3 More Reasons to Eat Strawberries (as if we needed them)

Summer means strawberries and I like to eat as many of these sweet ruby fruits as I can while they're fresh. I like to visit pick-your-own farms to harvest succulent, juicy strawberries. Then I spend hours hulling and making delicious strawberry recipes.

Which is just fine with me because, health-wise, strawberries are great:

  • They boast fiber, more vitamin C than any other berry.
  • They contain a respectable 40 micrograms of folate, the powerful B vitamin that creates normal red blood cells and is crucial for prenatal development
  • And the anthocyanidins found in these berries also help protect against heart disease.

Nothing beats homemade jam, so if I get really motivated, I'll make a batch of this quick and easy jam.

Fast & Fresh Strawberry Jam
Makes 5 cups

2 pints ripe strawberries, hulled
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1 1 3/4-ounce package powdered pectin

1. Crush berries in a large bowl with a potato masher. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Let stand until very juicy, about 10 minutes.
2. Combine water and pectin in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Very gradually stir into strawberry mixture. Stir for 3 minutes, dissolving any lumps.
3. Spoon jam into five 8-ounce sterilized jelly jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe rims clean, place lids on jars and screw bands on firmly. Let stand until set, not more than 24 hours.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months

But my favorite recipe, hands down? Strawberry shortcake. If I'm having a summer barbecue, it's my go-to dessert. This shortcake recipe is made with white whole-wheat flour, which is milled from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. (You'll want to try this recipe with other fruit, too-peaches, raspberries and blueberries are natural choices.)

Need other ways to dish up sweet summer strawberries? Try these easy recipes.

  • My fiancé has a wicked sweet tooth. I love that Strawberry-Rhubarb Strudel is a dessert for two, so I won't have any leftovers calling my name the next day.
  • Strawberry Cream-it's so good I just might be able to eat it every day.

Get your fill of healthy strawberries before they're gone!

By Carolyn Malcoun

When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.

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