Fresh Local Strawberries Are In Season
Strawberries are packed with great nutrition, from folate to phytochemicals. As well
as being low in calories, with no cholesterol or saturated fat. A one-cup serving
of strawberries, unsweetened (8 medium) will provide 45 calories and 140 percent of
the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
The first delicious fruit of the season was discovered by early 18th century French explorers who discovered a bright red, plump, sweet berry cultivated by the Indians of Chile in South America. This plant was crossed with a wild meadow strawberry discovered in colonial Virginia. Resulting in what we call a strawberry.
Fresh grown local Arkansas strawberries are showing up at the Gateway Farmers Market at the corner of Jefferson and east 9th, but have a short availability, mid-April through end of May.
Strawberries are packed with great nutrition, from folate to phytochemicals. As well as being low in calories, with no cholesterol or saturated fat. A one-cup serving of strawberries, unsweetened (8 medium size) will provide 45 calories, and 140 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C.
Let your nose be the guide for fresh strawberries. They should smell sweet, be bright red berries with fresh green caps on. Those without the bright green cap can mean a loss in Vitamin C. Look closely at the berries, making sure there are no signs of mold. One molded berry can spoil the batch.
Purchase your fresh strawberries last so they can be refrigerated quickly. Berries should not be left at room temperature for more than a few hours or you may begin seeing a browning effect due to the warm temperature. Use the strawberries as soon after purchased as possible to insure the best color, appearance and highest nutritional value.
Never wash strawberries or remove the caps until just before using them. Removing the cap early can reduce the flavor, texture, and nutrient quality. Instead, store unwashed berries loosely covered with plastic wrap in the coldest part of your refrigerator for a maximum of three days. If held longer, a grey mold may develop.
For optional storage, remove berries from their containers and arrange them no more than two berries deep in a shallow container or tray covered with waxed paper or plastic wrap.
When you are ready to use your strawberries, wash them by placing berries in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Berries that set in water will lose color and flavor. Before serving or using your strawberries, remove the green cap with a plastic-tipped vegetable peeler or paring knife without removing any of the fruit.
If you are ever stumped as to how many strawberries you are getting when you purchase a container, here is a simple guide: 1 basket equals 1 pint; 1 pint equals about 3 and one-fourth cups whole berries, 2 and one-fourth cups sliced or 1 and two-thirds cups pureed berries; 1 pint of strawberries also equals about 12 very large stemmed berries to about 36 smaller berries.
For more information & recipes on strawberries, contact the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture in Miller County at 870-779-3609, e-mail Chaley@uada.edu or visit us in the Miller County Courthouse. You may also follow me on facebook at www.facebook.com/MillerCountyFCS, or our website at www.uaex.uada.edu/counties/miller
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla or almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped strawberries
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8 cup muffin tin, or use paper liners. In a small bowl, combine oil, milk, egg and vanilla. Beat lightly. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Toss in chopped strawberries and stir to coat with flour. Pour in milk mixture and stir together until mixed. Fill muffin cups three fourth full. In a small bowl mix together cinnamon and sugar, dust muffins lightly. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans.
By Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
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