Spring Strawberries

Updated: 04/16/2014 7:46 AM
Created: 04/15/2014 2:54 PM

Berries are delicious and nutritious and in-season right now. Jen Haugen, your Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian, will share why including strawberries is so important and a simple appetizer recipe for Easter celebrations.

Blackberries - composed of 80% water and high in fiber, these berries can support weight loss, lower elevated cholesterol levels and manage type II diabetes. The folate in blackberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and even helps maintain healthy hair.


Blueberries - phytonutrients in this berry protect cells from damage that may lead to cataracts, glaucoma, peptic ulcers, heart disease and cancer. An excellent source of manganese for healthy cell production, blueberries are one of the truly “blue” foods.

Raspberries - noted for their content of ellagic acid, a potent cancer fighter, raspberries are high in fiber (4 g per ½ cup), vitamin C, manganese and the B-vitamin niacin. Raspberries

are delicious with a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar to bring out the flavors.

Strawberries - a serving of this berry provides 160% of the daily recommended intake for vitamin C for a strong and healthy immune system. Strawberries are also rich in folate and fiber, as well as potassium for healthy blood pressure. They are a source of essential vitamins B1 and B5 for energy, plus manganese for bone health.

Berry Brie Bruschetta

All you need:

2/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 loaf ciabatta bread

1 pound Brie cheese

1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries

Basil leaves, sliced in ribbons

All You Do:

  • For balsamic syrup, pour balsamic vinegar in a small heavy saucepan and place over medium heat.  Stir in honey.  Bring to a low boil, adjust heat to maintain a steady simmer and allow vinegar to reduce in volume slowly.  After about 20 minutes, when it has reduced by half, the vinegar will appear syrupy.  Watch it closely, remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Make a horizontal cut through the ciabatta, forming two halves.  Place halves, cut-side up on a large baking pan.  Toast in oven for 8-10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.
  • Reduce heat to 350 degrees.
  • Place Brie in a glass pie plate.  Bake for 15 minutes or until melted.  Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove rind and discard.  Spread cheese onto cut sides of toasted bread.  Scatter strawberries over top.  Gently press into cheese and return to oven for 7-10 minutes.  Drizzle with prepared balsamic syrup and sprinkle with basil.  Cut each bread portion into 6-7 wedges.

Source: Hy-Vee Seasons Magazine Spring 2014.

Berry Salsa with Cinnamon Chips  

All you need:

1 (6 oz.) package fresh raspberries, gently rinsed

1 pint (2 cups) fresh strawberries, rinsed, stems removed, then quartered

2 kiwi, washed, peeled and diced

1 Golden Delicious apple, washed, peeled (if desired, but leaving peel on retains more healthy fiber) and diced

2 tablespoons Hy-Vee strawberry preserves 

6 Multigrain Hy-Vee tortillas (fajita-style) with Omega-3 

Olive oil pan spray

¼ cup cinnamon sugar (¼ cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon cinnamon)

All You Do:

  • In a large bowl, combine raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, apple and strawberry preserves. Cover and chill for 15-30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Spray one side of each multigrain tortilla with olive oil spray to coat lightly. 
  • Transfer sprayed tortilla to cutting board and cut into “chip-sized” wedges with a pizza cutter or scissors, then arrange in a single layer on baking sheet(s). Sprinkle wedges lightly with cinnamon sugar mixture. Spray lightly again to help the sugar stick.
  • Bake 8-12 minutes or until crispy but not overly brown. Remove baking sheet(s) from the oven and allow chips to cool, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve with chilled berry mixture. Serves 7.   

Source: Adapted from

Nutrient Facts: Per serving:  220 calories, 45 g carbohydrates (7 g dietary fiber, 19 g sugars)  

4 g protein, 3 g fat, 260 mg sodium

Jen Haugen represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.  Jen is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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