3 Seasonal Dishes with Strawberries

Shanthi Appelo
Shanthi Appelo

| 2 min read

Strawberry season is here, and it’s a fruitful time for Michiganders. According to Michigan Grown, our state generates $6.6 million from strawberry production, including more than 43,000 tons of fresh strawberries. Strawberries are not just a staple to the local economy, but also to health. While they’re nature’s candy of a sort, strawberries are relatively low in calories.
Strawberries can help support immune health with their vitamin C content. Just eight average-sized strawberries offer more vitamin C than an orange. Their deep red hue means they are rich in antioxidants, helping protect the body from cellular damage and aiding in protecting against chronic illnesses like some cancers. Strawberries’ built-in seeds also pack in some fiber, supporting a healthy gut.
If you’re planning a U-pick family day at a Michigan farm, here are some tips for picking the best strawberries and storing them for longevity:
  • Strawberries don’t continue to ripen after picking, so choose the most vividly red berries that have no white or green
  • Look out for nibbles for critters
  • Leave the cap and leaves on until ready to eat to promote longevity
  • Place them in the fridge as soon as you can; avoid letting them sit in a hot car
  • Avoid washing them until ready to eat to make them last the longest
While strawberries taste great on their own, they’re also great in both sweet and savory meals. Try one of these three recipes:
Loaded in fiber and protein, this recipe is a great breakfast or elevated snack choice. Simply toast bread, add a dollop of cottage cheese and sliced strawberries and top with slivered almonds and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
This pudding tastes so decadent it’s surprising it’s made from only nutrient-dense ingredients. The cocoa powder packs in fiber and antioxidants while the chia seeds pack in brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and heart-protective fiber. Simply whisk the ingredients together, let sit overnight and let the magic happen.
Nothing screams summertime more than a fresh salad with strawberries. The sweetness of the berries pairs wonderfully with the savory elements of the salad ingredients and feta cheese.
Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan based in Detroit. For more recipes and health information, visit ahealthiermichigan.org.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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