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strawberry fields forever…

fresh strawberries | photo by: Karen Covey

As spring transitions into summer, I always look forward to my first container of really juicy fresh strawberries from the farmer’s market. I love to eat them as is but have also managed to create some really great recipes that highlight them as well.

In addition to tasting great, strawberries are actually really good for you. They’re low in fat and calories, high in fiber, potassium, folic acid and many antioxidants and eight medium-size strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange.

When buying them, be sure to choose bright red, plump strawberries that have fresh green caps attached. Typically, the smaller the strawberry, the greater the intensity of flavor (large berries tend to have more water and a slightly diluted flavor). They should have a sweet fragrance because those without it aren’t usually ripe (and they don’t ripen after they’ve been harvested).

Store them, unwashed, in a single layer on a dry paper towel in a moisture-proof container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to wash them just before using them.

Here are 3 of my favorites recipes for strawberries: strawberry-banana smoothie, chilled strawberry soup and strawberry shortcake cookies. Enjoy!

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