By Leigh Felesky

Sexy strawberries make summer better. Whether dipped in chocolate or preserved, this multi-purpose berry delivers.

How to buy
Buy the freshest and cheapest strawberries in June and July. The berries won't ripen after picking--what you see is what you get. Go for plump berries with a strong scent and avoid those with dark patches. Smaller berries always taste better.

How to store
Don't wash before storage. Place single layers of berries on paper towels in sealed containers. The berries last two to three days in the refrigerator.

How to prepare
Rinse well and remove the hull with a small knife. To guarantee the most flavour when eaten as a dessert or snack, slice the strawberries, sprinkle them with sugar and let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours. Strawberries are also delicious in salads, tarts, jam, milkshakes and breads.

Nutritional info
5 medium strawberries: 18 calories, 8 mg calcium, 48 mg vitamin C, 4 g carbohydrates, 1.3 g dietary fibre, 100 mg potassium

• Tequila sunset pops
• Mocha ice cream terrine with fresh berries
• Fabulous peach-raspberry fold-over pie
• Maple leaf spinach-and-strawberry salad
• Mixed greens and strawberries
• Sioux look-out's strawberry spinach salad


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