AP NEWS

Cart Smarts: Strawberries are at their season peak

May 1, 2019

I am a big fan of random facts about food, so here are a few about one of my favorite fruits: strawberries.

• According to the USDA, the average American consumes approximately 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries per year. If this is accurate, I am fairly confident that I’ve already met my quota for the year.

• Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside. To save you from counting, the average strawberry wears about 200 of these seeds.

• Strawberries are not technically a berry. Instead, they’re considered an “aggregate fruit.” Do you know what fruit is considered a berry, though? Bananas! I promise I’m not making that up.

Although they’re delicious and available year-round, strawberry season peaks in April, so now is a great time to add them to your cart. Strawberries have a high water content which makes them low in calories and very refreshing on a hot summer day. Like most fruits, they’re high in fiber and a great source of vitamin C, plus they’re packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Strawberries are very delicate and will develop mold fast if not stored properly. To help prevent mold, avoid washing strawberries until you’re ready to eat them. Also, leave the stems on, as this will help extend their life.

If you see a moldy berry in your strawberries, remove it, as mold will spread to the remaining berries very quickly. Strawberries should be stored in the refrigerator, unless you plan on eating them the same day as purchased — in which case, they’re fine on the counter.

This simple, 15-minute recipe is a perfect way to incorporate more strawberries into your diet.