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What’s Cooking? Strawberries

Learn about strawberries and their health benefits, from our Dietician Carol Valle. Watch the video to discover how to make a delicious strawberry drink.

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Good morning, everybody! This week we’re going to talk about strawberries, only because every time I go to the grocery store, I’m just inundated with strawberries. There are everywhere! The reason for this is they are the very first fruit to ripen in spring.

Facts About Strawberries

  • There’s an average of 200 seeds per strawberrystrawberries
  • The flower on top of the strawberries is about five to seven petals
  • They’re part of the rose family
  • Though they are thought of as a berry, they are actually in a group of their own – berries have seeds inside the fruit; strawberries have seed on the outside
  • They can be red – the color we’re used to seeing – green, yellow and white

I think I showed you some white strawberries last year; because they’re crossed with pineapple, they taste like pineapple.

I also learned 94 percent of Americans consume them. They’re grown in every state in the United States and Canada with California producing 75 percent of all strawberries in the U.S.—over 21 tons a year. Florida produces the second most and North Carolina the third most.

Health Benefits

Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, and a cup of strawberries only has about 55 calories. They’re also a good source of fiber. If you need a good pick me up of Vitamin C, a nice cup of sliced strawberries will do. I think about 98 percent of the Vitamin C you need for the day, you can get in a serving of strawberries!

What to do with Strawberries

Strawberries are a very versatile fruit. They can be used, obviously, in or as other foods you’re used to seeing like baked goods and jams and jellies. You can add them to your pancakes – instead of blueberries – custards, yogurt and salads. I always use them with salads during the summer. Dip them in melted chocolate for chocolate-covered strawberries or use them as topping to enhance a dessert (e.g. cheesecake).Grilled-Strawberry-Shortcake-22-edit-landscape-600-watermark

Last year, for my Dad’s birthday, we sliced a pound cake, added a little butter to the slices, lightly grilled them – just to get a little mark on each side – and topped it with some fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

I’m going to show you how to make a lemonade recipe I found in a dietetic journal, which lightens up the sugar in the lemonade by using a sparkling sugar-free strawberry drink, as well as fresh pureed strawberries and fresh lemons. I’ve had this multiple times. It’s very refreshing and doesn’t leave a sickening sweet taste in your mouth. It’s just very, very good! Here’s the recipe:


¾ cup sugar

¾ cup water

16-ounce container fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled

¾ cup fresh lemon juice (about 10 large lemons)

3 cups naturally flavored strawberry sparkling water*


    1. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool completely for about 30 minutes.
    2. Combine strawberries and half of the cooled sugar mixture in a blender. Cover and process until very smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a 2-quart pitcher.
    3. Stir in the remaining sugar mixture and lemon juice. Add sparkling water just before serving.

Note – *Club soda or plain sparkling water may be substituted for strawberry-flavored sparkling water.

Nutrition information

Serving size: ¾ cup

Serves 8

Calories 95; Total fat: 0g; Saturated fat: 0g; Trans-fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 22mg; Total carbohydrates: 25g; Dietary fiber: 1g; Protein: 0g

I hope you enjoy this strawberry lemonade recipe and stop by the Café and Bistro for delicious dishes featuring strawberries, including Chef Shelley’s Strawberry BBQ Chicken and Chef Eric’s Spring Spinach, Steak and Strawberry Salad.

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