What's Red, Juicy and a Gift from Nature?

What's Red, Juicy and a Gift from Nature?
There’s nothing that says "Hello Summer" quite like eating a juicy vine-ripened strawberry that has been ripened to perfection in the early summer sunshine.  Have you noticed the beautiful juicy strawberries available at your local farmers market and in the grocery stores?  Strawberries serve more than just fulfilling the sweet tooth. That small berry packs a big nutritional pop!  It is packed with loads of health benefits, making a nutritious fruit for mind and body.

Selecting and Purchasing Strawberries:
Naturally the best strawberries are the ones you grow yourself or pick from your local strawberry fields.
In the stores, always choose locally grown strawberries during the harvesting season (they are sweeter and juicier than those that are bred for shipment). Remember, your local strawberry season only lasts 3 to 4 weeks.

When purchasing berries from the grocery store, shop with your nose. Always pick the plumpest and most fragrant berries. They should be firm, bright, and fresh looking with no mold or bruises.  The caps (stems) should be bright green, fresh looking and fully attached. Berries should be dry and clean; usually medium to small berries have better eating quality than large ones 

Strawberries do not ripen after they have been harvested, so choose strawberries that have been picked fully ripened. Select berries that are in dry; unstained containers (stained containers may indicate over soft berries that are not freshly picked). Mold on berries spreads quickly - Never leave a moldy berry next to a good one.

Strawberry Equivalents:
Fresh Strawberries:
  • 1 basket = 1 pint strawberries = 3 1/4 cups whole berries = 2 1/4 cups sliced berries = 1 2/3 cups pureed berries. Basket of strawberries refers to the market package. 1 tray or flat of strawberries = 12 baskets.
  • 1 cup whole strawberries = approximately 4 ounces.
  • 1 quart whole strawberries weighs 1¼ to 1½ pounds and yields 4 to 5 servings.
  • 1½ quarts strawberries are needed for one 9-inch pie.
  • 12 pounds or 8 quarts of fresh strawberries = approximately 13 pints of frozen berries.

Nutritional Value of Strawberry
1 cup  of strawberries provides (approximately) the following nutrients:
Protein - 1 gm
Carbohydrates - 10.5 gm
Fat - 0.6 gm (No Saturated Fat)
Fiber - 1.6 gm
Vitamin A - 3 RE
Vitamin C - 84.5 mg
Thiamin - 0.1 mg
Riboflavin - 0.1 mg
Niacin - 0.4 mg
Vitamin B6 - 0.1 mg
Vitamin B12 - 0.1 mcg.
Folic Acid - 26.4 mcg
Sodium - 2 mg
Calcium - 21 mg
Iron - 0.6 mg
Potassium - 247 mg
Zinc - 0.2 mg
Magnesium - 16 mg
Calories - 45 

Did you know?
  • Rubbing a cut strawberry on teeth and gums helps remove tartar, apart from strengthening and healing the gums.
  • Since strawberries are rich in fiber, they help the body in absorbing nutrients.
  • Strawberries are good for diabetics, as they help stabilize the level of blood glucose.
  • Strawberries are said to help in regulating blood pressure and thus, diminishing the risk of heart disease.
  • Strawberries have been associated with inhibiting the production of cholesterol in the liver.
  • Strawberries have been known to help the body in getting rid of harmful toxins.
  • The high antioxidant levels in strawberries can help the body neutralize the destructive effects of free radicals.
  • The potassium in strawberries helps regulate the electrolytes in the body, in turn lowering the risk of stroke

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