Harvest of the Month: Strawberries

As you savor fresh strawberries this year, you might want to consider that you’re sharing a treat that’s been enjoyed in
the Americas since before they were the Americas. In fact, evidence suggests that people indigenous to North America
not only enjoyed strawberries, they likely even served them with a kind of shortcake.

Of course, those early strawberry fans likely wouldn’t recognize the ones we eat today: Hybrids of ones originally
cultivated in Europe and South America, our treasured red berries would dwarf their ancient ancestors, but they still
deliver a nutritional punch, with healthy doses of Vitamin C, fiber and potassium.

Whether you’re picking them from the field or choosing them in the supermarket, to get the best strawberries, choose ones that are glossy and bright red, with no traces of white at the stem. Avoid berries that are bruised, moldy or mushy. If you find a moldy berry in a batch you’ve already purchased, toss it out … the mold can spread quickly and ruin a whole batch.

Strawberries are best eaten as quickly as possible and at room temperature; however, if you must store them for a
few days, do so in the refrigerator in a basket or bowl lined with paper towels. And wait to wash them until you’re ready to serve them.

Try strawberries in this Healthy Strawberry Oatmeal Bars recipe.

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