sliced fruits and a bit of granola or chopped nuts, and you’ve got a nutrition-dense breakfast or an energy-boosting pick-me-up in the middle of the day.


Classic Acai Bowl with Mixed Berries

Makes 1 bowl



1 packet acai puree, thawed just until soft enough for blending

1 1/3 cup mixed strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries (use frozen and slightly thawed for a slurry-like texture, or fresh for a souplike texture)

1 banana

1/2–1 cup almond or coconut milk

1/3 cup sliced fresh banana, mango, melon, pineapple, or other favorite fruits

1/4 cup granola

Agave nectar (optional)



1. In a blender, combine the acai puree with 1 cup berries. Add the milk, starting with the smallest quantity and adding as needed until the desired consistency is reached.

2. Pour the acai-berry blend into a bowl. Top with the remaining berries and sliced fruit, and a sprinkling of granola. Squeeze a small amount of agave nectar over the top, if desired for sweetness.



Blueberry Raspberry Zucchini Bread


We’re always looking for ways to make baked goods healthier. One of the best ways to do this is to reduce the amount of sugar used in the recipe, and add the nutritional boost of berries.

For this Blueberry Raspberry Zucchini Bread recipe, raspberries and blueberries take center stage in a light, fluffy, lemony zucchini bread. It’s the perfect way to showcase your farmers’ market haul—while also using up some of that extra zucchini. Larger, less flavorful zucchini are perfect for this. Be sure to drain the grated zucchini well, especially if it’s from a large squash; bigger zucchini tend to have a much higher water content. This recipe makes 2 large loaves or 4 minis—so you can share with friends, take them on picnics, or freeze a loaf or two for later!

Here’s how to make a crowd-pleasing Blueberry Raspberry Zucchini Bread:


Blueberry Raspberry Zucchini Bread



  • 4 flax “eggs” (4 tablespoons flax meal combined with 12 tablespoons water)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup applesauce

  • 1 cup canola oil

  • 2 cups unpeeled, grated zucchini, drained for at least 20 minutes

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 2 1/2 cups wheat flour

  • 1 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, or a mix of blueberries and raspberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the flax “eggs” and allow mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Then beat the flax “eggs” on medium with the sugar and applesauce until well mixed. Add the oil and beat again. Add the zucchini, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix well.

  2. In a separate bowl, mix the flours, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. With the beaters on, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Gently fold in the blueberries and raspberries.

  3. Pour the batter into 2 silicone (or greased and floured) 5 x 9-inch loaf pans, or 4 mini loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean.

  4. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely. 


The Quick & Easy Way to De-Stem Strawberries


We’re firm believers that one of the best ways to enjoy strawberries is to eat them in their perfectly fresh, natural state. And while we don’t mind nibbling the berries right up to the stem or coring a few with a paring knife, neither option works well if you’re serving a crowd.


When you’ve got a fresh, local strawberry haul to share and guests are on the way—for your Fourth of July barbecue and beyond—there’s just one tool you need: a plastic, metal, or bamboo drinking straw. Rinse it clean, then follow these three simple steps:


1. Grasp the strawberry in one hand, with the bottom pointing to the side.


2. Press the straw into the bottom of the strawberry, and continue pushing straight up until the straw comes out the top, taking the stem and core with it.


3. Repeat with the other strawberries. To clean the strawberry cores out of the straw, use a barbecue skewer, pipe cleaner, or pipe brush.


De-stemming your strawberries makes them easy to use in a variety of recipes, from smoothies to salads and sauces for savory entrees. Because removing the cores will affect the structure of the strawberries, core them shortly before you plan to use the berries.


Easy Blueberry Strawberry Waffles


We love a quick weekday breakfast that helps us kick-start the day. But, in our book, weekends are for waffles. They’re the quintessential slow-down food, perfect for lingering over with any number of sweet toppings and a cup of our favorite coffee or tea. Waffles are also:

  • Easy to make

  • Sweet and savory

  • Crisp and tender

  • Filling

  • Incredibly crowd-pleasing!

For a healthy take on this American favorite, try our Easy Blueberry Strawberry Waffles. Made without dairy products and refined sugar, they’re also low in fat. (For a gluten-free take, replace the wheat or spelt flour with all-purpose gluten-free baking flour.) Blueberries cooked into the waffle add a deep, jammy flavor, while fresh strawberries sprinkled on top provide a bright sweetness. And since both berries also possess a wealth of health benefits, you’ll get dozens of necessary nutrients—all in one sweet, easy-to-love package.


