Spring’s Red Jewels-Strawberries

20130507-195632.jpgWooHoo! Local strawberries are ready to harvest! After so many grey rainy days, these beauties really brighten my day. Savannah McQueen of Hammock Tracks shares

A few things you may or may not know about this beautiful red spring time fruit:

Strawberries are low in calories but high in minerals and nutrients. Scientists now believe that eating raw berries helps us fight aging, cancer, neurological diseases, and inflammation. They are also rich in antioxidants and a wonderful source of Vitamin C, B-6, A and E. In addition to all of these benefits, they are also a great source of minerals such as potassium – helps control heart rate and blood pressure, manganese – helps the body process antioxidants, copper and iron – assists in production of red blood cells, fluoride – strong healthy teeth.*

After you have picked shiny and plum strawberries and removed any with a dull appearance or moldy spots, the best way to clean them in not with a strainer. Instead place the berries in a bowl and add cold water. As the bowl fills swish the berries around with your hand. This will free any sand from the strawberries and also wash off insecticides. Since strawberry skin is exposed to any insecticides that may be used, they are one of the produce items that is best bought organically grown.

20130507-201855.jpgThis is the remnants of the cobbler I made last night. The stand where I buy local fruits and veggies sells a cobbler mix that only requires a 1/2 stick of butter and a 1/2 cup of milk plus your favorite fruit. To fully appreciate this dessert, serve warm with a scoop of Breyers Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Yum!

Around here you can pick your own or buy by the bucketful. With the gallon sized bucket I bought yesterday, I’ve had strawberries with my cereal, in cobbler and just in their plain goodness. I searched the Internet for more recipe ideas. Here are some I think I might make this week:

Strawberry Cream Bars from Mandy’s Recipe Box

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Quick Strawberry Jam from Martha Stewart

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Strawberry Bread from Martha Stewart

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Strawberry Honey Butter from Half Baked Baker

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Strawberry-Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Chips from My Recipes.com

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Frozen Strawberry Crumble from JustGetOffYourButtAndBake

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Strawberry Limeade from Southern Living

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Last, but not least….strawberries dipped in melted Nutella. Need I say more?
Oh, how about stuffing strawberries with cream cheese-powdered sugar?
Wait! What about the classic angel food cake topped with sliced strawberries and Cool Whip?
And yes…just plain fresh strawberries. Yum.

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