Good morning all!
How are you doing today? Before I get on to the topic of today’s post, I’m sure you want to know who my blogiversary giveaway winner is! Using the handy random.org number generator, the lucky recipient of the Arbonne goodies is…..
18: Kristina!!! The healthy change she’s made in her life this year:
Since January, I have really turned my life around and made a commitment to exercising regularly and eating healthy. I’ve also started a little tumblr fitness blog to keep myself honest! I’ve gone from being lazy and eating typical junk student food to making healthy food choices and working out at least three times a week. I can’t believe the difference that it’s made in my life!
CONGRATULATIONS!! Please email me with your mailing info so that I can get you your prize as soon as possible.
Spotlight on Spring Produce: Strawberries!
This morning I want to talk about one of my favourite produce picks. As you may have guessed from the spectacular waffles I posted earlier this week, berries have been uber-popular in my household this week. Even though it’s still a little early to buy locally produced strawberries here in Ontario, they do count as spring produce in some parts of North America!
Before I start, if you’ve missed any of the previous Spotlight on Spring Produce posts, you can check them out here:
Why are strawberries so great?
There are tons of reasons! Apart from being super delicious and juicy, strawberries help you to reach your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, a known immunity booster and antioxidant. In general, we need antioxidants because they help to combat the damage caused to the body during oxidation. This is damage that is done just by existing (think breathing and exercising), but is worsened if you’re a smoker or heavy drinker, if you get a lot of exposure to pollution or sunlight, etc etc. Over time, oxidation damages cells. If that’s too science-y for you, just know that there are antioxidants in strawberries that help to fight against any nasty things going on inside your body.
Vitamin C isn’t the only thing strawberries have got going for them. There’s also potassium, fiber, and folate. The other antioxidants, phytochemicals, and nutrients in strawberries help to prevent diseases such as arthritis, cancer, brain dysfunction, and heart disease.
If strawberries had a nutrition label smacked on the side…
…It would look something like this:
(For 1 cup of chopped strawberries):
- 50 calories
- 0g fat
- 0mg cholesterol
- 2mg sodium
- 12g carbs
- 3g fiber
- 7g sugar
- 1g protein
- 149% RDI Vitamin C
What’s a tasty way to use them?
My first choice is usually raw, but if you’re looking for a refreshing, fast, and filling post-workout shake, this smoothie is a great option! Not only does it contain the goodness of strawberries, but there are also oats in the mix to help keep you full for longer.
Strawberry Banana Bliss Smoothie
- 1/2 cup frozen sliced strawberries
- 1/3 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp maca root powder (optional – for more info on why this is great for you, check out this post)
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum (to thicken, optional – see this post for details)
- sweetener of choice
Add all ingredients to the blender except for ice and honey. Blend until biggest strawberry chunks are broken down – about 15 seconds. Add the ice and blend on high until completely smooth.
Taste the smoothie, and add a little honey (or sweetener of choice) if desired.
Note: Letting the smoothie sit in the blender for a little while, then blending on high again will allow the xanthan or guar gum to thicken the mixture. If you don’t want your smoothie to be thick, you can omit it.
Makes 1 large smoothie.
If this smoothie isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you can also check out these delicious strawberry-fied recipes:
- Strawberry Vanilla Protein Waffles
- Strawberry Summer Salad
- Strawberry Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt
- Superfruit Smoothie
So tell me…
- What’s your favourite way to use strawberries? Feel free to leave some recipe links!