One of the wonderful things about summer is having a bounty of fresh produce available at the local markets, and one of the favorite foods of the summer months are cobblers made with berries. Berries can be used in a variety of ways and a simple and crowd-pleasing favorite is a mixed berry cobbler.
Aside from being delicious, berries are touted as being a top anti-aging superfood. In her book, “Powerful Plant-Based Super Foods,” registered dietitian Lauri Boone writes about berries being at the top of the chart when it comes to levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are known to increase brain functioning, keep the skin youthful and reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Containing health-promoting amino and fatty acids, along with a number of cell-protecting antioxidants, acai berries are full of anti-aging properties, protecting against chronic diseases by boosting immune functions.
Blueberries, known as the “blue dynamos,” are loaded with manganese and vitamin K, both of which help to maintain strong bones.
Packed with flavonoids, cranberries are an infection-fighting wonder. Research also suggests cranberries help fight cancer and keep the heart healthy.
Mulberries are a rich source of polyphenols, which research suggests helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. Mulberries also contain high amounts of vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Despite being one of the most naturally sweet berries nature produces, blackberries are remarkably low in calories and a great choice for anyone trying to lose weight. Blackberries have a very high concentration of antioxidants, helping to fight off heart problems, periodontal disease and decline in cognitive functioning.
Mixed berry cobbler can be made from any combination of berries. Each berry variety added to a recipe only seems to complement and enhance the flavors of all the others. Here is a tried and true mixed berry cobbler recipe:
4 cups mixed berries
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9- by 6-inch rectangular pan or a 8-inch round cake pan or pie plate.
Add the berries, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and lemon juice to a large bowl. Stir gently until the berries are coated and then spread the berries evenly into the prepared baking pan.
Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, whisk together and set aside. Add the butter, the remaining brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla to a medium-size bowl. Mix together until well-blended. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until the dough begins to come together in large crumbs. Spread the dough evenly over berries.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top of the crust is lightly browned and the berry juice begins bubbling. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Yields 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes