It's strawberry season in Texas and while we are used to having strawberries available year round in our super markets, it is preferred to source local produce when it is in season.That's why last week I drove out to Sweet Berry Farms in Marble Falls Texas and picked a large box of sweet red strawberries.
Strawberries are a luxury fruit and are usually available from spring to early summer depending on where you live. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, dietary fiber and flavanoids . 1 cup of sliced strawberries provides 164% of the daily recommended value for Vitamin C . Strawberries are also high in manganese, panothenic acid, vitamin B1 and iodine . They contain a good source of folic acid, biotin and vitamin B6 . Like other berries they are high in antioxidants which is the reason for many of their health benefits, including, anti- cancer, anti-inflammatory and protective against heart disease .
Since they are only in season for a short period of time there are different ways to preserve there freshness. You can freeze the berries to be used for later or you can make a sweet strawberry jam (that's what I did), you can also eat them right away or add them to numerous recipes. Since I picked a whole box. I sort of went strawberry crazy and made Jam, a Strawberry Mint Vanilla Shrub, Strawberry Rubarb Pie, Strawberry Lemonade, and Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles. Below is the recipe for the Strawberry Lemonade which I also used to make the Popsicles and both the lemonade and the popsicles were an absolute hit for this hot Texas weather that I am still getting used to. ;)
Strawberry Lemonade + Popsicles
Yields: 1 Large pitcher of lemonade and 6 popsicles
12 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 cups water (or more to your liking)
1/2 cup crushed strawberries
1/2 cup maple syrup
Juice the lemons using a citrus juicer (about 8-10 lemons depending on the size). Pour the lemon juice into a large pitcher. Add in 6 cups filtered water.
Crush strawberries by hand using a potato masher. I left them a little chunky for the popsicles.
Add crushed strawberries and maple syrup to the pitcher and stir with a spoon.
Fill popsicle molds with strawberry lemonade and place in the freezer over night.
Place the remaining lemonade in the fridge and enjoy as a nice refreshing beverage.
 Murray, Michael. "Strawberries." The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. , 2016, pp. 313-15.
 "Vitamin C." National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, 11 Feb. 2016, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/. Accessed 25 Apr. 2017.