Plump, sweet strawberries are such a healthful treat. One cup has only 50 calories and they’re a good source of vitamins A & C, potassium, folate and fiber. Utilizing the following method for cleaning and storing fresh strawberries helps to prolong the freshness so, you can enjoy every last berry.
Normally, we have to purchase twice the amount we need because, we typically eat half of the berries before we have a chance to use them in recipes.
Fill a large bowl or basin with 8 cups cold water and stir in one cup of apple cider vinegar. Carefully pour strawberries into water/vinegar mixture and gently swish to make sure all berries are wet. Allow to set 5 minutes, swishing gently every couple of minutes.
Place strawberries on a dishtowel or paper towels to dry. Discard any berries that show signs of mold and remove any bruised berries. They will cause the other berries to break down sooner. Blot lightly with another dishtowel or allow to air dry.
Place a paper towel in bottom of storage container to absorb any moisture, fill with berries and place in refrigerator.
This is the best method we’ve found to clean and store fresh strawberries. The vinegar helps to kill bacteria and reduce mold yet, the flavor of the berry is not affected.
This water/vinegar method is good for cleaning most fruit and vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower probably need to set 10 minutes. If you get into the habit of soaking your produce as soon as you get it home from the market, you’ll be able to enjoy it whenever you need it for cooking or for a healthful snack.
Here are some culinary tools we like for preparing fresh strawberries:
I have had an Oster blender/mixer/meat grinder system since 1981. It has been invaluable for all these years and I continue to use it today. However, several years ago, I witnessed a demonstration for a VitaMix and have been desperately wanting one because, it blends the roughest vegetables and fruit into silky, delicious smoothies. The investment was a little much since I already had a blender but, the results weren’t as smooth as I wanted. In July of 2013, I had an unbelievable surprise when I won a door prize for this beautiful VitaMix 750 Pro!
Obviously, I was beyond ecstatic. Thankfully, a wonderful cookbook was included and I was already stocked up on fresh produce so, I could begin blending up smoothie recipes right away. As you may have already guessed, the first recipe to try was the Green Pick Me Up smoothie. It is so refreshing and flavorful. We have it quite often and occasionally change it up a little according to what’s in season. Here is the recipe and a couple other favorites you may enjoy.
GREEN PICK ME UP SMOOTHIE
1/2 cup (75 grams) green grapes
1/2 orange, peeled & seeded
1/2 green apple
2 cups (72 grams) Swiss chard
2 cups (480 ml) ice cubes
Place all ingredients into the blender in the order listed, secure lid and process until smooth. For the Vitamix, select Smoothie program. Per 1 cup serving, this recipe has only 70 calories, 3 grams of fiber and no fat.
FRUIT SALAD SMOOTHIE
1/2 cup green grapes
1/2 medium orange, peeled & seeded
1/2 slice pineapple, core included, cut to 1/2 inch thickness
1/2 cup (65 g) peeled and roughly chopped cucumber
1/2 medium carrot
1/4 medium apple, seeded
2 cups (480 ml) ice cubes
Place all ingredients into the blender and process until smooth. For the Vitamix, select Smoothie program. Per 1 cup serving, this smoothie has only 83 calories, 3 grams of fiber and no fat.
PEANUT BUTTER BANANA SMOOTHIE
1 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp. JR Watkins Original Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. JR Watkins Peanut Butter Extract
1 medium banana
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 cup ice cubes
Place all ingredients into the blender and process until smooth. For the Vitamix, select Smoothie program. For the Vitamix, select the smoothie program. This recipe contains only 177 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of fat.
JR Watkins Extracts impart incredible flavor without adding additional calories or fat.
Various herbs and spices can be added for additional health benefits such as ginger, turmeric, cayenne powder and cinnamon.
To increase the protein in smoothies, we like to add one or more of the following:
1/4 cup soft tofu
1-2 scoops of whey protein powder
1 Tbsp. Peanut or Almond Butter
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
Here are a few items you may find useful for preparing your favorite smoothie recipes:
We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment telling us about some of your favorite smoothie recipes.