Debbie Archer | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
Strawberries are a great summertime fruit to enjoy. They peak during the spring and early summer, according to Teresa Henson, Extension specialist-program outreach coordinator for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences.
“Strawberries are juicy, sweet and delicious,” Henson said. “Not only are they tasty, but strawberries are also chock full of vitamins and offer an abundance of wellness and health benefits. They are a great source of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants, and they can benefit your health in many ways.
Strawberries have more vitamin C than citrus fruit ounce for ounce. According to the American Cancer Society, foods rich in vitamin C may lower the risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
There are some food safety measures that should be followed when handling and storing strawberries, Henson said. You should:
- Place berries in a colander and rinse under cold running water. If you allow berries to set in water, they will lose color and flavor.
- After washing, immediately remove the green cap connected to the strawberry with a plastic-tipped vegetable peeler or a paring knife without removing any of the fruit.
- Store in tightly covered containers no more than four days. Store unwashed berries that are loosely covered with a plastic wrap and in the coldest part of your refrigerator no more than three days. Only wash berries when ready to use.
To measure strawberries, this guide will help you:
1 1/2 pounds = 2 pints or 1 quart
1 small basket = 1 pint
1 pint = 3 1/4 cups whole berries
1 pint = 2 1/4 cups sliced berries
1 pint = 1 2/3 cup pureed berries
1 cup = about 4 ounces
“Strawberries make delicious snacks or desserts,” Henson said. “The following recipe makes a perfect, refreshing treat.”
Summer Breeze Smoothie
-1 cup plain yogurt (non-fat)
-6 strawberries (medium)
-1 cup pineapple (crushed, canned in juice)
-1 banana (medium)
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-4 ice cubes
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
- Serve in frosted glasses.
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