Bulletin #4268, Vegetables and Fruits for Health: Strawberries

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fresh picked strawberries

Revised and updated by Associate Extension Professor Jane Conroy, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
Originally developed by Extension Nutrition Specialist Nellie Hedstrom
, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit extension.umaine.edu.
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Strawberries are delicious when picked and eaten in season in Maine. Buy strawberries from your local farmers market, farm stand, or pick-your-own patch. Gather a supply for your freezer while strawberries are in season.

Fresh strawberries are tasty and wholesome. They are the first berries on the market in the summer. Wild strawberries, which are much smaller but often sweeter, can be gathered most of the summer.

Nutrition Information

Raw strawberries are low-calorie fruits. One cup of berries has 45 calories and provides 100 percent of the recommended vitamin C for an adult. Berries are also rich in potassium.

One serving of cooked, canned, or frozen berries is equal to about a half cup. For fresh berries, use one cup as a serving size. But there’s no need to worry about limiting your serving sizes if you eat fresh, raw berries. Only by adding sugar or high-fat products—like a pie crust or whipped topping—will you add calories and fat. Choose serving methods that will provide you with the best source of nutrients while limiting fat and sugar.


If you gather strawberries from a pick-your-own patch, go at the beginning of the season to get premium berries. Later in the season berries may be smaller and less fully developed, but still juicy. You may want to use some of the smaller berries for baking or for jams, if you “put up” jams. Size is also determined by the variety of berry. Some people think small to medium berries have better flavor than larger berries.

Roadside stands and farmers markets will provide you with a source of fresh strawberries from mid-June through mid-July. Choose berries that are firm, dry, and uniform in color. The caps should look green and fresh. Wild berries may taste sweeter than commercially grown fruits.

For the best price and flavor, buy locally in season. Check the berries to make sure that they are plump and free of mold.

Picking Fresh Maine Strawberries (YouTube video)


As soon as you get the strawberries home, check them for decay, mold, or other signs of spoilage, and discard any spoiled berries. Use the remaining berries within a couple of days.

How To Freeze Strawberries (YouTube video)


Strawberries can be washed, drained, covered, and stored in the refrigerator for later use. Leave the caps of the berries on until after they are washed to prevent water from soaking into the berry.

There are many uses for berries. Use them in baked goods, blender drinks, and sauces; spread them over desserts, serve them fresh with milk and sugar, or just eat them as is. Many people use them in main-dish soups, hot or cold. Of course, canning jams and preserves is a way to make sure berries can be enjoyed in the winter months.

How To Make Strawberry Jam (YouTube video)

Strawberry Smoothies

Strawberry Smoothies Food Nutrition Facts Label (click for details)

Serves 4 to 6

8 ounces vanilla yogurt
2 cups crushed ice
1 cup fruit juice
1/4 cup dry milk
1 banana or 1/2 cup strawberries
strawberries for garnish

Place yogurt, ice, fruit juice, and dry milk into the blender. Peel and break up banana and add to blender. Blend until smooth and then pour into cups. Top with strawberries.

Summertime Fruit Salad

Summertime Fruit Salad Food Nutrition Facts Label (click for details)

Serves 4 (1 3/4-cup servings)

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved
2 cups raspberries
2 cups blueberries
1 cup cantaloupe, cut to bite-sized pieces
fresh mint leaves

In medium bowl, whisk juice and honey; add remaining ingredients. Toss gently to combine. Chill 1 hour. Spoon salad into 4 individual bowls, dividing equally.

Some content adapted with permission from University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension.

Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2008

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