Strawberries: Food of the Week
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8 a Day is all it Takes
Think strawberries are just for strawberry shortcake? Think again.
Strawberries provide important benefits to your health and longevity. Did you know:- Strawberries may help reduce total cholesterol, LDL oxidation, inflammatory markers, and increase blood folate levels
- Flavonoid-rich strawberries may help prevent weight gain and improve insulin sensitivity, thereby lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease in at-risk populations
- Strawberries are rich in flavonoids, which act as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. They may work together to offset the negative effects of oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and delay or slow age-related cognitive decline
- Studies continue to show a positive association between strawberry consumption and vascular health, including mediation of the inflammatory response
- Strawberries contain nutrients that research suggests reduce the risk of cancer, such as fiber, folate, vitamin C, ellagic acid, and flavonoids
Find out more from the California Strawberry Commission!
Simple Strawberry Recipes
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Ingredients- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 cup Maple Hill 100% Grass-Fed Organic Strawberry Kefir
- Honey to taste
Directions Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Add additional water for desired thickness.
Strawberry Overnight Oats
Ingredients- ½ cup milk of your choice
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 3 tbsp Chia Seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
Directions Mix all ingredients except strawberries in a 16oz mason jar or tupperware. Place in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to eat, top with berries. Tip: If using frozen berries, sprinkle with cinnamon and microwave for 60 seconds before putting them on top of your chilled overnight oats.
Strawberry Avocado Toast
Ingredients- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 slices whole wheat or gluten free bread of your choice
- ½ of a ripe avocado
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 2 tbsp. crumbled goat or feta cheese
- Toast bread.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mash avocado and then spread it on the toast.
- Sprinkle both pieces of toast with 1 tbsp. of cheese crumbles.
- Layer each toast with ½ cup sliced strawberries.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar reduction. (To reduce the balsamic vinegar bring ½ cup to a gentle simmer in a small sauce pan. Let simmer until reduced by 75%, about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t reduce too much and burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it is of a syrupy consistency.)
Spartan Peanut Butter and Jelly
Ingredients- 2-3 strawberries
- 2 tbsp nut butter
- Wrap of bread of your choice (whole wheat or gluten free depending on your preference)
Directions PB&J for grown-ups starts now and can be a great pre-workout snack. Spread nut butter on your wrap or bread. Slice strawberries to desired thickness (to be used as the jelly or jam). Drizzle of honey optional. Roll up or top with your other slice of bread.
Seriously Simple Strawberry Compote
Ingredients- 1 cup previously frozen, chopped strawberries (the thawing process will help release the natural sugars)
- ½ - 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ - 1 Tbsp coconut oil or butter
- Dash of cinnamon
Directions Using a pan over low heat, start to thaw the strawberries. Once half thawed, mix in remaining ingredients and continue to stir until desired texture is achieved. Serve over grilled chicken or fish.
Vanilla Strawberry Protein Cupcake
Ingredients- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (chocolate works too)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Dash of cinnamon
- ¼ water
- 1 strawberry, chopped
Directions Say hello to your new favorite dessert. In a large coffee mug, mix protein powder, baking powder, and cinnamon (make sure it’s a big mug because this cupcake will rise!). Stir in water until mixed well. Gently stir in chopped strawberry bits. Microwave 30-40 seconds. Enjoy warm with a spoon.
Strawberry Chocolate Chia Pudding
Ingredients- 3 tbsp Chia Seeds
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
- ¾ cup Maple Hill 100% grass-fed organic whole milk
- Fresh or frozen strawberries
Directions Mix milk, chia seeds, and protein powder in a mason jar or tupperware. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then put berries on top and place in a fridge overnight. By morning the chia seeds, milk, and protein powder will form a decadent fudgy pudding and the berries will be a boost of antioxidant sweetness.
Who doesn’t love a strawberry? Sweet, delicious, and good for you. So the next time you kill a workout, or if you’re just craving a treat, pop a few strawberries and reap the benefits.
Strawberries contain phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that, when eaten as part of a well-balanced diet, can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, control blood sugars in diabetes, help with cognitive health, and decrease inflammation.
Their natural sweetness makes them a great option for those trying to reduce added sugar intake. Their sweet flavor lends itself as a breakfast item, dessert, or eaten on their own but can also be made into jams and jellies for both sweet treats and savory dishes.
Strawberries are in season and mostly grown in California and Florida from January through November, but can be found in many areas of the country primarily April through June.
Buy in-season for a lower price and delicious sweetness that is truly nature’s candy.
Storage & Preparation
Fresh berries need some tender, loving care in order to stay edible. Since they are prone to moisture damage, you should not wash berries until you are ready to eat them. Their outer layer works like a sponge, so washing them too early will leave you with a bowl of much.
To keep in the refrigerator, layer a pan or dish with paper towels (to help catch any moisture before it can hurt the berries). Place in a single layer as much as possible, but not necessary. Once ready to eat, trim of the top, wash under cool water, and enjoy.
To keep in the freezer: Stem, wash, and place in a freezer safe bag or container. Frozen berries are great for smoothies or for baking later on.