Berry Sweet: Fragaria ananassa (aka strawberry)
Strawberry season is here! Strawberry season is here! In Michigan, farmers produce over 46,000 pounds of these juicy berries between early June and, weather depending, mid-July. Some growers are extending the normal strawberry season by planting into hoop houses (aka high tunnels or passive solar greenhouses) and by growing everbearing varieties.
Not only do they taste good, but strawberries are nutrition rockstars. They are a great source of:
Vitamin C: antioxidant important for the immune system and skin
Fiber: helps regulate blood sugar, promotes satiety, encourages regular bowels
Antioxidants: neutralize cell damaging free-radicals, may prevent some types of cancers, help promote good heart health
Potassium: helps to regulate blood pressure
Folate: supports normal tissue growth. Especially important nutrient for pregnant women.
A great way to enjoy strawberry season is to grab a sunhat and a few of your favorite people and spend on morning at a u-pick farm. Then, once you load your car with berries, you can try one of these delicious recipes.
Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Salad with Strawberry Salsa
Adapted From Peas and Crayons:
Get ready for summer with this dish! This refreshing salad combines a lot of peak season goodness.
1 orange bell pepper
1 tbsp butter or your favorite healthy oil
12 oz fresh shrimp, cleaned + raw*
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8-1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lime, halved
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz fresh salad greens (spring mix, romaine, etc)
½ quart ripe strawberries
1/4 cup minced red onion
juice of 1/2 lime
½ Tb olive oil
fresh cilantro, to taste
pinch of salt (optional)
Salsa: Hull and chop strawberries, combine with onion and seeded, minced jalapeño, mince. Add lime juice, olive oil, salt, and fresh cilantro. Toss to combine.
- Chop bell peppers and saute on medium-high heat until tender.
- Transfer peppers to a bowl and deglaze the pan with the juice of half a lime. Add 1 TB olive oil to the pan.
- Once oil is warm, add shrimp and spices (paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper) and cook until shrimp are pink and opaque, approx 4-5 minutes.
- Return the peppers to the pan, garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
- Serve atop a bed of leafy greens and top with the strawberry salsa.
Other Fun and Unique Strawberry Recipes:
Kelly Wilson is a registered dietitian and our SE MI Local Food Coordinator. Contact her at [email protected]