Strawberries, Nutritious and Delicious

— Written By Eleanor Summers and last updated by

Sweet, fragrant strawberries are a sure sign of summer! Locally grown strawberries are now in season and taste great. Look for bright and fully red, medium sized, plump, unblemished, fragrant, glossy, slightly soft berries with the hull, stem, and cap intact. Avoid berries with soft or brown spots.

Use strawberries as soon after harvesting or purchasing as possible. Refrigerator storage does not improve the quality of fresh strawberries. Berries should not be left at room temperature for more than a few hours.

Store unwashed berries loosely covered with plastic wrap in the coldest part of your refrigerator for two to three days at most. Do not wash berries until ready to use.
To wash, place berries in a colander or strainer and rinse under cold running water. Do not allow berries to set in water, as they will lose color and flavor. After washing, remove the green cap with a plastic-tipped vegetable peeler or paring knife without removing any of the fruit.

One serving, about 8 strawberries, provides more vitamin C than an orange! Strawberries are fairly low in calories and carbohydrates and contain 55 calories per one cup serving. Further, one cup of strawberries contains only 8 grams of sugar.
Follow this recipe for Angel Cake with Berries from the University of Illinois Extension at
1 package 4-serving) vanilla sugar-free pudding mix
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
½ prepared angel food cake
1 carton (8-ounce) fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 ½ cups frozen, unsweetened raspberries or strawberries
(May use chilled fresh strawberries)
Cooking spray

At least 3 hours before serving, prepare pudding according to package directions, but use only 1 ½ cups skim milk. Add vanilla or almond extracts to pudding mix, mix well, and chill. At least 2 hours before serving slice angel food cake into thin strips with serrated knife. Fold half of thawed whipped topping into chilled pudding. Spray 9×9 inch dish lightly with cooking spray. Place a third of cake slices in bottom of dish. Cover with a third of pudding; then sprinkle with a layer of frozen berries. Repeat to make 3 layers. Spread remaining whipped topping over top of dessert. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Cut into 12 squares and serve cold. 84 calories per serving.