Strawberry Goodness – Now and Later
May brings Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, spring flowers, and the start to our garden produce. One of my favorite things about May is strawberry season. There is nothing better than fresh strawberries – eaten just by themselves straight from the patch or used in some of our favorite recipes.
Strawberries not only taste good they are also good for us. One half-cup of strawberries provides 80 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C and 2 grams of dietary fiber. That is as much fiber as a slice of whole-wheat bread. All of this for only 27 calories and 6 grams of total carbohydrates for ½ cup. (Source: USDA SNAP-Ed Harvest of the Month)
If you have access to more berries than what you and your family can eat at one time or while they are in season, why not freeze some for later use. Freezing is a quick and easy method of food preservation. Frozen berries are especially delicious in baked goods, smoothies, yogurt parfaits, and fruit salsa.
Preparation – Select fully ripe, firm berries with a deep color. Discard immature and defective fruit. Wash and remove caps if necessary and pat dry.
- A dry pack is good for small whole fruits such as berries, that give a good quality product without sugar.
- A tray pack makes the fruit easier to remove from the container.
- Simply spread a single layer of prepared fruit on shallow trays and freeze.
- When frozen, promptly package in freezer bags or containers and return to the freezer.
- The fruit pieces remain loose and can be poured from the container and the package re-closed and frozen.
- Be sure to package the fruit as soon as it is frozen, to prevent freezer burn.
For more information on Home Food Preservation, contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Alleghany County office at 336-401-8025.
Visit the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s National Center for Home Food Preservation for a wealth of on-line resources.
Makes 8 servings
- 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries or 1 (10 oz.) package frozen strawberries
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
Chop strawberries, apple, and kiwi. Add drained crushed pineapple and 2 Tablespoons pineapple juice to chopped fruit. Chill. Serve with cinnamon graham crackers, honey grahams or make homemade cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.
Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips
- 4 (8 in) whole wheat tortillas
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay tortillas on a baking sheet. Cut each tortilla into 8 pieces but leave pieces together in a circle. (A pizza cuter works great.) Lightly spray each tortilla with cooking spray. Mix cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over each tortilla. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven to cool. Serve with fruit salsa.