The time is nearly ripe for everyone's favorite berry to come into season! Whether you grew them as part of your organic vegetable garden or as one of your many container gardening endeavors, your strawberries are just about ripe for picking. June through August is traditionally the prime season for strawberries, although commercial agriculture has been able to extend it from April until December. Nothing tastes as sweet, though, as a summer strawberry picked fresh from your garden. Whether they are growing in your yard or you have to take a walk down to the farmers market, don't miss out on these sweet snacks.
Why should you eat strawberries?
Besides the fact that they are delicious, strawberries are extremely good for your health. Packed with fiber, vitamin C and flavonoids, these little red berries are bursting with nutritional benefits.
- Fiber is important for digestion and has been shown to help lower levels of bad cholesterol, making it important for heart health as well.
- Vitamin C is well-known for its immune system-boosting qualities. Strawberries contain more vitamin C than any other berry with 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance in only one cup!
- Flavonoids are extremely powerful antioxidants that are good for protecting your heart. In addition to lowering bad cholesterol, flavonoids improve blood vessel function, decrease blood clotting that could lead to strokes and decrease inflammation in the body.
How to eat strawberries
One of the best things about eating strawberries is that they are incredibly versatile in how they are consumed. Strawberries go bad quickly once they've been picked, so make sure you are ready to eat them within a few days. Eat them plain, with yogurt, in a pie or as a jelly. They can also be added to salads, dipped in chocolate or pureed into drinks. There really isn't much that a strawberry can't be added to. For an easy snack that is sweet, nutritious and filling, try this strawberry smoothie recipe:
Strawberry smoothie recipe
1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 cup fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup ice
Place all the ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.
Smoothie tip: Summer's heat not only raises our body temperatures, it can also raise heighten stress and agitation. To make your smoothie as relaxing as it is cool, add a sprig or two of fresh lavender from your flower gardens to take advantage of this herb's stress-relieving properties.