5 Berry & Cherry Recipes You Need to Try

Celebrate summer with these sweet and savory recipes packed with berry goodness.
June 12, 2019 Leave your thoughts 6.5 min read

Beaches, barbecues, and the juiciest fruit of the year: summer’s got it all, and we’ve got easy, plant-based recipes that will make this already glorious season even more delightful.

We’ve diving into early summer’s offerings of antioxidant-rich berries and cherries — with doughnuts drizzled in a fresh raspberry glaze, a mixed-berry crumble featuring a crust that does double duty as a topping, and Black Forest cheesecake brownies that will make you understand the term “death by chocolate” in the best way. And if you thought berries and cherries needed to be relegated to dessert, think again! We have a strawberry-balsamic flatbread that makes a perfect lunch, and a cherry salad filled with enough protein to call it your main dish for dinner.

Main Dish Cherry Salad

Cherries are only in season for a short while, so the opportunity to break out of the pie mold and take this nutrient-dense fruit to the dinner table without resorting to frozen or canned products is a brief one. Cherries have a depth of flavor that can easily stand up to assorted nuts, beans and grains and a punchy dressing. For those summer evenings when you don’t want to cook, this salad is a perfect choice, and is extra convenient because the dressing ingredients can be added directly to the salad; there’s no need to make it separately!

*Note that while it’s ok to substitute frozen cherries for fresh in baked goods, if used here they will release too much liquid in the salad.  

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups cherries, sliced in half and pits removed
  • 1 cup cooked barley or other grain (brown rice, quinoa, farro, bulgur…)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas or another bean of choice (black, kidney, navy, white…)
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups arugula or mixed baby greens

Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. Toss all salad ingredients together in a large bowl; add dressing ingredients and toss again.

Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread

Ever wondered what makes a flatbread different than a pizza? We’ve got the answer, of course: for pizza, you bake the dough and toppings at the same time. Conversely, to make a flatbread, you cook the dough first, then add toppings to the freshly-baked bread. You can re-heat a flatbread cook the toppings through, or serve it at room temperature. Here, we pair fresh strawberries with two ingredients that help the summer fruit shine in a savory way: reduced balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. The addition of a plant-based cream cheese spread seals the deal as a hearty appetizer or light main course.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 naan rounds or 1 medium pizza crust
  • ¾ cup plant-based cream cheese spread
  • 1 ½ cups sliced strawberries
  • ½ cup fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
  • 3 tbsp balsamic glaze (made by reducing 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over low heat until half the original quantity, or purchased as a balsamic reduction)
  • 1 small pinch salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. Spread vegan cheese in a thin layer over the naan or cooked pizza crust.
2. Add a layer of strawberries, then sprinkle basil on top of strawberries.
3. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Raspberry Glazed Doughnuts

While doughnuts are a guilty pleasure for many, they don’t actually need to be something you feel guilty about; when you bake them instead of frying, they’re pretty much the same nutrition-wise as eating a muffin — and who feels guilty about that?! This simple vanilla doughnut is extra moist thanks to plant-based yogurt, and it’s extra easy on your carbon “foodprint” without dairy or eggs. Fresh raspberries make a bright, lovely glaze that cuts through the typical sweetness of an icing. From pale pink to dark red, the exact shade of the glaze is up to you — and playing with swirls of color adds extra fun to this beloved treat

Prep Time: 15 minutes active, 45 minutes inactive
Servings: 9

Ingredients:

Doughnuts:

  • 1 ½ cups flour (white, wheat, or all purpose gluten-free)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup neutral oil such as avocado or grape seed
  • ½ cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt
  • 2 vegan eggs
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • ½  tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt

Glaze:

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy creamer

Doughnut Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, then adding wet ingredients; pour into doughnut pan and bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan.

Glaze instructions:

1. Add raspberries and lemon juice to a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring often and smashing berries down, for about ten minutes; raspberries should be fully broken down and mixture should be thick and glossy. Strain into a bowl, making sure to remove all seeds, and let cool.
2. Mix powdered sugar and creamer together, then add raspberry puree until desired color is reached. Dip cooled doughnuts into glaze, or drizzle glaze over the top.

Black Forest Cheesecake Brownies

The term “Black Forest” commonly refers to the combination of cherries and chocolate; it came about because a cherry liqueur called Kirsch, produced in the Black Forest region of Germany, was used in a German dessert with whipped cream and chocolate a couple of centuries ago. It’s a flavor combination that is complex, dark, and oh-so delish. This dessert marries those ingredients by way of a fresh cherry cheesecake atop a fudgy brownie, and while it’s almost too rich to have more than a bite, it’s also too good not to.

Prep Time: 30 minutes active, 4.5 hours inactive
Servings: 16

Ingredients:

Brownie:

  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup flour (white, wheat, or all purpose gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ⅔ cup vegan butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 vegan eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

Cheesecake:

  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
  • 2 cups cashews, soaked for one hour (about 1 ½ cups unsoaked)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2  tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small pinch salt

Brownie Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine water, butter and sugar, and stir until melted.
3. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
4. Add all remaining ingredients, stir, then pour into a lined 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake 40 minutes. Let cool before preparing cheesecake layer.

Cheesecake Instructions:

1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy.
2. Pour cheesecake mixture onto cooled brownie layer. Refrigerate until firm, at least four hours.

Mixed Berry Crumble Bars

This fruit bar has been a go-to dessert of mine for more than 20 years, ever since I first saw a version of it on a PBS cooking show and adored the idea of one dough serving as both a bottom crust and a streusel topping. The classic version uses only jam, but, not surprisingly, this dessert is even more delicious with the addition of fresh fruit! The jam adds an extra-gooey textural element, so you get the sticky sweetness of jarred fruit with all the vibrance of fresh. Feel free to swap out the berry and jam flavors, as well.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

Crust/Streusel Topping:

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup flour (white, wheat, or all purpose gluten-free)
  • ¾ cup sugar or coconut sugar
  • ½ cup vegan butter, cut into cubes
  • ¼ tsp salt

Filling:

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • ½ cup strawberry or raspberry fruit spread
  • 2 tbsp sugar (omit if using jam instead of 100% fruit spread)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add crust/streusel ingredients to a food processor and pulse until crumbly.
3. Press slightly more than half of the mixture into a greased 8×8 inch baking dish to create a thin crust; bake for 15 minutes, then remove.
4. Combine filling ingredients in a mixing bowl, then pour over crust (be careful if pan is hot!).
5. Crumble remaining streusel mixture on top of filling.
6. Bake until streusel is golden and fruit filling is bubbling, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.


Food styling by Ariane Resnick, C.N.C.

What’s Next?

Ready for more? Check out more recipes on our blog!

About the Author

Ariane Resnick is a chef, nutritionist, and bestselling author who uses accessible whole food ingredients to craft recipes that can be made by anyone, regardless of cooking skills or diet restrictions. Her clientele includes an array of celebrities and she has appeared on CBS’ “The Doctors,” ABC News, and Food Network’s “Chopped.”

Join the conversation!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are noted. Play nice!