4 June 2019Strawberries: Delicious, Sweet, and Healthy!

Strawberries are weight-friendly, diabetes-friendly, and oh, so delicious when they are fresh and in season. Ditch the junk food and try fresh strawberries for your indulgent treat - your body will thank you!

Calories & Carbs

One cup of fresh strawberry halves (about 5 oz) has only 50 calories and 12 grams of total carbs (3 g fiber, 8 g sugar). That is a lot of delicious sweet taste for a very reasonable caloric cost. If you are craving something sweet for a snack or as an after dinner treat, fresh strawberries are a great choice - the flavor will knock your socks off. And my guess is that you will not miss your junk food or candy.

Tip: For folks with diabetes, 1 cup of strawberries contains only 1 carb choice! If you are looking for a sweet flavor with minimal carbs, try using just 1/4 cup of fresh sliced strawberries for only 3 grams of total carbs.

Vitamin C

Did you know that strawberries are a fantastic source of vitamin C? One cup of strawberry halves has 89 mg of vitamin C. That is 100% RDA for adult men and 119% RDA for adult women. Compared to 1 cup of orange slices, you get nearly the same amount of vitamin C for only 59% of the calories and 57% of the carbs. Not a bad swap!

Antioxidants

Although most people know that blueberries are high in antioxidants, many do not realize that strawberries are also a good source. Strawberries are rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids (e.g. ellagic acid and anthocyanins). Antioxidants are reported to help lower our risk of cancer as well as support cardiovascular health.

Healthier Fancy Dessert

Sometimes you just want something other than raw berries for a special occasion. I love Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream for this purpose. There are many online versions to try, but the one I like the most is Ellie Krieger's recipe on the Food Network. Please be sure to view the original recipe and decide for yourself if you want to keep the original ingredient amounts. I simply reduced the amount of honey and sugar.

Modified Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream

Ingredients
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar or white sugar
16 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered (1 standard plastic container)
2 tbsp fresh basil, cut into strips or ribbons

Directions
1. Whip ricotta cheese, honey, and vanilla extract in a bowl. To get it super smooth, use a food processor. Place in fridge to cool.
2. Combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool.
3. In a bowl, toss the strawberries, basil, and balsamic syrup together.
4. Divide the ricotta cream mixture among 4 fancy glasses.
5. Top each glass with berry mixture.

Nutrition: 154 cal, 20 g total carb (2 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 8 g protein, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 67 mg vitamin C.

Tip: If you like this recipe and don't want to enter it yourself, then you can simply copy it from "Dietitian" via MyNetDiary's web program. Select Community tab, find Dietitian's My Community Profile, go to Custom Catalog, and then tap "copy" to the far right of the food name, Modified Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream. Enjoy!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

Tags:

Foods & Recipes/Fruit & Vegetables

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