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Berry healthy articleMay is National Strawberry Month, and this little heart-shaped fruit can be a big help to your heart. According to research, strawberries may play an important role in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.

“Strawberries are at the top of the list of foods I recommend for packing the most nutrition into everyday meals, especially when considering cardiovascular health,” said Sylvia Klinger, MS, RD, LDN. “It’s an easy sell with their versatility and naturally sweet taste.”

Here are 12 more reasons to enjoy California strawberries:

1. High in vitamin C (more per serving than an orange) and may boost immunity.

2. Considered a superfruit with loads of antioxidants and anthocyanins.

3. Versatile and can be added to both savory and sweet dishes.

4. Low in sugar, naturally sweet with only 45 calories per cup.

5. A source of potassium to support healthy blood pressure.

6. A good source of dietary fiber.

7. Available year-round and easy to freeze.

8. Grown by caring strawberry farmers who use sustainable farming practices.

9. Loved by kids and ideal for snacks and lunches.

10. Ideal for adding appeal to summertime dishes and special occasions.

11. Grown to perfection in ideal growing conditions along California’s coast.

12. Globally loved and voted America’s favorite fruit.

 

Try this recipe for a tasty way to enjoy strawberries:

Grilled Salmon with Strawberry Ginger Salsa
Serves: 6

Ingredients

Salsa:

Prepare at least one hour ahead.

1 English or seedless cucumber, finely chopped

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. cilantro, cut into strips

1 tsp. fresh ginger, freshly grated

1 yellow pepper, diced small

3-4 Tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar

2 cups fresh California strawberries, hulled and diced small

Sauce:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 clove garlic

1 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

6 salmon fillets (or fish of choice), skinless

Preparation

Mix cucumbers, green onion, cilantro, ginger, yellow pepper and vinegar. Cover and chill at least one hour. Just before serving, add strawberries. In a small saucepan, melt butter with garlic over low heat. Stir in honey, soy sauce and lemon juice and cook 2 minutes; set aside. Prepare a charcoal grill; when ready, brush sauce on salmon pieces and place on a well-oiled fish-grilling rack. Place rack over coals about 4 inches from fire and grill approximately 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Brush with the sauce again after turning and again when done. Transfer to warm platter and top with salsa.

For more information and healthful recipes, follow @castrawberries on Facebook, or visit www.californiastrawberries.com.

*Article and image courtesy of NAPS.net.*

The name of this cake says it best – Strawberry Summer Cake! Yes, it is summer and a delicious cake made with the fruits of the season is a must!

Strawberry Summer Cake

Ingredients

• 6 tbsp Butter, Unsalted
• 3/4 cup Wheat Montana Whole Wheat Flour
• 5/6 cup Organic Barley Flour
• 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder Aluminum Free
• 2/5 tsp Salt
• 11 tbsp Agave Nectar
• 1 egg
• 218 3/4 ml 2% Milk
• 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
• 3 cups Fresh Strawberries

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (what I used). I did not test this with a standard 9-inch pie plate but looking at the margin of space leftover in my deep-dish pan after baking the cake, I suspect you’d be safe. This cake would also work in a 9- or 10-inch springform or cake pan. The 10-inch would make a thinner cake than pictured.

Whisk flour or flours, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (though you may have to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.

Serves: 12
Yield 1 cake

*Recipe and image courtesy of LiveStrong.com.*

Salsa, on French Toast? Yes! This fruity salsa containing blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries graces thick slices of French Toast with just the right amount of sweetness! Dig in!

French Toast with Fresh Berry Salsa

Ingredients

Berry Salsa

• 10 strawberries, hulled

• 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

• 1/2 cup fresh blackberries

• 2 packets Stevia Extract In The Raw®

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

French Toast

• 3 large eggs

• 1 1/2 cups lowfat (1 %) milk

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 1 packet Stevia Extract In The Raw®

• Pinch of salt

• 4 slices (1″ thick) challah or egg bread

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation

Thickly slice strawberries vertically, rotate 90 degrees and slice to make long batons. Place strawberries in mixing bowl. Add blueberries, blackberries, STEVIA IN THE RAW, and cinnamon. Using fork, toss gently to combine, and set Berry Salsa aside.

