Summer Berry Salad - A Sweet Treat

, Sunrise VP of Dining  |  August 10, 2011

Mix of berriesAs the head of Dining Services at Sunrise Senior Living, my job is to make sure that each resident at our communities is provided with a nutritious and diverse array of food options. Enjoying tasty meals is important to me, and that’s why I make it a priority that residents have a great experience at every meal.

I have a unique perspective when it comes to planning delicious and healthy meals. Since I've worked in the food industry for many years, I have seen trends come and go, especially when it comes to senior living. My mom is 82 years young and I consult with her on how her eating habits have changed. Like many others in her generation, her spouse has passed on and she now shops and cooks for one.

My posts on the Sunrise blog will focus on helping readers better understand the complexities of how to assess foods for what they are and how they impact our everyday lives, especially for seniors or those who help prepare foods for seniors. Food is our fuel. Eating is the way we get our energy, the way we ensure our bodies have the nutrients to keep our systems functioning the way they should, and certainly the foods we eat should be enjoyed.

Of course, as we grow older and start learning about nutrition, many of us realize that some foods we have come accustomed to are really not that good for us. Just think about all those burgers and fries and how little they really do for us in terms of nourishing our bodies.

In each of my blog posts, I look forward to sharing a recipe for caregivers and seniors to try. The initial recipe below is for my trademark summer berry salad. Summer is the best time of the year to enjoy local produce and fruit is always at its peak. Berries are a great source of antioxidants, which help our bodies in many ways. This particular recipe brings in some of my favorite flavors: mango and peaches. It can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a great afternoon snack or even a healthy dessert.

Summer Berry Salad
2 cups of berries, your choice (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are some of my favorites)
½ Mango, cubed
4 leaves fresh mint
1 tbs brown sugar
1 peach, slivered
½ cup fat free vanilla yogurt
½ tsp grated lemon zest
¼ cup sliced almonds, dry roasted

1. Add berries, peaches and mango to a large bowl.
2. In a mortar and pestle, grind the mint and brown sugar until the mint flavor is released. Add to berries.
3. Stir lemon zest into yogurt.
4. Portion fruit in bowls, cover with spoonful of yogurt, top with almonds and serve.

Enjoy some guilt-free indulgence in this delicious berry salad while fueling your body with essential vitamins and nutrients!