Delicious Kentucky strawberries now in season

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A perennial farmers market favorite, growers harvest Kentucky strawberries during May and June. They are a very refreshing snack and they are full of vitamins. Just one cup provides a great source of vitamin C, which according to the American Cancer Society, could help lower your risk of cancer and gastrointestinal tract problems. They are also a good source of vitamin A, iron, fiber and folic acid. Folic acid is a particularly important for pregnant women and those trying to become pregnant, because it helps prevent certain birth defects. As you will see in the Plate It Up Kentucky Proud recipe below, it is a perfect low-calorie snack for an on-the-go treat, as one cup only contains 55 calories.
When shopping for strawberries at the market, look for bright red berries. The berries should have a natural shine and be plump, as strawberries will not ripen further after picking. Use as soon as possible after purchasing for optimal flavor and the highest nutritional value. Store in the refrigerator for one to three days in any packaging. Wash strawberries right before you eat them. When washing, make sure that you do not remove the caps. These caps ensure that water does not soak into the berry and dilute its flavor and texture. To dry, simply place them on a paper towel and enjoy with any dish.
Contact the Trimble County Extension office for more information on ways to prepare in-season produce or about our local farmers market offerings. For more Plate It Up Kentucky Proud recipes, visit http://fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/piukp-recipes or contact the extension office for recipe cards.
Spring Harvest Salad
Yield: 8, 1 cup servings
5 cups of torn spring leaf lettuce
2 ½ cups of spinach leaves
1 1/15 cups of sliced strawberries
1 cup of fresh blueberries
½ cup of thinly sliced green onions
 4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of Kentucky honey
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ cup of feta cheese crumbles
½ cup of unsalted sliced almonds
Combine leaf lettuce and spinach leaves with sliced strawberries, blueberries and green onions in a large salad bowl. Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and salt. Pour the dressing over the lettuce mixture and toss to coat the lettuce. Lastly sprinkle feta cheese and sliced almonds on top and serve.
 Nutritional Analysis:
130 calories, 9 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 240 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 3 g protein.
Source: Heather Norman-Burgdolf, assistant extension professor
Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.
Jane Proctor is Trimble County’s Cooperative Extension agent for family and consumer services.