Jennifer’s Journal: Celebrate May with strawberries

May is the month to celebrate strawberries.

Although we can get fresh strawberries most any time of year, they are more readily available in May and June.

Strawberries are low in calories and high in nutrients. One cup of strawberries contains 55 calories, and strawberries are a great source of vitamin C. They also contain vitamin A, iron, fiber and folic acid.

In selecting these berries, be sure to choose those that are fully ripened and are bright red. Strawberries do not ripen after they have been picked. The berries should be plump and have a natural shine and bright green, fresh-looking caps.

Once you have purchased your berries, store them in the refrigerator, covered and unwashed and leave the cap on and until after the berries have been washed prior to use. Leaving the cap on prevents water from soaking into the berry and reducing the flavor and texture. Plan on using strawberries within two or three days.

You may want to try this Strawberry Salsa next time you have fresh strawberries. Be sure to stop by the Winchester-Clark County Farmers Market for the best selection of fresh greens. Our Farmers Market opens at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 13, and is located on historic Depot Street. Be sure to stop by and visit with us!

Strawberry Salsa

Yields 7, 1/2-cup servings

— 1 tablespoon olive oil

— 2 tablespoons white vinegar or — white balsamic vinegar

— 1/2 teaspoon salt

— 2 cups, coarsely chopped fresh strawberries

— 8 green onions, chopped

— 2 cups chopped cherry or grape tomatoes

— 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk olive oil, vinegar, and salt in large bowl. Add strawberries, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Toss to coat. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

For more Plate It Up recipes, contact the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682 or visit us on the web at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/clark/

Jennifer Howard is the Clark County Extension Agent for family and consumer sciences.