Fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are among summer’s most delectable treats and an excellent source of fiber, as well as vitamin C and other disease-fighting antioxidants. On the South Beach Diet, you can enjoy berries beginning on Phase 2. :
At the supermarket or farmers’ market, choose dry, plump, and brightly colored berries with no obvious rotten spots. Avoid containers with juice stains — this is a sign that the berries either have been mishandled or are overripe. Also be on the lookout for mold — it travels like wildfire through berries, so avoid containers with signs of this blue-gray blight. After you've brought home your berries, store them unwashed in the refrigerator in a covered container. Fresh berries don't last long and are best used within a few days of purchase. Berries can also be stored in the freezer for up to four months; just spread the berries out on a cookie tray and freeze before consolidating into a smaller container or resealable plastic bag.
Here are 5 fun ways to enjoy berries this summer:
- Prepare a yogurt parfait, layering nonfat plain Greek yogurt or low-fat or nonfat flavored yogurt with berries of your choice.
- Add grilled berries to a salad of grilled veggies and chicken or beef (use a grill topper to make sure the berries don’t fall through the grate). Serve over romaine lettuce, mesclun, or fresh spinach.
- Create a strawberry-avocado salsa and serve it as a topping for grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp. Or, purée strawberries with a South Beach Diet–friendly barbecue sauce and brush the sauce on your favorite grilled lean meat or poultry toward the end of cooking.
- Dip strawberries in semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate for a decadent dessert.
- Whip up a refreshing summer smoothie with fat-free or low-fat milk, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and frozen mixed berries. Or, concoct a cool summer “sparkler” by mixing fresh lime juice, seltzer, and some of your favorite berries muddled with fresh mint. Add a natural no-calorie sweetener, if desired, and serve over ice.