The sight of local strawberries is often the first sign that summer is just around the corner. This week the Saratoga Farmers’ Market will be celebrating the season with a Strawberry Festival. Many vendors will have their first berries of the year available and market events will be highlighting the delicious and versatile red fruit we all love. Cooperative Extension will be bringing its infamous Fender Blender, so come to the market to make a strawberry smoothie on our bike powered blender.
Strawberries are extremely nutritious; one cup of strawberries contains only 50 calories, but is packed with vitamins and minerals. One serving has more than 100% of the daily requirement for vitamin C, making them a great source of disease-fighting antioxidants. Strawberries are also a good source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk for heart disease.
In addition to health benefits, strawberries are as delicious as they are nutritious. The juicy sweetness of summer strawberries allows them to be used in everything from cakes and pies to salads and marinades. Pick up a quart at the market this week for the Strawberry Spinach Salad recipe featured below. Strawberries can also be easily preserved in the freezer, dried or made into jam. A food preservation class, demonstrating strawberry jam, will be offered at Cornell Cooperative Extension on June 27th at 6pm. For more information on this and other food preservation classes call Cooperative Extension at 885-8995 or go to www.ccesaratoga.org, look under Current Events.
Strawberry, Spinach and Walnut Salad
12 ounces spinach*, washed and trimmed
1 cup strawberries*, sliced
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
Honey Poppy Seed Dressing
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey*
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix soy sauce with walnuts and roast for 15 minutes or until golden. Tear spinach leaves into small pieces and mix with strawberries and roasted walnuts in a salad bowl. Mix all salad dressing ingredients together. Toss dressing with spinach salad and enjoy!
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition Per Serving: 140calories, 11g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 133mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 2 g protein, 30% DV vitamin A and vitamin C.
Ingredients marked with an asterisk (*) are available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. The Saratoga Farmers’ Market on High Rock Avenue is open on Wednesdays from 3-6 pm and Saturdays from 9-1 pm. For information about food and nutrition contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 885-8995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.