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Berry Yummy

Two recipes that help us herald the start of another Jersey produce season.

This month’s recipes spotlight plump, juicy, naturally sweet, nutritious, and delicious strawberries. Strawberries are amazing lil’ gems that not only taste great but have powerful health benefits. They contain vitamin C, manganese, folic acid, and they’re a good source of dietary fiber. Also, the pigments that give them their beautiful red hues are extremely beneficial, as they contain phytochemicals (flavonoids). They also have antioxidants, which may help prevent some diseases. So, no matter how you look at it, unless allergic to them, strawberries truly are a superfood that you can feel good about serving to your family!

Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed
1-2 tbs. pure maple syrup or sweetener of choice
4-5 large ice cubes

Add almond milk, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, protein powder, strawberries, maple syrup and ice cubes to a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

“Berry Sweet” Strawberry Muffins
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbs. flaxseed meal or flakes
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
2 tbs. non-aluminum baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup safflower or sunflower oil
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh diced strawberries
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, stir together flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl mix together almond milk, oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once, stirring just until combined. Fold in strawberries and mini chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full with batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Makes 1 dozen muffins. n

Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio is author of Seasoned With Love, Treasured Recipes, Lisa Ann’s Seasoned With Love II, and children’s books Snicker Learns An Important Lesson and Readers’ Favorite 5-Star rated Little Twinkle Learns Her Purpose.