Until the 19th century, strawberries were considered a delicacy and only enjoyed by the very wealthy. Today, approximately 94 percent of households in the United States consume strawberries – and for good reason. Not only are they juicy and delicious, the health benefits are pretty impressive. At just under 50 calories per cup, strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, bone-strengthening manganese, and filling fiber. They are also a potent source of antioxidants, namely anthocyanins, which give the berries their bright red pigment.
Buying and Storage Tips
Like other berries, strawberries are highly perishable, so purchase just a day or two before you plan to use them. Look for berries that are bright red with the green caps attached, and avoid those with mushy spots or obvious signs of mold. Keep them in the produce storage bins of your refrigerator to maximize freshness.
As for size, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, strawberries that are medium-sized are often more flavorful that giant ones. Avoid washing and hulling berries until you are ready to eat them.
To freeze strawberries, remove stems then gently wash and pat dry with a paper towel. For best results, arrange on a flat pan in a single layer and freeze. Once the berries are frozen, remove from pan and transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag.
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