Strawberries are the Season Superstar!

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One of the wonders of springtime is tasting the first fruit of the growing season: fresh, ripe strawberries. Their flavor is so mouth-watering and unique that candy companies mimic it. But fresh strawberries are superior to strawberry candy in many ways, including flavor, versatility, and body benefits. Besides vitamins and minerals, fresh strawberries provide plant compounds that help keep your body healthy.

With North Carolina being the fourth largest producer in the U.S., it’s easy to find strawberries that are at the perfect ripeness. As an original “fast food”, you only need to wash them right before eating out of the carton. Strawberries make a great addition to smoothies, yogurt, cereal, fruit kababs, fruit salad, and sandwiches. It’s easy for most people to eat at least 5 pounds every year.

You’ll love this spring-time salad that pairs strawberries with fresh leafy greens.

 strawberry salad

Green Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette


¼ cup white wine vinegar

¼ cup honey

½ cup vegetable oil

1 small shallot, chopped fine

1 ½ tablespoon poppy seeds

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground mustard

Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake until well blended. Or, place all ingredients except vegetable oil in a bowl and whisk together. Add oil gradually, whisking constantly.


Leafy greens of choice, cut into bite-sized pieces

Strawberries, cut into bite-sized pieces

Nuts of choice, roasted

Toss salad ingredients together, then toss with vinaigrette right before serving.

This strawberry topping is a great addition to ice cream, yogurt, cheese cake, or oatmeal.

Strawberry Basil Pesto

½ cup strawberries (3 ½ ounces)

1 tablespoon basil

1 tablespoon sliced almonds, roasted

Pinch black pepper

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency.

Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She also is a second-year culinary student at Caldwell Community College.