Spicing Up Fresh Strawberries

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - May 17, 2006
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Jan Bulawan and Tawny Edwards are sales consultants at Wayne’s Carpet in Kailua. Jan moved to Hawaii 30 years ago after growing up in a rustic New England town on the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border. After short stays in Southern California and on Maui, she moved to Oahu where she now has more than 20 years of experience selling many kinds of flooring to Island residents and businesses.

Tawny, a Kunia resident, was raised on Oahu, and also has extensive background selling residential and commercial flooring. Tawny and her husband Miki’oi, who works for Pacific Ceiling Fans, are avid racing car enthusiasts and spend much of their spare time engaged in this exciting sport.

This column is dedicated to these two good friends.

Fresh strawberries are still plentiful, and angel food cake is available at most supermarkets, which makes it easy to try this great-tasting dessert. If you don’t like angel food cake, try the spiced strawberries over your favorite low-fat frozen yogurt, or ice cream.

Choose strawberries that are firm and shiny, with a good red color. Dull colored strawberries are usually overripe. Also avoid strawberries with any white mold, which will contaminate the rest of the berries in the container. It’s a good idea to turn over the container and check the bottom for any bruised or moldy berries.

Do not wash strawberries until they are ready to be used; this prevents them from rotting quickly. To store, pack them loosely in a covered container and keep in the refrigerator where they will keep for two-three days. Strawberries also may be frozen either whole or cut.

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, folate and Vitamin A.


* 3/4 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup water
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 tablespoon pure almond extract
* 2 pints strawberries, stems removed and sliced
* 6 thin slices angel food cake (may be purchased at the super market)

In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 12 minutes, or until it becomes syrupy. Mix in the allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves until blended. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Cool for 5 minutes. Arrange slices of angel food cake on plates, arrange strawberries on top and pour syrup over. Top with a dollop of light whipped cream.

Makes six servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Note: Nutrition information will vary with angel food cake used

Calories: 172 (approximate, with cake add 140 calories)

Total Fat: 0.5 grams (approximate, with cake add 0.1 gram fat)

Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Sodium: 5 milligrams (approximate, with cake add 130 milligrams)

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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