Harvest of the Month: Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits in the world because of their sweetness, vibrant color, and versatility. They can be served as a side, snack, or even dessert.

It’s fitting that strawberries are heart-shaped since they protect heart health by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and protecting against certain cancers. Just one serving of strawberries (about eight) also provides 160% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C.

Strawberry season is typically from the middle of May to the end of June. Picking strawberries is a fun family activity, but there is typically a short timeframe when the berries are at their peak. Search for strawberry farms in your area now and mark your calendar so you don’t miss this fun opportunity.

How to Select

Choose strawberries that are firm, plump, unblemished, and free of mold. The best strawberries have a shiny, deep red color with bright green caps on top.
Strawberries will not ripen further after they are picked, so avoid any that are dull or have green or yellow patches.

How to Store

Keep strawberries as dry as possible. Refrigerate them in their original package between 32 and 34 degrees. They will stay fresh for three days in the refrigerator, and can be frozen and used later for desserts and smoothies.

How to Prepare

Rinse strawberries gently with cool water just before eating. For the best flavor, let them reach room temperature before serving.

Try strawberries in the recipe for Poppy Seed Fruit Salad from Health.com.

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