Many types of berry offer powerful nutritional benefits, especially the less commonly eaten varieties such as acai berry, elderberry and cranberry. Here nutritionist Rob Hobson brings you a delicious breakfast, refreshing mocktail and healthy lunchtime salad, all packed with nutrients.
Acai berry smoothie breakfast bowl topped with mixed seeds, coconut and goji berries
380 calories per serving
This brightly coloured breakfast bowl is brimming with heart-protective nutrients including fibre, potassium and omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids. Acai berries are also known as a source of calcium, iron, manganese and plant sterols.
Using frozen berries is a great way to include these antioxidant-rich fruit in your diet on a budget, and they work really well in smoothies and breakfast bowls.
- 2 tbsp freeze-dried acai berry powder
- 1 small banana (peeled and diced)
- 1 medium avocado
- 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
- 150g frozen berries
- 2 tsp honey
- 200ml coconut water
- Toasted seeds
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Goji berries
- Place the smoothie ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Serve in bowls topped with seeds, coconut and berries.
Elderberry, mint and raspberry mocktail
70 calories per serving
Elderberries contain vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as folate, iron, copper and zinc, all of which help keep your immune system working properly. What's more, the 100g of fresh raspberries in this recipe contain a third of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, and a quarter of the fibre you need.
Elderberry syrup works particularly well in drinks such as this one, which require the flavour of the fruit, along with some additional sweetness to offset the natural tartness of elderberries and raspberries.
- 50ml elderberry syrup
- ½ lime, juiced
- 400ml soda water
- 5 mint leaves
- 100g raspberries
- Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well. You can also blitz in a blender with a few ice cubes.
- Split between two glasses and garnish with mint leaves.
Quinoa super salad
480 calories per serving
Quinoa makes a perfect base for salad and is rich in nutrients such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Adding dried fruit to the savoury salad provides sweetness and additional fibre to the dish.
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 100g quinoa
- 1 avocado
- Handful of spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- 50g mange tout, sliced
- 1 tbsp dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Spread the sunflower seeds on a small baking tray and toast in the oven for 8 minutes until golden. Leave to cool.
- Put the quinoa in a medium saucepan and cover with three times its volume of water. Place on a high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, season the water with salt and continue to boil for a further 6–8 minutes until the quinoa is just tender. Drain in a sieve and rinse under cold water until completely cool. Leave to one side to drain thoroughly.
- Peel the avocados and remove the stones. Dice the avocado flesh and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the spinach, coriander, spring onions and mange tout and mix gently together.
- Mix in the toasted sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, drained quinoa, olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste, then serve.