June is strawberry season here in Minnesota so a trip to one of the local farms may be in my near future. I am contemplating if bringing my 18-month-old grandson would be a fun adventure for him. I am thinking that any fruit he did pick would not end up in the container, but in his mouth instead!! I found a great website, PickYourOwn, which lists farms in the United States and around the world where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables. The website also has resources for canning, recommended books, farmers markets, pumpkin patches, just to name a few.
Back to the strawberries. Strawberries have a short season so you will want to check with your local PYO (Pick Your Own) farms regularly. Here are some tips when picking these wonderful berries. They are a very tender fruit, they bruise and discolor any time they are squeezed so handle them gently (another reason Grandson may not be ready for this adventure). Try to pick in the early morning or on cool, cloudy days. Berries picked during the heat of the day become soft, are easily bruised, and will not keep well. Strawberries may be kept fresh 3 or more days, depending on the initial quality of the fruit. Keep them in the refrigerator in open containers and don’t clean your berries till you are ready to use them.
If picking your own strawberries isn’t your “thing” that is okay—just stop by your local Farmers’ Market or grocery store and pick some up!
Here is a healthy, summer, strawberry treat.
Strawberry Quinoa Breakfast Parfait
Parfait is traditionally a layered dessert but who says it has to be a dessert to look and taste great? In French, the word parfait means “perfect”. This breakfast would be a “perfect” way to start your day. It is loaded with protein, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Since I used plain yogurt, I added honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon to the yogurt to add some flavor and a little bit of sweetness.
Next I ground up the flax seed and added to the cooked quinoa.
Red Quinoa is a great source of protein, essential amino acids and iron. The type of iron found in plant foods is better absorbed when consumed with foods high in vitamin C and strawberries are a great source of vitamin C. Red quinoa has a richer, nuttier flavor and is slightly chewier than white quinoa.
Flax seeds are a tiny little seed that are a great source of dietary fiber, magnesium and iron. One of the benefits of this seed is that it can stabilize hormonal levels which can reduce the symptoms of PMS and menopause, and potentially reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and prostate cancer. It is best to grind these seeds to better digest them, but only grind what you need as they deteriorate quickly. If you grind more than you need, place them in a tightly sealed glass container in the refrigerator.
Fun fact: Did you know that most mammals have the ability to produce vitamin C naturally? This isn’t the case for humans; we need a daily dose of vitamin C. Strawberries not only provide the vitamin C but can also boost short-term memory, ease inflammation, lower cardiovascular disease risk, promote bone health, and have anti-aging properties. But best of all they have that great taste summer.
Now it is time to layer all the ingredient to make your “perfect” breakfast parfait.
How do you and your family enjoy fresh strawberries?
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