It’s Strawberry Picking Time

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We have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the fresh juicy local strawberries and they are finally here!! Strawberries are a super fruit; they are packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients that can reduce inflammation. They also support heart health, boost cognitive function, aid digestion and help regulate blood sugar. Strawberries are also super versatile for adding some sweetness to snacks, desserts, and even main dishes.

fresh strawberriesIf you have the opportunity to get fresh local strawberries, you definitely should take advantage of the opportunity. Farmers and strawberry producers agree on the benefits of purchasing your berries locally. Local berries definitely have more flavor, they are bright red, juicy, and sweet!

Local food is safer because it is handled less than conventional food from far away. Purchasing and picking locally can help local farmers and the economy as well as the environment. Local berries come from practically your backyard.

Hope you will enjoy these recipes!

Best Strawberry Milkshake

  • 8 fresh strawberries, capped and chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pint strawberry ice cream (or vanilla)
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Strawberry milkshake

Roasted Strawberries

(Roasting strawberries concentrates their natural sugars for a sweeter, deeper and richer strawberry flavor!)

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, capped and sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Pinch salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse and hull strawberries. Leave tiny ones whole, halve or quarter the larger ones, try to get them all around the same size, so they will cook at the same rate.

Add syrup or honey, vanilla and thyme to baking dish with strawberries. Toss to coat evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, stir at about 10 minutes.

Enjoy straight from the oven or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Great for using as a topping for yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, cakes, cheesecakes, biscuits, toasts and more.

Article submitted Jackson and Swain County Extension Director Robert J. Hawk (586-4009 or 488-3848) “

with assistance from Tammy Kelly of Lenoir County Extension