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Bulletin #4268, Vegetables and Fruits for Health: Strawberries

Vegetables and Fruits for Health

Strawberries

Revised and updated by Associate Extension Professor Jane Conroy
Originally developed by Extension Nutrition Specialist Nellie Hedstrom

For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit extension.umaine.edu.
Find more of our publications and books at extensionpubs.umext.maine.edu.

Strawberries are delicious when picked and eaten in season in Maine. Buy strawberries from your local farmers market, farm stand, or pick-your-own patch. Gather a supply for your freezer while strawberries are in season.

Fresh strawberries are tasty and wholesome. They are the first berries on the market in the summer. Wild strawberries, which are much smaller but often sweeter, can be gathered most of the summer.

Nutrition Information

Raw strawberries are low-calorie fruits. One cup of berries has 45 calories and provides 100 percent of the recommended vitamin C for an adult. Berries are also rich in potassium.

One serving of cooked, canned, or frozen berries is equal to about a half cup. For fresh berries, use one cup as a serving size. But there’s no need to worry about limiting your serving sizes if you eat fresh, raw berries. Only by adding sugar or high-fat products—like a pie crust or whipped topping—will you add calories and fat. Choose serving methods that will provide you with the best source of nutrients while limiting fat and sugar.

Selection

If you gather strawberries from a pick-your-own patch, go at the beginning of the season to get premium berries. Later in the season berries may be smaller and less fully developed, but still juicy. You may want to use some of the smaller berries for baking or for jams, if you “put up” jams. Size is also determined by the variety of berry. Some people think small to medium berries have better flavor than larger berries.

Roadside stands and farmers markets will provide you with a source of fresh strawberries from mid-June through mid-July. Choose berries that are firm, dry, and uniform in color. The caps should look green and fresh. Wild berries may taste sweeter than commercially grown fruits.

For the best price and flavor, buy locally in season. Check the berries to make sure that they are plump and free of mold.

Storage

As soon as you get the strawberries home, check them for decay, mold, or other signs of spoilage, and discard any spoiled berries. Use the remaining berries within a couple of days.

Preparation

Strawberries can be washed, drained, covered, and stored in the refrigerator for later use. Leave the caps of the berries on until after they are washed to prevent water from soaking into the berry.

There are many uses for berries. Use them in baked goods, blender drinks, and sauces; spread them over desserts, serve them fresh with milk and sugar, or just eat them as is. Many people use them in main-dish soups, hot or cold. Of course, canning jams and preserves is a way to make sure berries can be enjoyed in the winter months.


Strawberry Smoothies

Serves 4 to 6

8 ounces vanilla yogurt
2 cups crushed ice
1 cup fruit juice
1/4 cup dry milk
1 banana or 1/2 cup strawberries
strawberries for garnish

Place yogurt, ice, fruit juice, and dry milk into the blender. Peel and break up banana and add to blender. Blend until smooth and then pour into cups. Top with strawberries.

Strawberry Smoothies Nutrition Facts label (text)


Summertime Fruit Salad

Serves 4 (1 3/4-cup servings)

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved
2 cups raspberries
2 cups blueberries
1 cup cantaloupe, cut to bite-sized pieces
fresh mint leaves

In medium bowl, whisk juice and honey; add remaining ingredients. Toss gently to combine. Chill 1 hour. Spoon salad into 4 individual bowls, dividing equally.

Summertime Fruit Salad Nutrition Facts label (text)

Some content adapted with permission from University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension.


Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2008
Published and distributed in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914, by the University of Maine and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Cooperative Extension and other agencies of the USDA provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.

Call 800-287-0274 or TDD 800-287-8957 (in Maine), or 207-581-3188, for information on publications and program offerings from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, or visit extension.umaine.edu.

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Image Description: Strawberry Smoothies Nutrition Facts label

Image Description: Summertime Fruit Salad Nutrition Facts label


Contact Information

Cooperative Extension Publications
University of Maine, 5741 Libby Hall, Room 114
Orono, ME 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3792 | Fax: 207.581.1387
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Orono, Maine 04469
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