Monday, April 26, 2010

Eat strawberries--they're tasty and full of nutrients

By David Burton
University Extension

Strawberries may be the perfect fruit: colorful, tasty, full of vitamin C, fiber and potassium.
But seeing strawberries for sale at a Farmer’s Market also signals that summer is almost here, according to Tammy Roberts, a nutrition specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
“Strawberries are a terrific fruit but you can’t beat having these nutritious edibles fresh from the farm or out of the garden,” said Roberts.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. Vitamin C helps protect the skin from bruising, helps to heal cuts and keeps gums healthy.
One cup of strawberries provides three grams of fiber but only 46 calories. Strawberries also have potassium which can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.
When buying strawberries, Roberts says to choose firm shiny berries with a bright color.
“Dull colored strawberries can indicate they are overripe. Be sure to check the bottom of the container for any mold as it spreads quickly in strawberries,” said Roberts.
Strawberries keep well in the refrigerator for two to three days and always remember to wash them just before serving.
Strawberries are also a great addition to many recipe according to Roberts.
Spinach and strawberry salad
Mix one pound of spinach leaves with two cups of sliced strawberries. Add fresh onion and almond slices if you would like. To make the dressing, heat the following ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves: one-half cup sugar, one-quarter teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, one-quarter cup cider vinegar, one-half cup olive oil. Remove the mixture from the heat and add one tablespoon of poppy seeds. When the dressing is cool toss the dressing with the salad mixture and enjoy.
Strawberry Slushie
In a blender combine 1 pound of fresh strawberries, one-half cup apple juice, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into glasses and place them in the freezer for one to two hours. They are ready to serve as the mixture starts to turn icy.
These recipes and many more are in a University of Missouri Extension publication Seasonal and Simple. It is available through University of Missouri Extension publications for $15 at or at the nearest MU Extension Center.

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