Oh, the strawberry – it is no wonder it’s the world’s most popular berry, with its luscious red color and delicious sweetness! But, the taste of strawberries isn’t the only sweet deal; this member of the rose family has only 46 calories per cup, with no sodium, fat, or cholesterol, so these heart-shaped berries are actually great for your heart along with your taste buds, and your waistline.
Strawberries are best when picked or purchased just a few days before using. Choose ripe berries that are shiny and red with the green caps still attached. Strawberries won’t ripen after picking like bananas do. Avoid berries that are dull, have green or yellow patches, or show signs of softening or mold.
Berries should be stored unwashed in the humid crisper drawer of the refrigerator, in the closed plastic clamshell, or in a plastic bag that is opened slightly. Wait to wash the berries and remove the stems until right before eating or using in a recipe. Want to savor the sweet taste of strawberries all year? Strawberries are easy to freeze, just wash and trim, then freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Once frozen transfer to a freezer bag where they will keep for up to 6 months.
So what about nutrition? Strawberries are packed with nutrition – 1 cup provides more than 100% of your daily need for vitamin C and you also get a great boost of manganese, iodine, folate, copper, potassium, biotin, and fiber.
Strawberries make a great snack all on their own, but feel free to get creative by adding them to a fruit or vegetable salad, layering with yogurt or blending them into a smoothie. You can also add them to cereal or granola. But what would summer be without traditional strawberry shortcake? So why not put a big scoop of strawberries on my easy shortcake recipe?
Contribution to this article was made by Morgan McManimon-Myers, RD eligible
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (I usually use ½ all-purpose and ½ whole-wheat flour)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ cup cold butter, cut into chunks
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray an 8–inch square baking pan with cooking spray, then coat with flour. In a large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Using a pastry blender cut in butter until the size of peas. Add milk and eggs and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spread dough into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on baking rack.
- To serve: split pieces of shortcake in half and fill with sweetened berries; top with whipped cream.