Lemon Basil Berry Salad

Fresh mixed berries swimming in a pool of lemon basil simple syrup. A delicious dessert or anytime snack!

Lemon Basil Berry Salad - made with fresh berries and homemade lemon-basil simple syrup

Anyone who knows me would tell you that my kids are little spitfires. They are smart and sassy and have opinions of their own….which is both entertaining and exhausting! They keep me on my toes with the things they say and do, and there are (many) times I swear their attitudes and understandings are wildly disproportionate to their age. But every now and then, something happens that reminds me they are just kids, after all….and can still be easily influenced (or manipulated) if need be!

Lemon Basil Berry Salad - made with fresh berries and homemade lemon-basil simple syrup

We had one such experience just the other day, as we were finishing up dinner. It had been a day packed with treats, so I told the girls they could have fruit for dessert. To sweeten the pot, I said I’d add a little whipped cream on top – a sure winner. They eagerly agreed! We got out the cantaloupe and divided it into little bowls, and then started topping it with a squirt of whipped cream. And, wouldn’t you know, the whipped cream I had promised was nearly gone…there wasn’t even enough for a tiny little dollop in each bowl.

Lemon Basil Berry Salad - made with fresh berries and homemade lemon-basil simple syrup

 Now, you’d think since one of the girls is only two, this wouldn’t be a problem. Especially since she was still eating her dinner at the time! But she was all over it! The second she saw her plain old fruit, she complained! It was time for me to put on my quick-thinking mom hat….so I ran to the cupboard and found some sprinkles. And in my most convincing voice, I asked, “Nora…! Do you want SPRINKLES on top instead??”

Lemon Basil Berry Salad - made with fresh berries and homemade lemon-basil simple syrup

We all paused, waiting for her to answer. Because this type of thing can go one of two ways! There is always a good chance her disproportionately large attitude will show itself, and all our good intentions will come crumbling to the ground. BUT. This time, it worked! “Yay!! Sprinkles!!!!” she said. And a couple shakes later, she was good to go. Crisis averted….at least for the time being.

It’s amazing what whipped cream or sprinkles can do for kids’ feelings about fruit. My kids always like it, but as a SNACK (fruit is NOT dessert!) This Lemon Basil Berry Salad is kind of the adult version of cantaloup with sprinkles. It sweetens the pot with the delicious flavors of lemon and basil….just enough to take fruit from a breakfast food to a mouthwatering treat! And you won’t even have to trick yourself into eating it!

Lemon Basil Berry Salad - made with fresh berries and homemade lemon-basil simple syrup

Lemon Basil Berry Salad
Prep time
Total time
  • 1 c. fresh strawberries
  • ½ c. fresh raspberries
  • ½ c. fresh blueberries
Lemon Basil Simple Syrup
  • 1 c. water
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lemon
  1. Prepare simple syrup by bringing water and sugar to a boil; once boiling, remove from heat, stir in fresh basil leaves and juice of 1 lemon, and cool completely.
  2. Combine berries in a small bowl.
  3. Add 2 Tbsp. lemon basil syrup (or more to taste).
  4. Store simple syrup in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Remove basil leaves prior to storing.

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  1. says

    This salad looks so wonderful and fresh for Summer! I can’t wait to try it!!! I agree too a whipped cream and sprinkles always does the trick and brings smiles throughout!!! :)

  2. says

    I would have never thought to make berries like this, but really, pure genius Cathy! Thanks for the lovely recipe inspiration this morning!

  3. says

    Sounds like me when I was little, my mom ALWAYS put sprinkles on anything she could to make me happy & her happy that I ate something healthy! ;) And this lemon basil berry salad would also make me happy, looks delicious! Pinned :)

  4. says


    These berries look and sound so yummy. I love berries and lemon. They can go in so many other dishes.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Diane Roark


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