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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: It’s Strawberry Time!

By Sherrie Norris

For those of you who have followed my cooking column over the years, you know that my favorite fruit is the strawberry. The “blood-type diet” and a remote diagnosis of diverticulitis both tell me that I should not eat these luscious little jewels, but it’s easier said than done. I am often reminded of a quote I ran across ages ago from William Butler, a 17th century English writer, who said, “Doubtless, God could have made a better berry, but doubtless, God never did.”

After having just enjoyed our first sampling of this year’s crop from Eastern North Carolina, I have to agree, once again, with Butler.

Not only are strawberries delicious, but they also have many health benefits as a good source of Vitamin C, folate and potassium, pectin and other soluble fibers that help lower cholesterol — and they contain only about 40 calories per cup. Additionally, they are thought to provide substances that help prevent cancer.

According to legend, strawberries were regarded as an aphrodisiac of the highest quality. Newlyweds were traditionally served a soup of thinned cream, strawberries and powdered sugar; during Medieval times, strawberries were served at important state occasions and festivals to ensure peace and prosperity.

Any excuse to eat strawberries works for me!


Healthy Strawberry Mousse

2 cups sliced strawberries

3 Tbs. Splenda or sweetener of choice

½ cup low-fat sour cream

1½ cups fat-free Cool Whip

Mix berries and sweetener in blender until smooth; add sour cream, fold in Cool Whip and mix lightly. Spoon into 6 dessert cups and freeze at least 4 hours.


Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

1 ready-made Graham cracker pie crust

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

1 can sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup cold water

1 cup strawberries

1 (3½ oz.) pkg. instant strawberry pudding mix

1 (8 oz.) container whipped topping, thawed and divided

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. On low mixer speed, gradually beat in milk until smooth, adding water and pudding mix, also beating to smooth consistency. Fold in half of the whipped topping and strawberries. Pour into crust. Chill 2 hours until set. Garnish with remaining topping when ready to serve.


Layered Strawberry Delight


1 cup flour

½ cup butter or margarine

½ cup chopped nuts

Combine all ingredients and press into bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 13 minutes. Cool completely.



1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups whipped topping

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in topping. Spread over cooled crust.


1 large pkg. strawberry Jell-O

2 cups boiling water

2 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen sweetened strawberries

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Stir in strawberries. Chill for 20 minutes or until thickened. Spread over cheese layer. Chill until set.


Sherrie’s Simple Strawberry Cake

1 white cake mix

1 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry Jell-O

½ cup juice from frozen or fresh strawberries

1 cup cooking oil

1/2 cup water

4 eggs

Line three 9-inch cake pans with wax paper. Preheat oven to 350. Soften Jell-O in 1/2 cup water. Combine cake mix, oil, eggs and strawberry juice; mix well. Add Jell-O. Blend thoroughly with electric mixer for about 4 minutes. Bake 30 minutes. Delicious topped with cool whip and fresh strawberries or cream cheese icing.


Very Berry Smoothie

Combine equal amounts of strawberries, bananas, orange juice and ice cubes in blender container. Blend until smooth; pour into glasses and garnish with fresh whole strawberries.