Why should I not have any berry cobbler when berries are out of season? Up here in the Pacific Northwest, that’s most of the year. And I know that many of you live places where berries may not grow, even in the summer. There’s an answer for all of us! Making a super Easy Frozen Berry Cobbler instead. If you had the foresight (or willpower) to freeze berries when we had them last August, you’ve got your own at home. Many of us will be purchasing frozen berries in the off-season and there’s a lot of benefits to that (discussed below!). Best of all, you can make healthy, delicious treats any time of year and that sounds SO good right now.
Frozen foods still have a bad reputation for being “processed” but the really interesting thing is, packaging aside, the nutrients in frozen foods are actually often superior to fresh foods. Once food is picked in the orchards, it’s trucked directly to a facility and frozen. Sometimes that happens in a matter of hours from when it was picked which causes the nutrients to be preserved very well. Alternatively, when food is picked and trucked to the grocery store, sometimes it sits in a facility for awhile then it’s on the store shelf and you could have a product that’s been exposed to air and light (which can destroy some nutrients) for days, a week, or more.
I get this question a lot, actually, about which nutrients are destroyed by heat or by food sitting around. It IS true that some nutrients like vitamin C decrease over time or with heat during cooking, you don’t actually have to worry about this too much. Make sure to eat a variety of fruits and veggies, some fresh and some cooked and you’ll do ok. Some nutrients (vitamin A!) are actually enhanced by cooking. Minerals generally don’t get destroyed as easily as vitamins and all of these foods still have gut- and heart-healthy fiber in them.
My best dietitian advice to you is: eat a variety of produce prepared in a variety of ways from fresh to frozen to cooked and however else you want to prepare them. They all do have benefits to you.
Making the Easy Frozen Berry Cobbler
This part is easy! If you know me, you know that I love simple recipes. My book, Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Prep, is all about making healthy cooking accessible to all, even if you live in pain or have a chronic disease. Some people have even told me that this has worked well for partners who don’t know how to cook well or for people trying to get their teens more active in the kitchen. Throughout the book, I offer suggestions on using foods like frozen berries, jarred sauce, pre-chopped fruits and veggies, and even pre-minced garlic to make meal prep easier. If you love cooking from scratch, absolutely go for that – that’s awesome! But a lot of folks that I work with really need more simple options so this book could be a great resource for you.
First, Prep the Fruit
This is a perfect recipe to meal prep or multi-task with. After you preheat the oven, grab a mixing bowl and combine the berries, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and peel, and flour. Mix this very gently so the berries are coated but don’t get crushed. With frozen, they’re a little more hearty but they’re still delicate.
You can use absolutely any type of berry (or fruit!) that you want to. Personally, I have used 100% blackberries or blueberries as well as a combination of both. You can add in or use only strawberries or raspberries. You could add in cherries or you can even make this with frozen or canned peaches.
Set that aside and make the topping. If you’ve got a food processor and stand mixer, it will be even easier.
Second, Prep the Topping
In a separate mixing bowl (or better yet, a food processor) combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt. If you have a food processor, drop in the butter pieces and pulse the mixture until it’s combined and the butter pieces are small and incorporated. Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter or just 2 butter knives moving in opposite directions to cut and combine.
If you want a gluten-free product, feel free to use a flour mixture like Bob’s Red Mill for both the berries and the topping. You could replace the butter with a vegan butter substitute very easily for a similar flavor and texture.
I always cut down on the sugar in my recipes so if you do want a sweeter taste, feel free to bump it up a little.
To finish the topping, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Non-dairy milk works equally as well as dairy milk and if you don’t use eggs for any reason, just make a quick flax egg while you’re prepping the berries so that it has time to set up and work as a thickener.
To finish the topping, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until it turns into a sticky dough. It will be lumpy and thick.
Put it all Together
Drop portions of the dough on top of the berries so that it loosely covers most of the berry mixture. Each piece should be about 1/8 cup-sized. Remember, the dough will expand during baking and the pieces will bake into each other like in the image in this post. Cover it loosely with foil and bake it for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake it for another 25 minutes until the berries are bubbling and the topping is lightly browned.
Personally, I enjoy eating this for breakfast or a snack with low-sugar yogurt for a nice protein boost. I’d love to know how you enjoy it! Tell me in the comments.
Easy Frozen Berry Cobbler
- 8 cups frozen berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks chilled butter, cut into small pieces vegan alternative is fine!
- 3/4 cup dairy, soy or oat milk
- 1 large egg can replace with a flax egg
Prep the Berries
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the berries, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and peel, and flour. Mix this very gently so the berries are coated but don't get crushed.
- Pour the berries into an 8x8 inch glass baking dish and set it aside.
Prep the Topping
- In a separate mixing bowl (or better yet, a food processor) combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt. If you have a food processor, drop in the butter pieces and pulse the mixture until it's combined and the butter pieces are small and incorporated. Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter or just 2 butter knives moving in opposite directions to cut and combine.
- To finish the topping, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until it turns into a sticky dough.
- Drop portions of the dough on top of the berries so that it loosely covers most of the berry mixture. Remember, the dough will expand during baking. Cover it loosely with foil and bake it for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake it for another 25 minutes until the berries are bubbling and the topping is lightly browned.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll ﬁnd cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.