As part of Nutrition to Fit’s Frugal Food Favorites series, each week we highlight a favorite affordable food and all of its nutritional benefits, in addition to ways and recipes to include it in your life. This week is all about strawberries!
It’s one of my favorite times of year as a Florida resident – strawberry season! We go all out with strawberry festivals and everything. 😉 It always reminds me why strawberries are such a great example of eating seasonally to help with your budget. If I’m trying to buy strawberries when they’re not in season and traveling thousands of miles to get to me, they’re not going to be quite so budget-friendly. By choosing what’s in season, strawberries in this case, your cost goes down significantly. Now let’s check out what makes this frugal food such a frugal SUPERfood!
About a quarter of the net carb content of strawberries comes from fiber, both soluble and insoluble (1 cup of strawberries provides about 3 grams fiber). Foods, like strawberries, that are high in fiber can be beneficial for weight loss, as it leads to greater feelings of satiety. Additionally, they can improve gut health, as fibers feed healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (1, 2).
Strawberries are full of antioxidants! Anthocyanins in particular are plentiful, as they’re what gives strawberries their bright color. Because of this, the riper the berry gets and the deeper their color becomes, the greater the concentration of anthocyanins is present (3,4).
Berries, particularly the antioxidant anthocyanins in them, are shown to have a positive correlation with improved cardiovascular health (1). Studies have also shown that berries may increase HDL (good) cholesterol, improve blood platelet function, and lower blood pressure (5).
Blood Sugar Regulation
Strawberries appear to slow blood glucose digestion and reduce spikes in insulin and glucose (8). This seems to have a decreasing effect on several major risk factors associated with the regulation of blood sugar including metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes(9).
Cancer, marked by a rampant growth of abnormal cells beyond growth considered normal, are widely considered to be linked to oxidative stress–an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants (6)–and chronic inflammation (7). Thanks to the ellagic acid and ellagitannins in the strawberries, the growth of cancer cells can be inhibited (8).
Selection + Storage
Once picked, strawberries don’t ripen further so be sure to purchase strawberries that are plump, firm, free of mold, free of yellow/ green spots, a shiny and deep red color, and green caps firmly attached. Strawberries need to be handled and stored very carefully due to their fragile nature. It’s recommended to refrigerate for two days – you can continue to keep/ refrigerate strawberries longer, but after two days you may start seeing a slight, gradual decline of some vitamins and minerals (9).
Uses + Recipes
Strawberries can be consumed in a variety of ways, from fresh to pureed for baby food or in smoothies, added to baked goods, or made into jams/ jellies. You can see there are far more ways you can get inventive with strawberries in your kitchen, though, and we have a number of Registered Dietitians that have contributed their strawberry recipes to show just that!
Frozen Fruit Yogurt Bites from Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN, CLC of Nutrition to Fit
Whipped Ricotta Fruit Pizza from Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN, CLC of Nutrition to Fit
Juice Alternatives and Fruit Infused Water from Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN, CLC of Nutrition to Fit
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie from Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN, CLC of Nutrition to Fit
Banana Split Smoothie from Shannon Garcia, RDN of KISS in the Kitchen
Strawberry Chocolate Overnight Oats from Nazemi Qureshi, RDN of Nutrition by Naz
Strawberry Chia Seed Jam from Chrissy Carroll, RDN of Snacking in Sneakers
Chocolate Mint Berry Quinoa Bowl from Sarah Schlichter, RDN of Bucket List Tummy
Mini-Strawberry Rhubarb Trifles from Caitlin Perez, RDN of Nourished Nutrition Counseling & Education
3 Ingredient Strawberry Sorbet from Jennifer Adsit, RDN of Nourished Nutrition Counseling & Education
Light Freezer Berry Pie from Caitlin Perez, RDN of Nourished Nutrition Counseling & Education
Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Pistachio Topping from Amy Gorin, RDN of Amy Gorin Nutrition
Grilled Strawberry Goat Cheese Sandwich from Natalie Rizzo, RDN of Nutrition a la Nat
Strawberry Basil Whole Grain Crepes from Natalie Rizzo, RDN of Nutrition a la Nat
No Bake Almond Bars with Berry Chia Jam from Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RDN of One Hungry Bunny
Strawberry Kefir Smoothie from Jessica Fishman-Levinson, RDN of Nutritioulicious
Summer Steak Salad with Champagne-Shallot Vinaigrette from Jessica Fishman-Levinson, RDN of Nutritioulicious
Strawberry Arugula Salad with Fennel, Toasted Almonds, and Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette from Jessica Fishman-Levinson, RDN of Nutritioulicious
No-Bake Strawberry Mousse Parfaits from Jessica Fishman-Levinson, RDN of Nutritioulicious
Protein-Packed Chocolate Cereal Bowl from Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN of Nutrition Starring YOU
Strawberry Vanilla Sorghum Parfait from Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN of Nutrition Starring YOU
Chocolate Strawberry Breakfast Muffins from Jenna Braddock, RDN of Make Healthy Easy
Strawberry Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad from Erica Julson, RDN of Erica Julson Nutrition
Strawberry Arugula Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts from Katie Sullivan Morford, RDN of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
DIY Strawberry Yogurt from Diana K. Rice, RDN of The Baby Steps Dietitian
Strawberry Ginger Smoothie from Kelli Shallal, RDN of Hungry Hobby
Strawberry Coconut Energy Smoothie from Kelli Shallal, RDN of Hungry Hobby
Tropical Fruit Salad from Elizabeth Shaw, RDN of Simple Swaps
Strawberry Basil Tarts from Judy Barbe, RDN of Live Best
Strawberry Coconut Almond Coffee Cake (Vegan) from Sharon Palmer, RDN of Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian
Healthy Strawberry Milkshake (Smoothie) from Chelsey Amer, RDN of C it Nutritionally
Strawberry Basil Crostini with Balsamic Reduction from Amber Ketchum, RDN of Homemade Nutrition
3-Ingredient Strawberry Banana Ice Cream from Amanda Hernandez, RDN of The Nutritionist Reviews
Strawberry Squash Smoothie from Maria Adams, RDN of Halsa Nutrition
Berries and California Cheese on Crispbread from Maria Adams, RDN of Halsa Nutrition
Roasted Cod with Strawberries from Katie Cavuto, RD of KatieCavuto.com
Strawberry and Basil Grilled Cheese from Jenny Shea Rawn, RDN of My Cape Cod Kitchen
Strawberry Chicken Spinach Power Salad from Lindsay Livingston, RDN of The Lean Green Bean
Strawberry Rhubarb Pavlova from Dara Gurau, RDN of How to Eat
Strawberry Chia Jam from Kara Lydon, RDN, RYT of The Foodie Dietitian
Fresh Strawberry Salsa from Marie Dittmer, RDN of Healthy Ideas Place
Homemade Fruit Roll Ups (No Sugar Added!) from Jodi Danen, RDN of Create Kids Club
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars from Meg Salvia, RDN of Mostly Balanced
Strawberry and Tomato Bruschetta with Goat Cheese from Meg Salvia, RDN of Mostly Balanced
Gut-Strengthening Strawberry and Cream Soft Serve from Kara Landau, RDN of Travelling Dietitian
Tangy Strawberry Sorbet from Tracee Yablon Brenner, RDN of Triad to Wellness
Berry Balsamic Chia Seed Jam from Tawnie Kroll, RDN of Kroll’s Korner