The best part of this Easy Blueberry Strawberry Waffle recipe is that it almost always makes leftovers. Place leftover waffles in an airtight container or a ziplock baggie in the fridge for up to a week, or store in the freezer for up to 2 months. To maintain their crisp outsides, never heat leftover waffles in the microwave; instead, warm them in the toaster oven.


Easy Blueberry Strawberry Waffles


1 1/2 cup whole wheat or spelt flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup non-dairy butter/margarine or oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup sliced fresh or frozen strawberries



  1. Preheat and prepare the waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and mix. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, applesauce, butter, and vanilla, until no lumps remain. Fold in the blueberries and mix just until combined.

  3. Depending on the size of the waffle maker, pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup batter in the center of each heated waffle maker plate. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cooking time.

  4. Place the cooked waffles on a plate in the oven until all waffles are cooked.

  5. Serve warm with sliced strawberries, maple syrup, agave, whipped cream, or other favorite toppings.

Nourish Your Skin with Strawberries


Long before there were $100 moisturizers and serums, and beauty marketplaces for buying them, like Sephora and Ulta, people made skin-care products straight from their gardens. Fruits like strawberries played a major role, thanks to their ability to cleanse the skin while maintaining its moisture and leaving behind a healthy glow. In fact, 1950s style icons like Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe both attributed their luminous skin to a DIY mask made from mashed strawberries, honey, and a little water.


Turns out they were on to something. As dermatologists have discovered, strawberries are full of a variety of naturally occurring compounds that are incredibly healthy for the skin. These include: 

  • Carbohydrates, which are hydrating.

  • Antioxidants, which protect skin against damage from free radicals as a result of aging and exposure to environmental pollutants. In particular, strawberries have alpha lipoic acid, a compound that slows the breakdown of collagen elastin, and vitamin C, which aids in collagen synthesis and makes the skin look brighter. Strawberries are considered even better for the skin than oranges, another vitamin C powerhouse, because they don’t strip the skin of oils in the same way as citrus.

  • Acids, which are gently exfoliating, helping to remove surface dirt and oils. Salicyllic acid, a well-known anti-inflammatory, is a beta-hydroxy acid that’s often used in acne treatment products. Like the other acids in strawberries, it can also help balance oil production in the skin.

There are dozens of new products on the market containing skin-loving strawberries; look for Fragraria chiloensis extract on the label. A few of the brands that make skin-care products with strawberry include Drunk Elephant, Sugar, the Body Shop, Edible Beauty, Hydropeptide, Eminence, Arbonne, and Volition.


If you want to try making your own strawberry mask, wash a package of strawberries and set aside any squashed or lightly damaged berries, plus the cut-off tops. (Save the other berries for snacking!) Remove the stems and leaves, and mash the berries and tops in a bowl. For oily or normal skin, add honey in about half the amount of the berries. For dry skin, add almost as much honey as berries. Then mix with a little spring water to create a paste. Spread it over the skin with a clean cotton pad or cloth, wait about 5 minutes, then rinse clean for a rosy glow.

Vegan Banana Berry Muffins

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Muffins are the ultimate portable breakfast or snack; just peel them out of their wrappers, pop a few in a bag or container, and go! We didn’t think it was possible to improve on the muffin concept . . . until we tried these Vegan Banana Berry Muffins—a fluffy, cakey delight bursting with sweetness and the bright flavor of berries. You can use a single type of berry—strawberries or blueberries, for example—for this recipe, but we love a mix.


Because overripe banana is richly sweet and works well as a binder in baked goods, this Vegan Banana Berry Muffins recipe calls for very little oil, and only a small amount of sugar. We’ve blended two different flours here—whole wheat for fiber and almond for protein and an extra zing of flavor, but you can substitute either with all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour (you may need to add more or less almond milk if you do this). Likewise, the nuts are optional, but we love their crunch and the added protein. The almond flour and nuts make these muffins a little more filling than those made with only white flour, so you won’t be tempted to overindulge in one sitting.


Serve these Vegan Banana Berry Muffins with vegan butter or cashew cream cheese, or a spoonful of lemon curd. They’ll keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week, or in the freezer for up to two months.


Vegan Banana Berry Muffins


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1 flax “egg” (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water)

3 medium ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar

3 tablespoons agave

3 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoons salt (pink Himalayan sea salt is our favorite)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

3/4 cup unsweeted plain almond milk or coconut milk

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (optional)

1 cup strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries, or a combination

Brown sugar (optional)



1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper or silicone baking cups.

