Recipe For Health
by Jill Yarbrough, Dining Services Test Kitchen Manager
Featured Food: Strawberries Yield: Serves 4-6Learn more about Strawberries

Ingredients

  • Dressing:
  • 8 oz. frozen strawberries, sliced
  • 3 T. red wine vinegar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • Salad:
  • ⅓ c. sliced almonds, toasted
  • 6 (4 oz. each) chicken breasts, grilled
  • 2 c. baby spinach, washed
  • 2 c. fresh strawberries, sliced
  • ½ c. red onion, sliced

Preparation

Combine all dressing ingredients in blender; set aside. 

Toast almonds; cool. 

Grill chicken breasts; cool. 

Toss spinach, strawberries and onions in bowl. 

Slice chicken and place on top of salad. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve with dressing. 

Add bread to make it a complete meal. Delicious as an entrée salad or a side. 

Learn More About Strawberries

The first fruit to ripen in spring, the most popular fruit, the only fruit with its seeds on the outside, the fruit highest in Vitamin C – these are all descriptions of the jewels of June – strawberries. The best strawberries are the ones you pick yourself, or buy from your local strawberry fields or farmer’s markets. Michigan-grown strawberries are available in June and July. 

How to pick: It is best to pick strawberries in the early morning; the heat of the day causes berries to become soft. Look for berries that are fully red. If the tip is white, the berry is not as sweet and ripe as it could be. Unripe berries will not ripen once picked. Locate plump, firm, fully-red berries; grasp the stem just above the berry and pull with a slight twisting motion. 

Allow the berry to roll into the palm of your hand. Repeat until you have three or four berries in your hand then gently place in your 

container. Do not pile the berries more than five inches deep or the berries on the bottom may be crushed. Move the picked berries out of the sunshine as quickly as possible. How to store: Do not wash the berries until you are ready to use them. Sort out soft or overripe berries to be used right away. For eating fresh, put a two-day supply of whole berries in ventilated containers, cover and refrigerate. How to preserve: Leaving the caps on, 

give the berries a quick, gentle wash in cold water. Place the washed berries on layers of paper towel until thoroughly dry. Remove the caps and stems, place whole berries in freezer storage bags, and remove as much air as possible, then store in the coldest section of the freezer. For more information, visit www.fooddomain.msu.edu/docs/bulletin/STRAWBERRIES_ed.pdf. 

Enjoy them fresh in early summer and preserve a year’s supply to let you enjoy Michigan strawberries year-round.

Peggy Crum, MA, RD

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