Summer is berry season, but you already knew that.

You’ve been to the farmers’ market. You’ve seen the stands teeming with delicious berries. (I hope yours are cheaper than mine in San Francisco.) 

You’ve bought more than you could possibly eat within the small window before these perfect berries become mushy, moldy signs of wasted opportunity mocking you from the corner of your kitchen counter and the produce drawer in your refrigerator. 

The trick is to eat berries for every meal and for snacks in between. In this way, berries are like toast: flexible and welcome in every situation. 

Luckily, toast isn’t seasonal. 

In addition to sharing a personality, berries go really well with toast. That’s not news. We’re all familiar with the jam/jelly/preserves family. Jam is an obvious berry partner for toast, but that seems like a lot of work. Jam also has added sugar, and isn’t the point of berry season to eat fresh berries? Sure, you could put the berries on the side, but what if you just put them right on the toast?

Game. Changer.

This thought occurred to me as I headed home from the farmers’ market with my arms full of blueberries, strawberries, and cherries. I imagined how lovely my berries would look on a piece of Aunt Millie’s Best Grains Honey & Crunchy Oat smeared with cream cheese. As soon as I brought my new berries into my apartment, I popped a piece of bread in the toaster and went to work. 

What a lovely sight!

I used cream cheese because it’s my favorite condiment. The white of the cream cheese paired with the blues and reds of the berries makes an unexpectedly patriotic scene. 

Fresh berries, hearty whole grains, creamy spread—what could be better? 

Katie Pruitt is not a chef or even a home cook. She is a writer with a lifelong passion for toast. Although she grew up just a couple miles from the Aunt Millie's bakery in Fort Wayne, she now has loaves of Aunt Millie's bread flown to her in San Francisco on a regular basis.