This summer has been all about strawberries. Easy strawberry jam, frozen strawberry pops, simple strawberry salad — we just can’t get enough of this fragrant fruit! Already a farmers market favorite, there’s actually a lot more to this season’s staple than meets the eye.
This little fruit packs a big punch! Strawberries are among the most highly concentrated antioxidant foods, with a single cup of halved berries fulfilling 149% of your daily recommendation of vitamin C. They are also a source of folic acid, which is an especially important nutrient before and during pregnancy. While strawberries do contain more sugar than other fruits and veggies, they are low in both fat and calories and make for a healthy (and delicious) snack.
When selecting your fruit, look for bright red berries with shiny, firm flesh. The green leaves (or “caps”) should be fresh and intact. Strawberries will not further ripen once picked, so always choose the best looking berries. Summertime is the ideal season to find strawberries at your farmers market, but they should also be available at your local supermarket. If you are looking for a fun summertime activity, try growing your own!
Strawberries, just like other fresh berries, are highly perishable. Always store in the refrigerator to extend their freshness, and hold off on washing your berries until ready to eat. After washing, pinch off the caps or slice off with a paring knife. Strawberries will add sweet, juicy flavor to a variety of dishes so keep it simple and toss them into your breakfast parfait or smoothie, or dress them up for a dinner party and add to your cheese plate or crostini toast.
*Honest Tip: If you are worried you won’t get to your berries before they go bad, freeze them for later use!