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Gluten-free season of sweets - it's the berries!

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With the summer months comes a wonderful harvest of berries to enjoy. Whether you eat them plain in a bowl, topped with a sweetner or whipped cream, or bake up a favorite treat, berries have great nutrition. Now that they are coming into their 'season,' they are reasonably priced, too.

WH Foods website sums it up perfectly - "As one of the few fruits native to North America, blueberries have been enjoyed by Native Americans for hundreds of years... In terms of U.S. fruit consumption, blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berries. Blueberries are not only popular, but also repeatedly ranked in the U.S. diet as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings." (For more information see: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8)

Lots of people will go to farm stands in the country or farmers' markets in cities. Most people will look for the 'prettiest' fruit to purchase. But, here is a little tip - at the end of the day, the 'ugly' fruits left on display will often sell for 1/2 off or less. This is the time to buy up whatever you can afford because these berries will be perfect as ingredients for fresh salsas, sauces, and toppings where crushed fruit is used. Fifer Orchard in the State of Delaware has been around for 4 generations. On their website, you can find a recipe for 'Blueberry Salsa' and 'Blueberry Buckle' (like a cobbler). See http://www.fiferorchards.com/gallery/blueberries/.

Closer to home, the Collin County Farmer's Market can be found at 3314 Central Expressway in Plano (by Fairview Farms area, north of Parker Road) on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm, now through November 1. Their website will give you details of special events, too. http://www.collincountyfarmersmarket.org/ Besides the bounty of fresh, locally grown produce, you also get to support our community while eating healthy seasonal options.

Enjoying the best blueberries of the season can be more economical (and as nutritious) by making the right choices with your purchases and creative recipes that allow you to enjoy them.

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