Strawberries a Delicious Nutritious Powerhouse!

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension image

We can all agree that strawberries are delicious. However, did you know just what a nutritional powerhouse they are? Here are some great reasons to include strawberries in your diet.

Great for Your Diet
One cup of strawberries contains over 13% of the RDA of dietary fiber, yet only 43 calories. The dietary fiber in strawberries helps to keep digestion regular, as well as lowers blood pressure and curbs overeating.

Strawberries contain a chemical compound called phenols. Anthocyanin, a particular phenol abundantly found in strawberries, lends the rich red color to the fruit. Research shows that when anthocyanin-rich foods are consumed, the body’s uric acid levels increase, which serves as an antioxidant agent.

The phenols in strawberries also fight against many inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis, by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) in the same way that the drugs aspirin and ibuprofen do, without any of the drug side effects.

Anti-Cancer The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents found in strawberries is well-known to fight against the onset of many different forms of cancer. Thanks to the vitamin C, folate, and the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol that they also contain, strawberries are a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells.

Vitamin C
One cup of strawberries contains an incredible 136% of the RDA of vitamin C, an effective antioxidant that can help lower blood pressure, ensure a healthy immune system, and ward off the development of age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Magnificent Manganese
One cup of strawberries contains 21% of manganese, an essential nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Manganese is also great for the bones, helping in bone building and maintaining proper bone structure. The potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium in strawberries are also important for bone health

Now you have many reasons to give these strawberry recipes a try!

Strawberry Goat Cheese Pizza
1 whole wheat pita (or pre-made pizza crust)
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup trimmed watercress (or I prefer fresh spinach)
2 Tbsp. roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Dash of salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup shaved fresh Havarti cheese

Place pita in toaster oven and bake at 425° for 8 minutes, until browned. Remove from oven; arrange goat cheese evenly over crust.
Combine strawberries, watercress, sunflower seeds, olive oil, juice, salt, and black pepper; toss gently to coat. Arrange strawberry mixture evenly over goat cheese. Sprinkle pizza with Havarti cheese. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Strawberry Buttermilk Muffins

1 cup granulated sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg, divided

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cups (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups fresh Strawberries

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a muffin pan. Combine 1/4 cup sugar with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg; liberally sprinkle muffin tins with sugar mixture. Save remaining mixture for topping muffins.

Sift 2 1/4 cups flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg together in a large bowl.

Add butter to flour mixture and cut in with a pastry blender. (You can also use an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed.) Stop mixing when butter pieces are pea-sized and smaller.

Whisk buttermilk, eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture stirring just until combined. The batter will be lumpy.

Chop strawberries in chunks the size of blueberries or raspberries. Small berries can be quartered.  Toss 1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup flour and gently fold into batter. Fill muffin tins to the top and sprinkle with a generous amount of remaining sugar mixture.

Bake15 minutes and rotate pan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer and or until muffins spring back when lightly pressed in the center and/or a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad

1 ½ to 2 cups Strawberries

8 ounces shell pasta, cooked, rinsed and cooled

8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls, drained (or cubed mozzarella pieces)

1/4 cups slivered fresh basil

1/4 cups slivered red onion

1/4 cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette

Hull and quarter strawberries.

Combine strawberries, pasta, mozzarella, basil and onion in a large bowl (salad can be prepared to this point and refrigerated until ready to serve).

Drizzle with vinaigrette and mix gently until ingredients are well coated.

Strawberry Soup

2 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries

1 cup orange juice

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped topping, as needed

Fresh mint sprigs, optional

In a blender, combine all the ingredients but the whipped topping and mint and process until smooth. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a dollop of whipped topping. Garnish with mint, if desired.

Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

2 cups fresh strawberries, capped

1 cup crumbled pound cake

1 ½ cups milk

1 ½ cups ice

Sugar or Sugar substitute to taste

Whipped Cream

Blend top 5 ingredients until smooth.  Top with whipped cream and more

Posted on Apr 9, 2012
Was the information on this page helpful? Yes check No close
Scannable QR Code to Access Electronic Version