8 Sweet Ways to Add Strawberries to Your Meal Rotation
When you see those perfectly sun-ripened, juicy red strawberries in the produce section, it’s official: Spring has returned, bringing with it lush and verdant produce to add to your dinner table! Their tantalizing flavor is reason enough to stock up, but even better, they also carry a pretty powerful nutritional punch.
In many Asian countries, strawberries are called the “queen of fruits” because of their health benefits, which include a dose of heart-healthy flavonoids, bone-protecting potassium, vitamin K, magnesium, and biotin. Strawberries are packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, and you can get some serious antioxidant benefits from consuming strawberries for just a few weeks.
If that’s not enough to sell you, strawberries are also low in calories (just 54 per cup!), and also contain a lot of fiber—nearly 3 grams per cup. Strawberries can even help burn fat! According to a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, strawberries contain anthocyanins that can stimulate the burning of stored fat cells.
We’re sure you know that these mouthwatering, healthy little fruits are, of course, delicious in smoothies, salads, desserts, and just plain by themselves—but did you know it’s actually really easy to add them into main courses, like lunch and dinner? Check out these eight awesome ideas for cooking with strawberries to avoid relegating them to purely dessert or snack food.
1. Strawberry gazpacho
This classic cold soup gets a refresh with spring’s best berry! Swapping strawberries for tomato gives this Vegetarian Times dish a zing that pairs irresistibly well with cream, mango, and peppers.
2. Strawberry BBQ ribs
You have to taste these strawberry-glazed BBQ ribs to believe how good they are! With all-natural ingredients, there’s a lot of reasons to love this sauce aside from its sweet flavor—just nix the brandy if little ones are partaking.
3. Strawberry turkey brie panini
This light and airy lunch from MyRecipes is the epitome of a springtime dish! The strawberries go amazingly well with turkey and brie’s low-key flavors—your friends and little ones alike will be begging for more.
4. Strawberry-thyme butter
Serving a batch of toast or rolls with dinner? Jazz ‘em up with Genius Kitchen’s to-die-for strawberry-thyme butter recipe, where the strawberries’ naturally strong sweetness is nicely balanced by the thyme.
5. Strawberry breakfast cookies
Before you start drawing conclusions, take a look at the ingredients list for these breakfast snacks. Nary a gram of sugar to be found! With the addition of bananas, coconuts, oats, and cinnamon, this dish is tasty, healthy, and filling—perfect for getting started first thing in the morning.
6. Strawberry salsa
Try topping grilled chicken or fish with this tasty five-ingredient recipe from Gimme Some Oven. It's super quick, super easy, and super delish: One jalapeno pepper, some lime juice, and cilantro gives you classically spicy salsa with a nice mellow twist, thanks to our starring ingredient. (Add avocado for some healthy fats, too!)
7. Strawberry pizza
Strawberries on pizza?! Yes, yes, and YES! Something magical happens when you combine pizza dough, chicken, bacon, and onions with strawberry pieces in Seeded at the Table’s recipe. Bigs and littles alike will be asking for this one again and again.
8. Grilled peanut butter/banana split sandwich
We saved the best for last: A cornucopia of fruits and classic trappings of desserts come together in a unique combo of flavors that won’t disappoint. (Worried about sugar? No need! Semisweet chocolate offers health benefits that you can feel good about.)