The official start of summer is just around the corner, and soon it will be peak season to start picking fresh strawberries and other delicious produce.
Strawberries are one of America’s most loved fruits, so it’s not surprising that the average American consumes 8 pounds per year. So, eat up, because one cup of naturally sweet strawberries has only 50 calories, making them a perfect treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. Eating strawberries for dessert can also add a powerful nutrient punch that most sugary desserts lack.
If the low-calorie benefit wasn’t enough, strawberries are rich in vitamin C which helps support a healthy immune system, and fiber which aids in digestive health. Strawberries also contain antioxidants such as anthocyanins. These compounds give strawberries their bright red color and may help prevent some chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Strawberries are so versatile, too. Serve them whole, pack them in your lunch, or add them to your favorite cereals, breads, and side dishes. Add them to salads, salsas, smoothies, low-fat yogurt, or ice cream.
Try this easy Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade for a bubbly summer refresher, bursting with vitamin C. Be sure to make the strawberry lemonade mixture up to two days in advance but wait to add the sparkling water until you’re ready to serve.
- 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
- 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, about 30 minutes.
- 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.
- Stir in remaining sugar mixture and lemon juice.
- Add sparkling water just before serving.