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You know summer is here when strawberries come into season! They’re associated with so many quintessentially British things like scones with cream and strawberry jam or strawberries at Wimbledon – they’re also a favourite childhood flavour in sweets, milkshake and ice-cream. Strawberries are so popular that unusual taste ideas like combining strawberries with balsamic vinegar or black pepper are cropping up in recipes, and for years we’ve artificially recreated the smell and flavour for scented products including cosmetics such as lip gloss. However you like them, there are plenty of good reasons to eat them.
• Only 32kcal per 100g
• Very good source of vitamins C
• Good sources of folate, potassium and manganese
Strawberries, like most berries, are bursting with phytonutrients such as anthocynanins, flavonols and tannins which work together to keep bad cholesterol down and fight free radicals that can be cancer-forming. Of all the fruits, strawberries rank fourth as the best to consume for antioxidants.
In the kitchen
Strawberries are quite a delicate fruit and bruise or damage easily, so storing or caring for them before they get eaten can be a problem for many of us. So here are some tips:
- Don’t wash them all in one go: they absorb the water and are prone to mould much faster. Wash as you need them.
- Don’t remove the stems or hull them until you’re ready to eat them.
- Quickly pick out any damaged or mouldy strawberries because they’ll soon damage all the others.
- Keep them in the fridge if you’re not going to eat them within 24 hours.
Strawberries can be frozen: if you intend to freeze them, then you’ll need to hull and remove the stems, cut into halves and then freeze in an airtight bag or container.
We’re coming into holiday season and so you may fancy something sweet but don’t want to pack in the calories; it’s difficult to find ideas that satisfy that craving without breaking your diet. Here’s a classic choice that dietitians often recommend as a “now and then treat”. And it only takes a few minutes if you buy ready-made meringue nests from your local supermarket.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 large or 4 small meringue nests
- 500g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 450g 0% natural Greek yoghurt (such as Fage)
- Half tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Chuck it all in a bowl! Mess it up!
Nutrition per serving
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat. He writes for www.veggieandspice.com and www.itsaboutnutrition.com