You've probably noticed more strawberries in your grocery store lately. That's because we're headed into the peak of the Florida strawberry season which starts at the end of February and ends in mid-March. Now’s the time to get ready to enjoy an early taste of summer! Breakfasts, salads, smoothies, and desserts are all places where strawberries can be used, and you will find the flavor uplifting, while providing your body with some excellent nutrition.
Why Strawberries Are Good for You
Strawberries contain a host of vitamins; including vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin K. Minerals found in the berry include manganese, potassium, and iodine. Additionally they are a good source of folate and dietary protein. Having a regular dose of strawberries in your diet can help your body fight off free radicals and can also help reduce the risks of cancer. Because of the high amount of antioxidants found in strawberries, regular consumption can help to slow the aging process and even improve brain function. In some cultures the strawberry was used to treat conditions including gout, constipation, and rheumatism. The strawberry can even improve the health of your teeth and gums.
Fresh or Frozen Strawberries?
While fresh strawberries taste better, there isn’t much difference in nutritional value between fresh and frozen strawberries. It is important to note though, that if you are buying fresh strawberries that you use them within a day or two, because the longer fresh berries are kept the more nutrients they lose. Fresh strawberries are great to add to breakfast, salads, and desserts, while frozen strawberries are better suited to smoothies or cooked dishes like pies, muffins, and warm compote. Keeping some strawberries in your freezers is a good idea, so you can still get all the health benefits when you are unable to find fresh berries in the store.
The uses for strawberries are endless – just let your imagination run wild! Here are a few great ideas to get you started:
Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie
4 tsp flax seeds 1-2 ripe bananas 1 lb strawberries 1 cup milk (coconut, rice, soy, etc) Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds, or until desired consistency reached. Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!
Spinach Salad with Strawberries
This simple salad packs a lot of nutrition! 1 bag of baby spinach 1 pint of strawberries, washed , hulled and sliced 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped Toss with your favorite vinaigrette or try this tasty recipe for strawberry-balsamic vinaigrette.