Continuing our series on seasonal eating in North Carolina, this month’s seasonal sensation is the strawberry. We North Carolinian’s take pride in our strawberries. In fact, North Carolina is the fourth largest producer of strawberries in the country, and almost all strawberries grown in North Carolina are eaten right here in our state.
What better way to eat healthy than with a bowlful of sweet strawberries? Strawberries are a wonderful source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Delicious on their own or paired with your favorite low fat yogurt, granola or salad, eat them by the handful completely guilt-free. Just in time for grilling season, try this recipe’s sweet spin on grilled shrimp.
WakeMed’s HeartSmart Cooking Series – Recipes compliments of Rocky Top Hospitality
Serves 4, 3 oz of shrimp and 3 oz of cocktail sauce per serving
12 oz large shrimp, peeled, deveined
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
For the Shrimp
In a small bowl, wisk the honey and lemon juice until well combined. Set aside. Brush shrimp with olive oil and grill until done, about 1 minute per side. Toss the shrimp in the honey mixture and place in the refrigerator to cool.
For the Strawberry Cocktail Sauce
1 cup fresh strawberries, cored and sliced Pinch of cayenne pepper Zest and juice of a lemon
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp chopped mint
In a food processor or blender, combine the strawberries, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and honey and puree until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and stir in the lemon zest and mint. Serve along side the shrimp.
Per serving: 280 calories; 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat; 1 g polyunsaturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat; 127 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrates; 0 g dietary fiber; 30 g sugar; 17 g protein
Here’s a little more trivia to go along with the brain boosting powers of the strawberry.
• The Romans hailed wild strawberries for their medicinal properties.
• Ounce for ounce, strawberries have more Vitamin C than citrus fruit.
• According to the American Cancer Society, foods rich in Vitamin C may lower the risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
• Strawberry growers set about 17,500 plants per acre, and one acre can yield as much as 20,000-30,000 pounds of strawberries over the season.
But wait! There’s another recipe. Try this spinach, strawberry salad along side the honey glazed grilled shrimp for an even healthier and well-rounded meal.
Serves 4 side salads or 2 entrée portions
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sliced honey-roasted almonds
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp sugar
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the vinegar, honey and sugar and shake well. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well. Serve immediately.
Per Serving (3/4 cup): 74 calories, 4 g fat; 0 cholesterol; 98 mg sodium; 9 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 2 g protein.
Tina Schwebach is a clinical dietitian at WakeMed Cary Hospital.