Ahhhh - springtime: the days are longer, the sun is beaming brighter, city streets are coming alive again. You’re probably finding yourself more alert, excited, and craving lighter, fresh fruits and vegetables.
This month’s nutrition highlight is all about fruit- and more specifically, strawberries! You may have seen strawberries flying off the shelves at half price in recent weeks, because in warmer climates, strawberries are in season. And soon, it'll be strawberry season in New York, too! Read on for a simple, delicious fruit salad recipe featuring seasonal strawberries.
Strawberries mainly consist of water (91%) and carbohydrates (7.7%). They contain only minor amounts of fat (0.3%) and protein (0.7%).
The nutrients in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of strawberries are:
Protein: 0.7 grams
Carbs: 7.7 grams
Sugar: 4.9 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Fat: 0.3 grams
Strawberries are a good source of many vitamins, minerals and plant compounds — some of which have powerful health benefits.
Vitamins and minerals
The most abundant vitamins and minerals in strawberries are:
Vitamin C. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for immune and skin health.
Manganese. Frequently found in high amounts in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, this trace element is important for many processes in your body.
Folate (vitamin B9). One of the B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue growth and cell function — and fundamental for pregnant women and older adults.
Potassium. This mineral is involved in many essential body functions, such as regulating blood pressure.
To a lesser extent, strawberries also provide iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B6, K, and E.
The health benefits include reduced cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Furthermore, these berries may help prevent big spikes in both blood sugar and insulin levels.
Ok, before we get to the recipe, though, I have to break some news to you: despite their prevalence in the produce aisle, Driscoll’s is not the best company to purchase strawberries from (and, unfortunately, they know they have a bad reputation, so they change their name on the labels to trick consumers into buying their strawberries.) There is information out there on the web about their poor business practices (including illegal and abhorrent treatment of their employees) but I will allow you to look into that on your own!
A great way to tell if your strawberries are good to purchase is if they come in a paper container - YES - or a plastic container - NO!
Fortunately, though, we happen to grow delicious strawberries right here in New York State! They’re called Tristars and they are delicious! If you're buying locally grown fruit, you'll likely have to wait a few weeks before you can get your hands on some Tristar strawberries, but fret not- they are coming.
Regardless, now is the time to satisfy your sugar cravings with fruit. The Food Geek is an awesome resource to find out which fruits and vegetables are in season any time of the year:
Below is a simple fruit salad using seasonal ingredients, starring, of course, strawberries:
In-Season Fruit Salad Recipe
- 1 lb Tristar Strawberries
- 2 Mandarin oranges
- 1/2 Grapefruit
- Handful of Cherries
- 2 Kiwis
Optional: add coconut shavings and/or toss with this simple orange syrup!
How to make Orange Syrup
- 8 ounces (1 cup) water, filtered or distilled
- 8 ounces granulated sugar, about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- 3 oranges, bright orange peel only, sliced
Combine the sugar and cool water in a jar or bottle and let it sit for about 20 minutes, giving it a shake or stir every five minutes or so.
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Meet the Author
As the General Manager for Pongo Power, Izzy helps oversee and manage ongoing projects in all departments. Her knacks for organization and administration help Pongo Power implement the much needed systems for a growing small business!
She brings over 10 years of administrative, client-oriented and managerial experience as well as a personal passion for health and wellness! During her free time, Izzy is often at the gym/yoga studio, on a long walk through the city or searching for a new vegan restaurant!
“My passion in life is to make things as simple as possible. I believe we can achieve anything as long as we truly understand it. We can understand anything if it’s broached to us in a language we comprehend. My goal is to speak YOUR language!”