Hello summer! Colorful peaches, blackberries, blueberries and a few sweet strawberries caught my eye on my weekly trip to the market.

I love having tons of fruit on hand for healthy and convenient snacking. The fresher and riper the fruit, the more nutrients it contains.

In Louisiana, we have ready access to some of the most delicious and healthful fruit there is.

Thanks to all this heat and sunshine, blueberries are bountiful. Rich in vitamins C and K, fiber and manganese, blueberries are one of our most nutritious fruits. Believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of produce available, studies suggest blueberries can reduce DNA damage, slow aging and prevent cancer. With the blueberries, I made syrup, perfect for drizzling over some fluffy pancakes.

The first peaches are already available. Peaches are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They also have beneficial antioxidants, which can help protect your body from aging and disease. With these juicy fruits I concocted a Peach Granita.

I Eat La.: Recipes for Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup, Blackberry Crostini and Peach Granita

Blackberries are also available a little early in their season. These berries are also packed with antioxidants, fiber and vitamins, like vitamins C and K, and minerals, like manganese. These nutrients may prevent cancer and protect brain health. This recipe for Blackberry Crostini takes full advantage of the fresh berry flavor, accented with honey, pecans and goat cheese.

I am fascinated by research on foods and how they can help us protect our health. I wonder if a few slices of peaches or handful of blueberries would make a bowl of ice cream healthier. I guess further research is needed.


Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. You can reach her at ieatbrla@gmail.com.