Strawberries… the power of the berry!


There is nothing like the taste of sweet strawberries…even the smell is irresistible!

For this Feature Friday, I wanted to share some  fabulous recipes that celebrate
Strawberry Season! March through August is officially the peak of the strawberry
season, although strawberries can be found year round. This is the time of the
year when strawberries taste and look their best.

There is nothing more disappointing that when a package of strawberries look fabulous, but when you get them home the strawberries don’t taste very good, or often they might be too ripe, and we fail to notice. You know, you open the package and some
in the middle are already too ripe.  But the best strawberry test is to gently open the package and smell them. If it is that wonderful aroma of strawberries and the
smell is strong…then it is a sure bet that they will taste sweet and delicious.

Also, it is important that you carefully rinse your strawberries just before you
prepare or serve them. Never immerse them in water because the open pores on a strawberry will absorb water very quickly and become soggy.  Be sure to gently rinse
them, and pat them dry to remove the moisture before it is absorbed.

It is no secret that berries are good for you, and strawberries are no exception.

Five reasons why strawberries are considered a nutritional powerhouse!

  * They are high in antioxidants. Strawberries are rated the fourth highest in
antioxidants compared to all other fruits, only to be surpassed by blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries. Antioxidants play an important role in keeping our cardiovascular system in good condition.

* Strawberries are great source of vitamin C, which plays a large part in keeping our immune system strong and healthy. Vitamin C can also help offset the effects of stress.

* Strawberries contain magnesium, a mineral that helps our body produce energy and maintain strong bones and healthy teeth.

* High in potassium, strawberries can help your muscles and nerves function properly, lower your risk of high blood pressure and can help your body maintain healthy electrolyte levels.

* Given their high antioxidant and anti inflammatory benefits, strawberries are considered a cancer-fighting food.

Strawberry Cream Tart

1 frozen pie dough
1 c. heavy whipping cream
8 oz. cream cheese
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 c. sugar, divided
2-3 c. fresh strawberries
½ tsp. almond extract
3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 450°. Unroll frozen pie dough and press into tart pan. Generously prick dough with a fork.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and almond extract;
blend well. In a chilled mixing bowl, whip cream with electric mixer until still peaks form. Add
remaining sugar and vanilla. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture; blend well. Spoon into cooled pie crust and spread evenly.

Gently rinse strawberries and cut off stems. Arrange strawberries (as pictured). Chill.When ready to serve,
place chocolate chips in a small glass bowl; melt in microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each,
until smooth. Spoon melted chocolate in a Ziploc® bag; clip off 1 corner and drizzle melted chocolate over
each strawberry (as pictured). Serve immediately.

This Strawberry Torte is from Volume Seven of The Gathering of Friends. It can also be purchased in our eBook format for your Smart phone or handheld devices.

Or send it as the perfect gift using our custom eCards today!


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Strawberry Pretzel Sandbar


Strawberry Ice Cubes


Strawberry Melon Avocado Salad


Strawberry Bruschetta


Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Hand Pies


Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins


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