Happy Memorial Day! Happy Monday. As we are approaching the end of May, I want start off by week by sharing four very simple strawberry recipes all appropriate for Meatless Monday.
Strawberries was initially considered a luxury food prior to the 19th century. It originated in South America and the crop was sent to Europe for breeding purposes. There are many varieties of strawberries, but this post will focus on the health benefits of its consumption. Strawberries have a rich source of antioxidants, manganese in particular and vitamin C. These two sources along with other antioxidants that play role in cardiovascular disease such as decreasing fat oxidation especially in the blood vessel area, lowering LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol. More importantly, 1-2 cups of strawberries per day can help reduce high blood pressure.
For families affected by type 2 diabetes, 1 cup of strawberries (approximately 47 calories) may reduce the risk by its ability to lower blood sugar levels.
For families or patients with cancer, strawberries contain anti-cancer properties that may help reduce risk or worsening of specific cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, cervical and esophageal cancers.
Other research studies show that strawberries contain components that may help with aging, cognition, brain and motor function. Another study using rats, rats who consumed strawberry extracts that may prevent gastric diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and ulcers. Another recent study also reveals that an antioxidant found in strawberries may help prevent and even treat retinal disease.
Since it is National Strawberry Month plus knowing the health benefits of consuming them, there are many uses of strawberries. One obvious reason and most likely the best way to eating them is raw, only one cup of strawberries have low calories plus a multitude of health benefits. If eating raw strawberries is not a possibility or if you want something quick, below are four pictures of recipes that do not require as many ingredients.
Strawberries can be included on a salad, such as the Strawberry Arugula Salad, that was previously posted three weeks ago here. Personally, I enjoy eating them raw or in the morning when I am in a rush, I like to make smoothies. My smoothies contain about:
1/2 cup of sliced strawberries (approximately 24 calories) – $3.88/2 lbs. – Stop & Shop
1 cup of almond milk (unsweetened)/1 cup of cashew milk (unsweetened) – 30 calories / 25 calories- 2 for $6 (Stop & Shop)
Sometimes, I like to add other items such as
1 cup blueberries – 85 calories or 1/2 banana sliced – 55 calories
Cravings for dessert and don’t want to cook or bake, this sound biased, but I have had the pleasure of enjoying baked strawberry goods at the recent Queens Taste Event from Esta Joy’s Kitchen and Rudy’s Bakery and Cafe.
In the past, I have enjoyed the strawberry panna cotta dessert made by Pastry Executive Chef Zac Young at David Burke Fabrick, when it first opened in 2014.
These items are so simple to make and obtain, if there are no food allergies to strawberries, take control of your health and well being by taking advantage of this nutritional crop. Cheers!!