Written by Miley Buss. Miley is an MPH/RD candidate at UNC currently interning at Carolina Meadows.
Strawberry season is upon us. Strawberries are one of the first fruits to ripen in the spring¹ and the return of the berries is a nice reminder that warmer weather, lots of sunshine, and longer days are ahead. Strawberries are typically the most flavorful between the months of April and July²… so NOW is the time to get your fill!
Strawberries are not only delicious; they are also packed with good nutrition. Strawberries are primarily composed of water, which makes them helpful for staying hydrated, especially during the warmer months. They also contain a good amount of fiber, which is important for proper function of the gut.³
In addition, strawberries are also an abundant source of many vitamins and minerals. The most plentiful vitamins and minerals found in the berries include…
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps protect the body’s cells and tissues from damage. A single cup of sliced strawberries contains more than a day’s worth of vitamin C!
- Manganese supports the proper function of many enzymes, which are vital for a healthy metabolism. One cup of sliced strawberries contains 30% of the daily recommended amount of manganese.
- Folate (Vitamin B9). Folate is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. One cup of sliced strawberries contains 10% of the daily recommended amount of folate.
- Potassium is vital for many bodily functions including kidney function, heart function, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. One cup of sliced strawberries contains 7% of the daily recommended amount of potassium.
Strawberries are an incredibly versatile fruit and can used in a variety of recipes. From breakfast parfaits to lunch salads to smoothies and desserts… the possibilities are endless. Below are a couple of super simple strawberry recipes to get you started, but feel free to be creative in your kitchen.
Strawberry Waffle Parfaits
- Whole grain toaster waffle
- 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
- ½ cup yogurt (plain, strawberry, or vanilla)
- ½ cup sliced strawberries
- Maple syrup, optional
- Toast waffles according to package directions. Spread toasted waffle with peanut or almond butter and cut the waffle into bite-sized pieces.
- Layer yogurt, strawberries, and waffle pieces into a glass or bowl. If desired, top with maple syrup.
Simple Strawberry Salad
- 1-2 cups mixed greens or baby spinach
- ½ cup sliced strawberries
- 2 tablespoons crumbled cheese (feta, blue cheese, or goat cheese)
- 2 tablespoons chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, or walnuts)
- 2 tablespoons of your favorite store-bought balsamic dressing
- Layer the mixed greens, sliced strawberries, cheese, and nuts into a bowl or onto a plate. Add the dressing just before serving.
- Serve this salad as a side dish to any entrée or make it a meal by topping the salad with chicken or salmon and adding a roll to the side.
WHERE TO GET LOCAL STRAWBERRIES
Given the current circumstances, it is understandable that you may not want to go pick your own strawberries this year. While some local farms are still allowing patrons to pick berries, they are also offering alternative options such as online ordering, farm pick-up, and delivery. Below is a list of several farms offering alternatives.
- Buckwheat Farm. Offering you-pick, online store, & curbside & farm pick-up.
- Eno River Farm. Offering you-pick, farm pick-up, & some delivery.
- Lunsford Farms. Offering you-pick, curbside, & farm pick-up.
- Waller Family Farm. Offering you-pick, curbside, & farm pick-up.