California Strawberries are being called a nutritional super food because they are an excellent source of antioxidants including Vitamin C, and have high levels of potassium, folate and fiber. These three dietary components (Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber) are among seven nutrients highlighted as lacking in American diets by the Advisory Committee for the new Dietary Guidelines. Additionally, strawberries are naturally low in sugar (only 7g per serving), making them a naturally sweet indulgence for today's dieters.
There are easy ways to include strawberries as part of the Dietary Guideline recommendations. Strawberries are versatile and can be a main ingredient for breakfast, lunch or dinner. These healthy spring rolls have only 88 calories per serving.
VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS Prep time: 25 minutes, Makes 8 spring rolls
Strawberry Dipping Sauce: 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) sliced stemmed California strawberries 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons Vietnamese fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
Spring Rolls: 3/4 pound cooked shelled shrimp 3/4 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar 8 spring roll wrappers 16 mint leaves 16 cilantro sprigs 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) quartered stemmed California strawberries 1 cup peeled, seeded cucumber cut into 2 x 1/4 x 1/8-inch strips
To make Strawberry Dipping Sauce, in blender or food processor, puree strawberries, vinegar, oil, sugar, and fish sauce until smooth. Add chili flakes; blend until chili flakes are mixed in but still visible.
To make Spring Rolls, in bowl, toss shrimp with vinegar; set aside. Dip 1 wrapper into very hot water for a few seconds until soft and flexible; blot on towel to remove excess water. Place 2 mint leaves, 2 cilantro sprigs, 3 pieces strawberry, 3 shrimp and 3 cucumber strips in a line down the center of wrapper. Fold bottom over filling, fold in sides and roll up into tight cylinder. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 8 rolls. Serve each roll with 1 tablespoon strawberry Dipping Sauce. Tip: Rolls may be made up to 8 hours ahead. Place in single layer on plastic wrap-lined pan, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until needed.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 88 calories; 3 g fat; 65 mg cholesterol; 135 mg sodium; 7 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 9 g protein, 27% calories from fat.
The California Strawberry Commission is conducting further research on the impact strawberries have on some types of cancer and heart health. Go to www.calstrawberry.com for details and more recipes.