UACES Facebook Juicy, Red Ripe Strawberries! Yum!
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Juicy, Red Ripe Strawberries! Yum!

It's strawberry time in Arkansas. They don't just taste good - they're good for you!

Nashville, Ark. – It’s strawberry time in Arkansas. You have probably noticed more of them on the shelves of your grocery store, or maybe you have been lucky enough to travel a couple hours to a pick-your-own strawberry farm. Strawberries are versatile, great tasting and are now available and at their best. In fact, they will continue to be at their best until sometime in June.

            Strawberries are packed with great nutrition - everything from folate to fiber to phytochemicals; plus they are low in calories. A one-cup serving of strawberries (8 medium size) will provide only 45 calories. They are an excellent source of vitamin C. In fact, 8 medium strawberries provide 96 milligrams of vitamin C, or 160 percent of the recommended daily intake. That’s more vitamin C than one medium orange. Vitamin C helps fight infections from the common cold and heal cuts and bruises.

            The folate that is found in eight medium strawberries provides 20 percent of the daily need for folate. The recommended daily intake for folate is 400 micrograms – and unfortunately most Americans don’t get enough. Folate is one of the B vitamins found in various foods. Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, is found in fortified foods and vitamin supplements.

            Potassium is one of the minerals featured in the National Institutes of Health’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet developed to decrease blood pressure through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Eight medium strawberries provide 270 milligrams of potassium.

            When selecting strawberries for purchase, look for fully ripened, bright red strawberries. Unlike other fruits, they will not ripen after being picked. Once the berries are picked, use them as soon after purchased as possible to insure the best color and appearance and highest nutritional value. Other tips for keeping your strawberries as fresh as possible include:

  • Wash and cap when you are ready to use them, not before. Removing the cap early can reduce the flavor, texture, and nutrient quality.
  • Refrigerate strawberries immediately after purchasing.
  • To wash strawberries, place in a colander or large strainer and rinse with a gentle spray of cool water.
  • Always remove bruised, rotted or molded berries before storing them.
  • Store strawberries only for a couple of days in the refrigerator. If they are held longer, a grey mold may develop.
  • For optional storage, remove berries from their containers and arrange them no more than two berries deep in a shallow container or tray covered with waxed paper or plastic wrap.

            Remember that strawberries are nutritious and delicious. If you would like some information about freezing fruit or making homemade strawberry freezer jam, contact the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.

Recipe of the Week

            This recipe was shared by a good friend of mine. I am sure it is delicious and it would make a great treat for Mom for Mother’s Day Breakfast this Sunday. A very nice way to say thank you for all you do!

Strawberry Scones

1 cup strawberries (washed, hulled and cut into ½ inch pieces)

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons butter or margarine

2/3 cup milk

            Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter or margarine. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in strawberries; toss to coat. Add milk all at once. With a fork, lightly stir mixture together until it holds together. With floured hands, scoop approximately 1 ½ to 2 Tablespoons of mix and drop on a greased cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm with butter, margarine or cream cheese; or serve plain.

            Yield: 12 scones

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517
jince@uaex.edu

 

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

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