Make the most of strawberry season!

Friday, June 1, 2018

By: Jeff Ash

June is Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. Though it seems like there should be plenty at farmers’ markets, the reality is that the growing season is just getting started in Wisconsin.


As you look around farmers’ markets – and, yes, we’ll have free shopping bags in six colors at this year’s Green Bay farmers’ markets – most of the vegetables you’ll find freshly harvested during June are salad makings. Look for fresh arugula, asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, sweet peas, scallions, spinach and turnips.


The best news is that June is strawberry season in Wisconsin.


Strawberries are packed with dietary fiber and more vitamin C than any other berry. About eight strawberries provide more vitamin C than an orange.


Enjoying strawberries


Summer dinner salad: Chop two cooked chicken breasts. Toss with diced strawberries, one minced green onion, toasted almonds and a bit of basil.


Strawberry salsa: Mix chopped strawberries with chopped avocado or chopped mango, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and lime juice. Serve with tortilla chips or over grilled fish, chicken or pork.


Picking strawberries


Many people pick their own strawberries. Choose wisely. Strawberries should be plump, dry, firm and nicely shaped. Look for a uniformly rich red color and leafy caps that are fresh and green. Avoid withered or crushed berries.


Storing and freezing strawberries


Whether you’re storing or freezing freshly picked strawberries, sort through them first. Don’t wash them. Toss out any moldy berries or smashed berries that have an off smell.


To store strawberries: Take the rest and gently blot them dry with a paper towel. Keep your fresh berries in a shallow refrigerator container lined with paper towels.


To freeze strawberries: Start by spreading berries in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put the berries in the freezer until they’re frozen solid. Then put them in a plastic freezer bag or a freezer container. They should keep for 10 months to a year.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.