June 2018 ttimes web magazine

Page 75

Superior Strawberries I will never forget the day I learned what “fresh” really means. I went to a local pick-your-own strawberry farm one summer morning. The farmer met me with baskets and pointed me in the direction of the berry patch. As I started to pick, the first thing that hit me was the fruit’s color; red had never been so brilliant! Then I noticed the pure, sweet aroma permeating the air. The longer I picked, the stronger the temptation grew to eat the strawberries ~ but a parental warning sounded in my head: “Always wash your fruit before you eat it.” Rationalizing that I was an adult, I popped a shiny red berry in my mouth. Still warm with sunshine, that juicy sample packed so much flavor, I immediately knew that this was what a strawberry was supposed to taste like. Grocery store strawberries pale in comparison. Strawberry season is one of my favorite times of the year, and if you love them as much as I do, you will

want to eat as many as you can and store some for later. They are easy to freeze. Always pick strawberries that have a bright red color, fresh-looking green caps and a firm texture. Leave the caps on, and do not wash them until you are ready to freeze them. To prepare an unsweetened pack, place whole berries on a tray in the freezer, then put them into containers as they freeze. Strawberries are a super food and are an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, antioxidants and dietary fiber, all of which play key roles in heart health. 73