Sweet Summer Strawberries

Sweet Summer Strawberries

There is nothing like biting into a sweet, juicy Ontario strawberry this time of year. This bright red fruit is packed with valuable vitamins, minerals and is rich in antioxidants.

Strawberries are known for their vitamin C content. Just one cup of strawberries offers over 100%, or 94 mg of vitamin C. That’s more than 1 medium sized orange.

We have all heard that vitamin C helps support our immune system, but did you know that it helps build and maintain collagen. Collagen helps support the elasticity of our skin, which we tend to lose as we age. In other words, strawberries are good for our skin! Collagen is also the basis of the connective tissues found not only in our skin, but in our ligaments, cartilage, capillary walls, bones and teeth.

Strawberries also offer a good amount of fiber. The fiber in the fruit helps regulate blood sugar by slowing its digestion, and therefore slowing the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Fiber also gives a sense of fullness and contributes to a healthy happy digestive track.

This delicious fruit also comes packed with a variety of powerful antioxidants.  According to Medical News Today, “strawberries rank among the top 10 fruits and vegetables in antioxidant capacity”. As you know, antioxidants help fight the damaging effects of free radicals to cells within our body. Many of these antioxidants not only neutralize free radicals but, also have immune stimulating and anti-inflammatory properties. The vitamin C found in strawberries also acts as a powerful free-radical scavenger, neutralizing these damaging components. Of course, a daily diet rich in fresh fruits, such as strawberries, and vegetables offers a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which together offer protection and support many processes in the body.

Strawberries can be used in a variety of ways. For example, Debra from Paper Parade Co. made a strawberry rhubarb syrup that can be used to flavour water or for homemade soda.  They can be added to cereal, oatmeal or plain yogurt. They can be easily frozen and added to smoothies. Strawberries can also be added to salads or simply eaten on their own. Because of their strong structure, they are great in pies or other baked goods. Their nutrients however, begin to degrade when baked.

I prefer to eat strawberries on their own, added to overnight oatmeal or used in a strawberry yogurt parfait.

So head out to your local market and pick up a pint of Ontario strawberries and enjoy!

 Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

¾ cup plain yogurt

½ cup strawberries, washed and sliced

Drizzle of maple syrup (optional)

Granola and toasted walnuts (optional)

To assemble the parfait, layer the yogurt and the strawberries in a glass vessel. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with granola and toasted walnuts if using.

Enjoy!

Linda @ The Wholesome Kitchen