One of the best parts of summer is cooling down with fresh produce that is in season during these warmer months. Isn’t it so refreshing to have a fruit-based dessert treat during this time year? The ripe, juicy berries glisten and are perfect for using in refreshing summer dishes. Today, the spotlight is on blueberries. Check out these ways to use these little berries in your summer meals, complete with recipes.

1. Breakfast Items

Start off your morning with a dose of antioxidant-rich blueberries. When baked into favorite, comforting breakfast foods like waffles and pancakes, they burst in the batter, often leaving behind a gorgeous blue swirl or blue dots throughout. The taste is just as awesome. Use fresh, organic blueberries that have a fragrant smell for best results. Try these Blueberry Pancakes, Fluffy Blueberry Waffles. You can also easily toss some fresh blueberries over cereal, oatmeal or breakfast parfaits. Try Blueberry and Oat Breakfast Bread Pudding, Breakfast Blueberry Chia Pudding, and Breakfast Parfait with Oats and Blueberry Pudding.

2. Salsa

Don’t just stop at tomatoes, peppers and onions; switch up your salsa game by adding blueberries. The berries add a nice sweetness which is perfect for those who aren’t fans of spicy salsas. Try this Blueberry Salsa recipe.

3. Smoothies

Stock up on frozen blueberries to use in smoothies. Frozen fruit can often be more nutritious than buying it fresh, since berries are picked at the peak of ripeness and then frozen right away, which locks in nutrients. Pair them with strawberries and raspberries for a triple berry smoothie with a fun purple color. Try this Blueberry Acai Super Smoothie and this Blueberry Creamsicle Smoothie

4. Salads

Throw some blueberries overtop your salads. You can make an awesome fruit salad or just toss the berries over a bed of organic greens and your usual salad toppings. For fruit salad, try this Red, White and Blue Salad With Watermelon Viniagrette.

5. Baked Goods

Raw, fresh blueberries for the summer are certainly refreshing, but they’re also amazing when baked into muffins, cake, donuts and more. Try this Blueberry Cornbread, this Gluten-Free Vegan Blueberry Apple Pie Cake and these Zucchini Blueberry Muffins.

6. Raw Treats

Lastly, take advantage of the summer season by using those fresh blueberries to make some scrumptious, raw desserts. Raw dishes are fantastic warm- weather treats since you don’t have to turn on the oven or wait for water to boil to make them. Try this Blueberry Strawberry Banana Ice Cream Cake, which features a vanilla ice cream layer topped with a blueberry and strawberry layer. This Raw Orange and Blueberry “Cheesecake” features a blueberry layer, while blueberries are the star in this Blueberry Cheesecake.

Lead image source: Blueberry Açaí Super Smoothie