Celebrate mom with the berry best — strawberries!

By Katie Wilhelmi

Fresh berries are in season and strawberries are the crowd favorite. With a sweet scent and bright color, strawberries are appetizing and versatile in many dishes.

In addition to adding a bust of color to any dish, strawberries provide many healthy nutrients. The majority of phytochemicals in strawberries are flavonoids, which give berries their bright colors, and are shown to have health benefits for the heart, preventing cancer and supporting cognitive function. Strawberries are also a great source of vitamin C which helps support a strong, healthy immune system, and potassium which may help lower blood pressure. Other nutrients in strawberries include fiber which increases the feeling of satiety (fullness) and folate to prevent birth defects.

Strawberries can fit anyone s taste; they are naturally sweet, but adding a splash of balsamic vinegar or piece of blue cheese will give strawberries a more tart flavor. When choosing strawberries, look for shiny, firm berries with a bright red color. Be sure to store strawberries in the refrigerator and wash right before eating.

Treating mom to the strawberries is a great way to say thanks for all she does and show how much she is loved. Add strawberries to your Mother’s Day celebrations at anytime of the day. Serve over french toast or oatmeal for a delicious Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch. Enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries or put fresh strawberries over angel food cake for a sweet treat. Another option is the recipe below for something new this Mother’s Day.

Strawberries and Blue Cheese

Bruschetta

Recipe from Eating Well

Makes: 1 dozen

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

All you need:

12 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup (2 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1-2 teaspoons water, if needed

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

12 slices whole-grain baguette (1/4 inch thick), warmed or toasted

All you do:

1. Combine strawberries and sugar in a medium bowl and let stand while you make the cheese spread.

2. Combine cream cheese and blue cheese in a small bowl using a fork. Add water, if necessary, for a thick but spreadable consistency. Stir in 1 tablespoon chives and pepper.

3. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture on each piece of baguette. Top with the sliced berries. Garnish with a sprinkle of chives, if desired.

NUTRITION

Per piece: 66 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono); 5 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 139 mg sodium; 33 mg potassium. Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2. Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Katie Wihelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee Store.

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