Craving a shortcake? "Jones-ing" for berry crisp? Your midnight cravings might not be as bad as you think. Most people know that fruit is good for you, but did you know that it might help fight cancer?

According to a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, there's more hiding in that little bunch of berries than juice. The little gems are chock-full of phytochemicals such as flavonoids, tannins, stilbenoids, phenolic acids, and lignans.

Forget the undecipherable terminology. What you need to know is this: they fight cancer. Each of the six berries studied has its own specialties. Strawberries are particularly useful against oral and colon cancers. Blueberries are at the top of the list for combating free radicals. And raspberries are excellent fighters across the board, health-wise.

If you've got a history of cancer in your family, it's time to make berries a part of your everyday life. Here's a recipe even the pickiest nonfruit eater may contemplate.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Crisp Topping
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup rolled oats

Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling
2 pint baskets California strawberries, stemmed and halved (divided)
3 cups rhubarb slices, 1/3 inch thick
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare Crisp Topping: In large bowl, mix all ingredients except butter and oats to blend thoroughly. With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in oats; set aside. Prepare Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling: In another large bowl, mix 4 cups of the strawberries (reserve remaining strawberries), the rhubarb, sugar, and cornstarch to blend thoroughly. Spoon into shallow 2-quart baking dish. Cover evenly with Crisp Topping. Bake in center of oven about 40 minutes until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with reserved strawberries. Top with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Information

323 calories; 10 g fat; 23 mg cholesterol; 128 mg sodium; 58 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 3 g protein.

Recipe provided by the California Strawberry Commission.