Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Teresa Really Does Practice What She Preaches!!!!

Hooray! We are officially in season for fresh fruits and vegetables! Shannon Coleman, the Cherokee County 4-H agent surprised me on my birthday with a fruit medley instead of the traditional birthday cake! Since I have been lovingly dubbed the food police around our office, the fruit was greatly appreciated! I will be able to indulge on my “cake” all day long and will not have the remorse of falling off my healthy eating wagon! I am nibbling on grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries, and watermelon. Just this morning I was reading an article about the health benefits of strawberries.
The following strawberry smoothie recipe has about 174 calories and is packed with the health benefits of strawberries.

Strawberry Smoothie

Prep and Cook Time: 5 minutes
• 4 large strawberries
• ¼ cup low-fat plain yogurt
• 1 cup fresh orange juice
• 1 TBS tahini
• 1 medium size banana
• ½ tsp vanilla
• 1 TBS honey

1. Remove stems from strawberries and wash.
2. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.
Serve 2 (8 oz glass servings)

According to the George Mateljan Foundation, “researchers have recently ranked the 50 best antioxidant sources among commonly eaten foods and found strawberries to be quite exceptional. When total antioxidant capacity was measured against a uniform amount of food (100 grams, or about 3.5 ounces), strawberries ranked 27th best among U.S. foods. In addition, when only fruits were considered, strawberries came out 4th among all fruits (behind blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries.)” Strawberries are a popular fruit for many desserts. While the strawberries provide that exceptional color and flavor, the added sugar probably negates the health benefits of strawberries. The same would hold true for strawberry jams and jellies. Enjoy the season of strawberries! They are in peak season right now and best enjoyed just as they are when picked! Simply rinse and enjoy. Remember, strawberries should not be soaked in water. They tend to absorb too much water.