Nothing Says Spring Like Fresh Strawberries

— Written By

It certainly has been a long wait and a cold winter but strawberries are finally ready for picking! Fresh summer strawberries are one of the most popular, refreshing and healthy treats on the planet. The Strawberry, often referred to as the “Queen of Fruits” boasts only 50 calories in one cup of the chopped juicy berries.

Here are some of the best reasons to add the Strawberry to your diet plan;

* Strawberries boost immunity; they are an excellent source of Vitamin C, one cup

                       contains 50% of your daily requirements of vitamin C,

* Strawberries promote eye health,

* Strawberries assist in fighting cancer,

* Strawberries help keep wrinkles away (hurray!!), vitamin C aids in the production of

                       collagen which aids in improving skin elasticity and resilience,

* Strawberries aid in fighting bad cholesterol,

* The antioxidants in strawberries aid in the reduction of inflammation,

* The potassium in strawberries helps to regulate blood pressure,

* Strawberries are loaded with fiber, they naturally contain about 2 g per serving, and

* Strawberries aid in weight management, they are low in calories, high in fiber, fat-free

          and low in both sodium and sugar,

Strawberry Banana Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches

5 ripe bananas

¾ cup sweet diced strawberries (can use other fruits)

11 sheets of graham crackers, chocolate or cinnamon are both very good

 

Slice bananas into disk. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Freeze for 2 hours or until frozen.

 

Place banana slices in a food processor and blend until creamy. Scoop banana into a large bowl and fold in dice strawberries.

 

Line an 8 x 8 dish with parchment paper. Spread banana mixture into the pan in an even layer.

Freeze. Cut banana mixture into squares (use a graham cracker as a pattern)

Assemble ice cream sandwiches. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag to store.

Serves 11.

 

**I haven’t tried it this way bit I think you could easily line the pan with your graham crackers, spread filling and top with your second graham cracker and then freeze and cut. This would eliminate a step.

 

Strawberry Peach Salsa Dip

1 cuppeaches, diced (about 2 peaches)

1/4 cupstrawberries, diced

1/2 medium green pepper, diced

1 medium onion, diced

2 tablespoonsraisins

3 tablespoonsparsley, chopped

1 tsp.wine vinegar

2 tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil

½ tsp.sugar

1/2 salt

l tsp. dry mustard

1 teaspoonthyme

1/4 teaspooncinnamon

1 teaspoonrosemary

 

Combine the diced peaches, strawberries, green pepper, onion, raisins, and parsley. Toss together.

Add the sugar, salt, mustard, thyme, cinnamon, and rosemary. Toss with the mixed fruit.

Stir in the wine vinegar and olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using for the flavors to blend. Serve with chicken or seafood. Also good with pork.


Strawberry Almond Cream Tart

Crust:

36 honey graham crackers (9 sheets)

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

4 teaspoons water

Cooking spray

 

Filling:

2/3 cup (about 5 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

 

Topping:

6 cups small fresh strawberries, hulled and divided

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

 

Preheat oven to 350°.

 

To prepare crust, place crackers in a food processor; process until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, butter, and 4 teaspoons water; pulse just until moist. Place cracker mixture in a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan lightly coated with cooking spray, pressing into bottom and up sides of pan to 3/4 inch. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

 

To prepare filling, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and extracts in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over bottom of tart shell.

 

To prepare topping, place 2 cups strawberries in food processor, and process until smooth. Combine strawberry puree, 2/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook 1 minute. Remove glaze from heat. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

 

Combine the remaining 4 cups strawberries and juice; toss to coat. Arrange berries, bottoms up, in a circular pattern over filling. Spoon half of glaze evenly over berries (reserve remaining glaze for another use). Sprinkle nuts around edge. Cover and chill 3 hours.

 

Serves 10, each serving contains; Calories 235, Fat 7.8g, Protein 4.1g, Carbohydrate 38.6g,

Fiber 2.4g, Cholesterol 14mg, Sodium 176mg, Calcium 33mg

 

Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares

 

Filling

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

2 Tablespoons warm water

2 cups finely diced strawberries

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

 

Oatmeal Base + Topping

2 and 1/4 cup quick oats

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup apple butter (will not be as moist if you use apple sauce instead of the apple butter)

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 cup sliced almonds

 

Make the strawberry filling first by mixing the cornstarch with the warm water until cornstarch has dissolved and there are no more clumps. It should resemble milk. Set aside.

 

Combine the strawberries, maple syrup, and sugar together in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir well. Remove from heat and stir in the pre-mixed cornstarch. Whisk until all clumps are gone and set aside to thicken and cool.

 

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides for easy removal. Set aside.

 

Make the oat crust/topping: In a large bowl, combine the quick oats, cinnamon, peanut butter, maple syrup, apple butter, and beaten egg. Mix until all of the oats are moistened and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Reserve 1/2 cup of the oat mixture. Press the remaining oat mixture into prepared baking pan. Make sure it is firmly pressed down and even. Spread the strawberry filling on top. To the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture, add the sliced almonds. Crumble this over the strawberry filling and, using the back of a spatula, press the topping down firmly into the strawberry filling. You want to make sure it sticks well.

 

Bake for 25-30 minutes. The topping will be lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

 

Makes 9-12 squares, depending how large you cut them.  Squares stay fresh covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Bars freeze well, up to 2 months.

 

Strawberry Shortcake Yogurt Dip

1 cuplight Cool Whip topping, thawed

1 container (8 ounce) strawberry low-fat yogurt

1/2 cupstrawberries, sweetened and finely chopped

Assorted fresh fruit (strawberries, peaches, bananas)

 

Mix Cool Whip topping, yogurt, and strawberries in small bowl.

Serve as dip with fresh fruit.

Makes two cups.

Written By

Photo of Jennifer StroudJennifer StroudCounty Extension Administrative Assistant (252) 527-2191 (Office) jennifer_stroud@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina

Contributing Specialist

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Posted on Apr 28, 2014
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