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Spring’s freshest berries

STRAWBERRIES WITH BALSAMIC SYRUP
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: about 10 minutes
Cooking time: about 5 minutes

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
4 cups sliced strawberries

In a small saucepan, mix sugar, vinegar and
cornstarch. Bring to boil on medium, stirring frequently.
Stir in pepper. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 minutes or
until syrup begins to thicken. Divide strawberries among dessert dishes. Drizzle with syrup.

Per serving: 142 calories, 1 gram protein, no fat (no percent calories from fat), no saturated fat, 35 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 10 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

SHOPPING LIST: confectioners’ sugar, balsamic vinegar, cornstarch, black peppercorns, strawberries.

FYI
A member of the rose family, strawberries have grown wild for centuries, and are now commercially grown in the U.S. in California and Florida. They’re available all year with their peak season from April to June.

A Harvard study published in January links eating berries to a lower risk of heart attacks among younger women. The study followed women 25 to 42 who ate more than 3 (1/2-cup) servings of strawberries or blueberries each week over an 18-year span. The findings? These women had a 34 percent reduced risk of heart attack compared to those who ate less than one serving per week. Researchers point to the berries’ anthocyanin content as the protective factor.(Source eatingwell.com, June 2013)

Kitchen Secret: Don’t wash or hull berries until you’re ready to use them. Rinse before removing the stems, because once hulled, strawberries absorb water like a sponge. A gadget called a strawberry huller or a small sharp knife is handy for removing caps.


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