2. In a large bowl, make the flax egg. Wait 10 minutes, then add the banana, baking powder, and baking soda and beat until fairly smooth, with only small chunks remaining.

3. Add the sugar, agave, oil, salt, and cinnamon and beat on medium to combine. Add the almond or coconut milk and beat until combined.

4. In a medium bowl, mix the almond meal and flour. Add to the banana mixture and mix until just combined; don’t overmix! Gently fold in the nuts and berries.

5. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling completely. If desired, sprinkle a little brown sugar over the top of each muffin. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins have turned golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes. Remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a rack.

Seared Oatmeal with Stewed Berries


We love a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast in winter. Oatmeal is one of the most filling breakfast foods out there, but it’s also, well, a little dull on its own. So we’ve been experimenting with ways to spice it up, and came up with this recipe for Seared Oatmeal with Stewed Berries.


This Seared Oatmeal with Stewed Berries recipe works for a number of reasons: it’s super easy to make, and you can make multiple servings and save them for later, so you don’t have to cook from scratch every day. It will also keep you full until lunchtime, so you’re not tempted to snack on unhealthy stuff before your next meal.


Best of all, Seared Oatmeal with Stewed Berries tastes amazing. We can’t think of a better way to jazz up oatmeal than with the sweet burst of berries. Because you’ll be heating them on the stovetop, this is the perfect way to use some of the less-than-perfect fruits from your summer farmers’ market haul; save the prettier specimens for topping cereal or granola, or eating as snacks straight out of the bowl.


Seared Oatmeal with Stewed Berries

Makes 4 large or 6 small servings



4 cups plus 1/3 cup water, divided

1 cup organic steel-cut oats

4 cups mixed berries—strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries

3 tablespoons honey or agave

1/4 teaspoon orange zest

1/3 cup water

Fresh mint (optional)

Whipped cream (optional)



  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the 4 cups water to a boil. Gradually stir in the oats. When the oatmeal starts to thicken, about 5 minutes, turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Remove the cooked oatmeal from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Lightly grease an 8” x 8” baking dish. When the oatmeal has cooled for several minutes but is still a loose consistency, pour it into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Allow to cool almost completely, and then place in the refrigerator, covered with foil or plastic wrap, to set, preferably overnight. Cut into equal squares or rectangles.

  3. In a large saucepan, combine all but 1/2 cup berries, the honey, orange zest, and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. When the berries soften and the juice turns syrupy, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining berries.

  4. Place a small amount of butter, margarine, or canola oil in the bottom of a saute pan and heat over medium. When warm, add a slice of the chilled oatmeal, and cook until beginning to turn golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and sear the other side until golden brown, about five minutes. Repeat with as many servings of oatmeal as needed.

  5. Place a rectangle of seared oatmeal on a plate, and spoon the stewed berries over the top. Garnish with mint or a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.


Molten Chocolate Valentine’s Day Cakes with Mixed Berry Filling


Valentine’s Day has traditionally been associated with decadent treats like chocolate mousse, butter-laden cookies, and boxes of chocolate, or with cakes and tarts that require hours of time in the kitchen. This year, skip the lengthy prep work and extra calories with what might just be the perfect Valentine’s dessert: a lighter, simple-to-make Molten Chocolate Valentine’s Cake with Mixed Berry Filling.


You can put together this dessert using a short list of common ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The best part? They take less than 30 minutes to make—including just 10 minutes’ active prep time—and look as impressive as a dessert at your favorite restaurant. When you cut into the cake, the berries provide a sweet, juicy burst against the velvety chocolate the ideal complement to a variety of romantic dishes.


For a lusciously creamy touch, spoon a bit of homemade dairy or coconut whipped cream over the Molten Chocolate Valentine’s Cake with Mixed Berry Filling. Serve with a fruity red wine or dessert port.


Molten Chocolate Valentine’s Cakes with Mixed Berry Filling

Makes 2 cakes



A handful of fresh or thawed frozen mixed berries

2 teaspoons raspberry, blackberry, or strawberry preserves

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup applesauce

1 tablespoon melted butter or vegan butter

2 1/2 tablespoons organic cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heaping 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons organic unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 pinch Himalayan or sea salt

2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips, melted

2 chunks good-quality dark chocolate



1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease two slots in a muffin tin with butter or vegan butter, and coat with a small amount of cocoa powder. Shake the tin to cover the slots completely, then shake out the excess. Alternatively, line the slots with reusable silicone muffin liners.

