Sweet Strawberries

Now that June has finally arrived, it’s time to start thinking about all the great fresh produce we will soon have! Strawberries are one of Americans’ favorite fruits; in fact the average American eats about 8 pounds of strawberries every year! Strawberries typically come into season in June and last through mid-July. These little guys are packed full of nutrition and make great options for a snack, side dish, or dessert.

Did you know that one cup of strawberries actually contains more vitamin C than an orange? Strawberries are packed full of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, folate, and potassium, and they are also a great source of fiber. All of the vitamins and minerals in strawberries makes them high in antioxidants that can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Strawberries are also low in calories. In fact, just one cup of these sweet berries is only 50 calories!

Fresh strawberries can be used in a variety of ways for snacks, side dishes, or desserts. Try throwing them into a spinach salad or making a fresh strawberry salsa for a side dish. Strawberries can also make great desserts whether it be in a smoothie, as a fruit kabob, or topped on frozen yogurt.

When picking fresh strawberries be sure to look for plump, firm, and fully red berries. Typically the smaller berries have the most flavor. Remember, strawberries that are picked before they are ripe will not ripen after picking.

Be sure to check your local Farmers’ Market or Berry Farm to get your dose of fresh strawberries and try the recipe below!

Chicken & Strawberry-Spinach Salad

Strawberry-and-Grilled-Chicken-Salad
Dressing Ingredients:
3 Tbsp Apple Juice
2 Tbsp Strawberry Jam or Jelly
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Salad Ingredients:
1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
8 c Spinach
1 c Strawberries, Sliced
¼ c Blue Cheese
¼ c Chopped Walnuts

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients until blended, set aside.
2. Spray a 10 inch skillet with cooking spray, heat over medium high heat. Cook chicken in skillet 15-20 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear and the center of the thickest part has reached 165 F. Remove chicken to cutting board.
3. Cut chicken into slices. Among 4 plates, divide spinach, top with chicken, strawberries, and cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Nutrition Info: 270 calories, 11 g fat, 210 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 30 g protein
Recipe Source: http://www.bettycrocker.com

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