June 19, 2012

Strawberries – one hull of a berry As seen on cityLine June 20, 2012


Wow! A full blown laugh out loud with Tracy!


(excerpt from Healthy starts Here!)

Fresh from my local farmer's market.

Strawberries are the warm up act for berry season. Sometime in June, the only fruit with its seeds on the outside, these ripe juicy red bundles of flavour start showing up at your local farmers’ market or grocery store.

Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of folate. They are also packed with flavonoids, two in particular, quercitin and kaempferol. Research shows that these two flavonoids help keep the bad LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and damaging artery walls.

Strawberries also contain ellagic acid, also found in raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, grapes, cherries, walnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts.  Ellagic acid acts as a scavenger rounding up cancer-causing chemicals and disarming them.

One cup contains 50 calories and has 149% of your daily requirement for vitamin C.


Buying and prepping

  • Choose the perfect basket. Once a strawberry is picked it stops ripening.
  • Look for shiny dark red berries with fresh bright green tops.
  • Size doesn’t determine sweetness. The flavour has more to do with the variety, weather, and the degree of ripeness when picked.
  • Strawberries like to be eaten as soon as possible after picking.
  • Strawberries aren’t swimmers, so don’t float them in your sink.
  • Just before you need them, gently rinse them under cold running water with the green caps on.
  • Drain and then lay them flat on a clean tea-towel or paper towel to completely dry and then hull; chef-speak for removing the green cap. They are ready for any recipe or just for eating as is.


Rinsed and hulled and ready for a recipe.


Strawberry Lassi  Summer


Not sweet, a lassi is a refreshing drink especially when its made with local seasonal strawberries.

A Lassi is a popular South Asian yogurt drink. They can either be sweet or sour. I like the taste of tart plain yogurt, but most people prefer a sweeter version.


The sweetness of this Lassi will be dependent on how ripe and sweet your strawberries are. Give it a taste. Not sweet enough? Add a bit of honey or your favourite sweetener.

2 cups (500 mL) fresh strawberries, washed and hulled

2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh mint leaves, washed

½ cup (125 mL) non fat plain yogurt

1 cup (250 mL) ice cubes, about 4

Pinch of cinnamon or cardamom, if desired


  1. Whirl everything in a blender and pour.


Makes 3 cups (750 mL) One serving = 1 ½ cups (375 mL) One serving contains: 82 Calories, 0.5 g Total fat, 0 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 41 mg Sodium, 17.2 g Carbs, 4 g Fiber, 9.6 g Sugars, 4 g Protein

Diabetes Food Choice Values Per Serving: 1 Carbohydrate


Frozen Strawberry Yogurt   Kid Friendly


Too easy!

Makes – 2 cups (500 mL)

Serves – 4 – ½ cup (125 mL) servings


2 cups (500 mL) frozen unsweetened strawberries

1 cup (250 mL) low fat French vanilla yogurt


  1. Put the frozen strawberries and the yogurt into the bowl of a food processor. Put on the lid and blend till smooth, pulsing occasionally. It’s going to be noisy, but it’s totally worth it.
  2. Serve immediately. Too cinchy.


Each ½ cup (125 mL) serving contains:90 Calories, 1 g Total Fat, 0.5 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 45 mg Sodium, 19 g CHO, 2 g Fiber, 3 g Protein


 Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce   Late Spring/Summer    Kid Friendly


The perfect combo: chocolate + strawberries

Fresh local seasonal strawberries are so perfect that all they need is something to sit on.

What better sit-upon for ripe delicious strawberries than chocolate pancakes? Especially when the chocolate pancakes are studded with chocolate chips?


1 ¼ cups (310 mL) skim milk or fortified organic soy beverage

1 omega- 3 egg

1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour

¼ cup (60 mL) natural cocoa powder

1 tbsp (15 mL) wheat germ

1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated white sugar

1 tbsp (15 mL) cinnamon

1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder

¼ cup (60 mL) at least 60% cocoa mass chocolate chips



  1. Preheat oven to 200º F (95 ºC).
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the milk or soy beverage, egg, and oil.
  3. Add the whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, and chocolate chips.  Whisk in well. Let sit while the pan is heating, the batter will get a little thicker. Stir before you start frying them.
  4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of canola oil or spray to lightly coat the pan.
  5. Before you spoon out the batter make sure that you give it a stir each time. Why? Because chocolate chips sink and unless you want the last couple of pancakes to be laden with the little morsels, you need to stir.
  6. Spoon in 2 tbsp (30 mL) of batter per each pancake, swirl batter with the back of the spoon to make a 4-inch (10 cm) pancake and cook till bubbles form on the top of the batter and the underside is dark golden brown, flip and cook the other side till done. Keep warm in oven, on an oven proof pan or plate till all pancakes are cooked.
  7. Serve with Strawberry sauce (see recipe below), or if you are time pressed simply slice fresh washed, hulled strawberries on top.


Makes eighteen 4-inch (10 cm) pancakes

One serving = 4 pancakes One serving contains without the sauce: 257 Calories, 9.5 g Total fat, 3.3 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 288 mg Sodium, 35 g Carbs, 4 g Fiber, 11.2 g Sugars, 9 g Protein


Strawberry Sauce  Summer  Kid Friendly

4 cups (1 L) fresh strawberries

1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice

Honey or sweetened of your choice, if they need some


  1. Gently wash strawberries under cold running water. Hull – remove green cap, and put the strawberries into a blender or food processor.
  2. Add lemon juice and whirl it together. I think chunky looks better, but if you want a really smooth sauce go crazy with the ON button. Depending on the sweetness of the berries you may or may not have to add a sweetener. I prefer honey, but it’s your choice. Splenda works well. Add and whirl. If you don’t have a blender, use a potato masher instead.
  3. Serve over pancakes.


Makes approx 2 ½ cups (625 mL) One serving = ½ cup (125 mL)

One serving contains: 40 Calories, 0.4 g Total fat, 0 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 2 mg Sodium, 9.6 g Carbs, 3 g Fiber, 5.8 g Sugars, 1 g Protein

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