2. In a small bowl, coarsely mash the berries with the berry preserves.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the vinegar and almond milk. Allow the milk to curdle for 5 minutes.

4. Add the applesauce, butter or vegan butter, sugar, and vanilla, and beat with a mixer or a whisk until foamy. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, and mix until free from large lumps. Do not overmix. Fold in the melted semisweet chocolate.

5. Fill each of the two muffin slots two-thirds full with batter. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the mixed berries in the center of the batter, and top with a chocolate chunk; gently press the chocolate into the berry mixture. Fill the remainder of the muffin slot with cake batter.

6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cake have begun to pull away from the muffin tin and the top of the cake is mostly dry. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

7. Using a butter knife, gently loosen the edges of the cake from the tin. Top the tin with an upside-down plate and carefully invert, allowing the cakes to dislodge from the tin. Carefully transfer to individual plates. If desired, top with whipped cream, powdered sugar, or fudge sauce.




Why Raspberries and Blackberries Should Be Part of Your Winter Breakfast Rotation


The science is in: raspberries and blackberries are potent nutritional allies. Just 1 cup of berries provides about 54 percent of your daily vitamin C, 12 percent of vitamin K, 6 percent of folate, 5 percent of vitamin E and potassium, and 41 percent of manganese, plus trace amounts of beneficial vitamins and minerals like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, calcium, zinc, and copper. That cup also contains just 64 calories, 1.5 grams of protein, .8 grams of fat, and 15 grams of carbohydrates (including 8 grams fiber and 5 grams sugar), making it a healthful addition to your favorite winter breakfast.


Raspberries and blackberries also possess a host of naturally occurring compounds that have made them popular among nutritionists and herbalists dating back thousands of years—for example, in the fifth century, healers used the leaves and other parts of the plant in teas and remedies to treat sore throat, morning sickness, digestive problems, and more. Modern studies have shown that the flavonoids in raspberries and blackberries suppress the inflammation that can lead to conditions like cardiovascular disease and age-related mental decline, and their fiber content and metabolic-regulating abilities may be beneficial in weight loss and controlling diabetes. Berries’ ability to inhibit abnormal cell division has also shown promise in preventing a variety of cancers.


Their nutritional kick and wellness-promoting benefits make raspberries and blackberries a great way to start off the day, but not everyone wants to eat a bowl of berries for breakfast. Instead, try some of these suggestions for incorporating berries into your winter breakfast rotation.


The best part? Because blackberries and raspberries are so sweet on their own, you can skip adding refined sugar to most recipes. If you’re short on time in the morning, Wash fresh berries the night before, allow them to dry on a kitchen towel, then store them in the fridge until morning. Or thaw some frozen blackberries and raspberries in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. Then:


Blend them into smoothies and acai bowls. The natural sweetness of the berries will perk up the flavor of savory or slightly bitter ingredients like spinach, kale, and acai, without the addition of refined sugars.


Use them to top oatmeal. One reason many people don’t enjoy oatmeal is because it’s bland on its own. Instead of adding sugar or honey to make it more palatable, pile on the blackberries and raspberries!


Give your morning yogurt or cereal a berry boost. As with oatmeal, berries can elevate a plain but mild-tasting yogurt or cereal—without all the added sugar of common commercial brands.


Pour them over pancakes and waffles. Make a simple sauce by heating the berries over medium until they begin to break down and release their juices. Use it as a substitute for maple syrup or other sweeteners.


Incorporate berries into breakfast muffins, breads, and cereal or granola bars. For a grab-and-go meal that’s also healthy, cut the sugar in your favorite recipes by half, and increase the amount of berries called for by half (e.g., if the recipe specifies 1 cup of raspberries, add 1 1/2 cups instead).


Spread them on bagels, English muffins, and toast. Make a no-refined-sugar berry compote (we love this simple 2-ingredient version; be sure to use freshly squeezed orange juice), them use it in place of jelly. You can even freeze some of the compote in ice cube trays, then transfer the cubes to a ziplock freezer bag to save space. Remove a few cubes as needed to enjoy a berry blast throughout the winter!


Serve a heaping bowl of berries alongside hearty savory breakfasts, like fried or scrambled eggs, omelets, or breakfast burritos or sandwiches with sausage or ham.