Robin Quay, MS, RD Sodexo Dietitian
It’s the time of year to get fresh, locally grown strawberries. These deliciously sweet bites of sunshine pack quite a nutritional punch. A cup of strawberries contains 149% of the Daily Value for Vitamin C, more than an orange. In fact, strawberries are the best fruit source of Vitamin C. Strawberries are an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of fiber and folate, and are very low in sodium. They have tons of phytonutrients which have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Since oxidative and inflammatory damage can lead to heart disease and cancer, strawberries can help protect against these diseases. Strawberries also improve blood sugar regulation.
The nutrients in strawberries significantly decrease after just 2 days of storage. Therefore, it’s a great idea to pick them yourself, or buy them locally. When you pick strawberries and eat them the same day, there’s no time for them to lose nutrients!
Strawberries can contain a high amount of pesticide residues, which cannot be completely removed by washing. If you are concerned about pesticide residues, you may want to consider buying organic strawberries.
Eating strawberries in their fresh form is the best. They are quite perishable, and cooking destroys many of the valuable nutrients they contain.
Try these fun and easy treats made with strawberries!
Whole fresh strawberries, washed thoroughly
Serve all ingredients separately. To enjoy, dip a strawberry in sour cream, then brown sugar. Consume immediately!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
2 pounds whole fresh strawberries, washed thoroughly and allowed to dry
12 oz dark chocolate
1 Tbsp. oil
Melt chocolate and oil together. Dip strawberries in melted chocolate mixture and place on parchment paper. Chill in refrigerator. Chocolate covered strawberries are ready to eat when the chocolate is firm.
Eating (a little) dark chocolate provides many health benefits, but that’s a blog topic for another day. For now, just remember, the darker, the better.