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Commentary: Farmers in the county and N.C. grow great strawberries

Cassey Mapp-Ahmed of the Forsyth County Health Department is shown with locally grown strawberries and flowers purchased at a Forsyth County Farmers Market.

Commentary: Farmers in the county and N.C. grow great strawberries
May 25
00:20 2017

By Lynne Mitchell

Enjoy strawberries and boost your nutrition, as May is Strawberry Month.  Strawberries are heart-shaped, red, nutrient powerhouses packed with vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, manganese, folate and potassium.   

In fact, one cup of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange. 

Strawberries are low in calories and part of a healthy diet.   Because of their nutrient content, strawberries help fight diseases such as cancer and heart disease and promote healthy blood pressure and weight.

Strawberries are versatile. They can be enjoyed at any time of the day as an entrée, side or dessert. 

At breakfast, enjoy strawberries on top of cereal, yogurt, pancakes, waffles, French toast and oatmeal, or mix with other fruits and veggies to make a smoothie.  Strawberries are also wonderful by themselves or mixed with other fruit in a fruit salad.  You can even make your own strawberry jam to top your toast, bagel or English muffin.

At lunchtime, enjoy strawberries as a dessert in a salad.  Strawberries are also tasty in applesauce, salad dressing or quick breads.  For those with an adventuresome spirit, try a peanut butter and strawberry sandwich. You can even make strawberry lemonade to go along with your lunchtime meal.

On a hot summer night when you want a quick dinner, try strawberries in a salad with mixed greens, goat cheese, grilled chicken and walnuts. 

Looking for something different with strawberries?  Try a chilled strawberry soup or make strawberry salsa using strawberries, red onion, avocado and cilantro.  You can eat the strawberry salsa with chips or as an accompaniment to more traditional dishes such as grilled chicken tacos.  There are hundreds of strawberry recipes on the Internet, so it should be easy to find a recipe that interests you.

Most strawberries are grown in California.  However, farmers in Forsyth County and North Carolina also grow wonderful sweet-tasting strawberries.  For family fun, try a pick-your-own strawberry farm. 

For a list of local strawberry farmers, visit the Forsyth County Cooperative Extension Service website at http://www.forsyth.cc/CES/ or call the office at 336-703-2850.

Lynne M. Mitchell MS, RD, LDN is Community Nutritionist with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health (www.forsyth.cc/publichealth). You can reach her at 336-703-3216 (direct line) or mitchelm@nullforsyth.cc.

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