Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits.
I love strawberry shortcake, strawberry milk shakes and strawberry smoothies.
One of the first things I learned to make as a home economics student was strawberry shortcake.
And I also love the "Fruity Parfait" recipe we use for "Food Talk," a part of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Program.
The parfait uses strawberries, vanilla low-fat yogurt, lightly sweetened cereal and pecans.
You can add variety by mixing and matching different fruits, cereal, yogurt and nuts such as peanuts, walnuts and almonds.
Why do I love Fruity Parfait? It’s great as a snack. It’s great for breakfast ... and even lunch on a very, very busy day.
It offers vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, folate and fiber.
Ounce for ounce, strawberries have more vitamin C than most citrus fruits, reports the Cooperative Extension.
And strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside; averaging as many as 200 tiny seeds per berry, reports show. They are low in calories, low in cholesterol, fat free and low in natural sugars.
The extension also offers these tips:
Add strawberries to a mixed green salad.
Top a bowl of cereal or yogurt.
Stir into pancake or waffle batter.
Choose fully ripe, plump, bright red strawberries with a fresh green cap.
Strawberries are highly perishable, so plan to use them within a few days.
Remove strawberries from their original container and discard any spoiled or moldy berries. Arrange them in a single layer, top with a paper towel and store loosely covered in the refrigerator.
Do not remove caps or wash until ready to serve.
Just before using, place the strawberries in a colander or strainer and rinse gently with cool water. Then remove the caps. This preserves nutrients and prevents water from soaking into the berries.
Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. Contact: 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.