Strawberry shortcake or chocolate dipped strawberries is what usually comes to mind when we think about strawberries! They are not just used for desserts or entertaining! They can be used in salads, drinks, side dishes, salsas, appetizers, and main dishes. A half a cup of fresh strawberries provides 160 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C for children ages 1 to 8. In addition to vitamin C, strawberries also contain antioxidants, fiber and folate, which are important for overall health and can help reduce chronic disease.
Selecting, Preparing and Storing Strawberries
When shopping for strawberries make sure you select ripe berries, because they cannot ripen once they are picked. You want a berries that are plump, fragrant and firm with a bright glossy red appearance. The strawberry caps should be bright green with no white shoulders at the stem. The white shoulders indicate the berry is not completely ripened. You do not want any signs of bruised or shriveled berries plus avoid containers with mold or leaking juices. Store strawberries at 32 to 36 degrees in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Strawberries can only be stored for up to seven days under optimum conditions. To prepare berries to use or eat wash in cool water, drain, remove green caps, slice, chop, puree or leave whole.
A dash of balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice or chopped herb will bring out the flavor of strawberries. The nutritional value for 1 cup strawberries is: Calories: 46; Total Fat: 0 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Total Carbohydrates: 11 g; Protein: 1 g; Sodium: 1 mg