Berry Delicious!

Fun and Nutritious Spring Activity

Spring is here! With spring, the temperature is warming up and the flowers and trees are budding. In fact, spring is a perfect time for one of our favorite activities: Strawberry picking!

Strawberries are not only delicious, but also have many great health benefits:

  • Strawberries are high in fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol levels, helps us to feel satisfied, and keeps our GI function regular.

  • They are filled with antioxidants, which have been shown to prevent diseases, such as some cancer, cognitive impairment associated with aging, immune dysfunction, and diseases affecting vision, such as macular degeneration. A specific antioxidant found in strawberries called ellagic acid has been shown to help the elasticity of the skin.

  • They have been shown to help limit inflammation in the body by lowering blood levels of C-reactive protein

  • Strawberries are filled with flavonoids, which help to lower risk of heart disease.

Strawberries can be consumed on their own, but they also can be incorporated in our diet in other fun and creative ways, such as:

  • Making fruit smoothies out of them

  • Adding to salads; especially spinach salads

  • Putting them on desserts, such as angel food cakes or short cakes

  • Add them to your yogurt

  • Add them to your breakfast waffles or pancakes

  • Instead of using jelly, cut up and put on your morning toast

  • Add to cereal

Strawberry Shortcake recipe (Food.com):

FOR THE STRAWBERRIES:

  • 1 1⁄2 lbs strawberries, stemmed and quartered

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 3⁄4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream, chilled

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Directions

  1. Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

  4. Place a metal bowl and beaters in the freezer during shortcake cooking time.

  5. Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally.

  6. Mix all whipped cream ingredients in the metal bowl with metal beaters about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

  7. Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.

Protein-Packed Strawberry Peanut Butter Smoothie (Beamingbaker.com)

Recipe type: Smoothie, Snacks

Serves: 2 smoothies (3½ cups)

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups frozen strawberries

  • ¼ cup peanut butter

  • 2 medium bananas, sliced and frozen

  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt

  • ¾ cup milk

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into blender.

  2. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as necessary.

  3. Pour into cups. Enjoy!

-Ashley P.

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