10 Fresh (and Tasty!) Ways to Enjoy Strawberries

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
High angle view of strawberries

Strawberries are the best kind of treat. They’re naturally sweet and juicy, with a flavor that brings to mind warm spring days. A SmartCarb for those on a Nutrisystem weight loss program, strawberries are loaded with nutrients and totally fat-free. One cup of fresh strawberries has just 50 calories and comes with 160 percent of your Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C. Strawberries are also a healthy source of fiber and potassium.

The season for fresh strawberries is all too brief, from the middle of spring into early summer. When shopping, pick the small to medium size berries, which tend to be juicier and more flavorful than the jumbos. Wait to wash the berries until you’re ready to eat them—they’re very susceptible to mold, which can grow in any excess moisture. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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Whole strawberries are so easy and fun to eat, they even come with their own handle—the leafy green hull. Here are 10 other delicious ways to enjoy strawberry season while you can:

1. Healthy Strawberry Salad:

Layer sliced berries on top of a bed of lettuce, spinach or other spring greens. Add sliced red onion and feta cheese, then dress with balsamic vinaigrette.

2. Strawberry Parfait:

Spoon vanilla Greek yogurt on the bottom of a sundae glass, top with sliced strawberries, sprinkle on low-fat granola, then repeat to make a second layer.

3. Spicy Strawberry Salsa:

Toss chopped strawberries, avocado cubes, diced red onion, fresh cilantro and chopped jalapeño pepper with lime juice to make a sweet and spicy topping for grilled chicken or fish.

4. Chilled Strawberry Soup:

Puree strawberries, plain Greek yogurt, orange juice, water and cardamom. Chill and garnish with fresh mint and strawberry halves just before serving.

5. Strawberry Pizza:

For a sweet twist on the ordinary pie, heat wedges of whole wheat pita and top them with a layer of goat cheese, basil leaves, sliced strawberries and a splash of olive oil.

6. Healthy Strawberry Smoothie:

Whip strawberries in your blender with coconut water, lemon juice, vanilla extract, frozen banana and ice for a delicious and satisfying “shake.”

7. Strawberry Fruit tea:

Add pureed strawberries to minty chamomile or cool green tea to make a refreshing drink for hot days.

8. Guilt-Free Strawberry Jam:

Chia seeds, rich in protein and healthy fats, are a natural thickener. Blend them with crushed strawberries, honey and ginger to make a quick jam—no boiling needed.

9. Strawberry Sorbet:

For a cool dairy-free treat, freeze a very ripe banana overnight, then blend half of it with a half cup of frozen strawberries and a splash of vanilla almond milk. Serve immediately or store in the freezer.

10. Strawberry Popsicles:

Blend watermelon cubes, mint leaves and strawberries into a puree, then pour into a popsicle mold. Freeze and enjoy when the days are hot.