In a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, whisk eggs until well beaten. Add milk, vanilla, STEVIA IN THE RAW, and salt and whisk to combine. Add bread and soak 10 minutes. Turn slices, and soak 10 minutes, or cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate soaked bread overnight.

Melt butter in large skillet, preferably cast iron. When it stops bubbling, add soaked bread and cook until browned on bottom, 3 minutes. Using wide pancake turner, turn bread and brown on second side, 3 minutes. Divide French toast among 4 plates. Top each with one-fourth Fresh Berry Salsa. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

*Recipe courtesy of Stevia Extract in the Raw.*

Celebrate motherhood with the person you love the most – your daughter! In honor of Mother’s Day, Erika Katz, the author of the highly acclaimed book, Bonding Over Beauty, offers fun and easy activities, like headband making or an at-home spa day, to honor the relationship between mothers and daughters, and to get even more immersed in the joys of being a mom through enjoying precious moments with your beloved daughter. Katz notes that there is nothing better than putting the cell phone down and just doing a fun beauty day with products that she and her daughter make together in the kitchen.

A fun and inexpensive activity to do with your daughter is a Mother-Daughter Spa Day. It’s a great way to open up conversation with her and really share the day with her. First, wrap yourselves in some fluffy towels and let the fun begin…

Katz loves the smell of strawberries! Plus, they happen to be rich in salicylic acid, an ingredient found in many commercial acne creams. Strawberries help to tone the skin, lighten any pigmentation problems and keep the skin both smooth and supple.

First, make a gentle strawberry cleanser which can be used on the hands, face, and body.

Gentle Strawberry Cleanser

Ingredients

1 pureed strawberry

1 spoon of olive oil

1 spoon of vegetable oil

The inside of a vitamin E tablet

After the skin is cleansed, it is time for the fruity strawberry face mask. It could not be simpler!

Fruity Strawberry Face Mask

Ingredients

Mix 1/2-cup pureed fresh strawberries

1 tablespoon of organic sour cream

The strawberry juice helps firms the skin, and at the same time the cream adds precious emollient for dry winter skin. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes; then wash off with warm water. Pat dry face and moisturize to seal in the moisture.

About the Book

Bonding over Beauty, a Mother-Daughter Guide to Self-Esteem, Confidence and Trust, teaches mothers how to use age old and new beauty regimens as a way to connect with their daughters, establishing trust between them while building and reinforcing the self-confidence every ‘tween girl needs—at a time when she may need it the most. www.bondingoverbeauty.com

YUM! Organic strawberries and kiwis are paired with delicate crepes and topped with passion fruit sauce. Are you drooling yet? This lovely breakfast or brunch (okay – anytime!) dish found on www.Melissas.com will be a crowd-pleaser this spring!

Organic Strawberry and Organic Kiwi Crepes with Passion Fruit Sauce

Ingredients

2 cups organic strawberries, sliced

1 package organic kiwi, peeled and sliced

½ cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup organic cream cheese softened

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

3/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon peel

6 crepes

For the Sauce

6 ripe passion fruit

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 stick cold, organic unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preparation

Combine strawberries and half of the granulated sugar in a bowl; stir well. Cover and chill 1 hour. Repeat with the kiwi and remaining sugar.

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl, and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add sour cream, lemon juice, and lemon rind; beat until smooth. Chill until ready for use.

Halve passion fruit crosswise and scoop flesh and seeds into a bowl. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and 1 tablespoon water and cook over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until sugar begins to melt. Continue cooking mixture, stirring with a whisk, until sugar is melted and syrup is golden. Remove pan from heat. Carefully add remaining water down side of pan and stir in passion fruit (caramel will bubble up and steam). Return pan to heat and simmer sauce, stirring, until caramel is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add butter, 1 piece at time, stirring until incorporated and sauce is smooth. Reheat sauce over low heat before serving.

Spread some of the cream cheese mixture over half of each crepe, top with strawberries and kiwi mixture and roll up. Drizzle with the passion fruit sauce and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Check out www.Melissas.com for more of the freshest ideas in produce!