Strawberries: Yummy and Nutritious

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Did you know strawberries are one of the most consumed fruits in the world? Or that strawberries are the only fruit with the seeds on the outside? Did you know North Carolina ranks third in the nation in strawberry production? It is a $29.4 million crop.

Strawberries do not ripen after they are picked. Of course, the best strawberries are the ones we pick ourselves. So, when picking strawberries, look for the ones that are firm, bright red, and fully ripe. Make sure the cap remains on the strawberry so they will last longer. Removing the cap before using them will cause the berries to lose moisture. It also activates an enzyme that destroys the vitamin C.

Due to the nutritional value, strawberries are the fifth-most-preferred fresh fruit in the United States. Strawberries are high in vitamin C, folate, potassium, fiber, and have high antioxidant levels. This delicious treat has no sodium, fat, or cholesterol, and is low calorie. One cup of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange.

According to clinical research, eating about eight strawberries a day can potentially improve heart and brain health, reduce risk of some cancers, and help manage type 2 diabetes. Due to the low glycemic index, strawberries do not quickly raise blood glucose levels. They are also delicious in smoothies with spinach; nonfat or almond milk; and yogurt with 0 fats, 0 sugars, and 0 artificial sweeteners, but high in protein.

Strawberries are best when they are eaten the same day. If you need to keep them longer, store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator, in a shallow container with loosely-covered plastic wrap. They are best if used within two to three days; however, they will keep for a maximum of seven days under the best conditions. Do not wash the berries until you are ready to use them. When preparing them, place the berries in a strainer with cool water running over them. At this time, you can remove the cap with a gentle twist or a knife. You can use the strawberries in the recipe listed below from the North Carolina Strawberry Association. They are easy to make, most people love them, and they are an excellent treat for any occasion.

Chocolate Dipped Delights

Original recipe by: Baker’s


  • 1 pkg. (8 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 4 squares premium white baking chocolate, melted (optional)
  • About 2 dozen strawberries


  1. Microwave chocolate in small microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted.
  2. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Dip strawberries into chocolate; let excess chocolate drip off.
  4. Let stand at room temperature or refrigerate on wax paper-lined cookie sheet 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm. Drizzle with melted white chocolate, if desired.

Buying local and supporting local farmers is always preferred, and of course, the benefit is fresh strawberries and a selection of other items. You can find local strawberry producers at North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center’s website. The Farmers Market is always the perfect place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. Just a reminder to everyone, the Robeson County Farmers Market has moved to a new location: corner of 3rd Street and Water Street, Downtown Lumberton.


North Carolina History

North Carolina Strawberry Association

US Department of Agriculture

For more information, contact Wendy Maynor, Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, at 910-671-3276, by Email at, or visit our website.