Strawberry Pickin’ Is Upon Us
April has been such a beautiful month and has brought us some delicious, ruby red strawberries. I have seen many pictures of friends visiting local strawberry farms, bucket in hand, to pick their favorite berries to enjoy. I wanted to share some fun facts about strawberries.
First and foremost, strawberries are considered a superfood because they are packed with nutrients. Although we call them strawberries, they are actually not considered a true berry because their seeds are on the outside of the fruit. An average strawberry has around 200 seeds and each “seed” on the outside is considered an individual fruit. Strawberries are also super because only half a cup of them can provide 81% of your recommended Daily Value of vitamin C, the vitamin that helps boost your immune system! We need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C because our bodies cannot make this vitamin on its own. Other benefits of vitamin C include healing cuts and wounds, lowering the risk of infection, keeping our gums healthy, aiding in iron absorption, and acting as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage. Did you know eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than one orange? Those little berries pack a powerful nutrient punch.
Strawberries are a great way to add fruit to any meal or snack. After rinsing under cool water, of course, you can freeze your strawberries to add to a smoothie. Try blending them along with some frozen bananas to make healthy, homemade ice cream. You can also chop up fresh strawberries and put them on top of your yogurt, cereal, or cream cheese bagel, or infuse them in your water to give your beverage some extra flavor. Strawberries can also be dried or made into jams, preserves, or syrup.
To store strawberries, you can keep them in a ventilated container, such as the plastic ones they come in at the grocery store, and place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator – around 32 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit. The typical shelf life is 5-7 days. You may also wash, cap, and freeze strawberries. Opt for a freezer friendly container or a freezer bag. You can keep most fruits and vegetables in your freezer for 8-12 months at 0 degrees or below.
If you’re interested in growing strawberries, visit our Horticulture Agent, Brad Hardison for many tips and tricks. You can also call our office for information on how to make strawberry jam, jelly, or preserves. Enjoy strawberry harvesting while it’s here and spend some quality time with your friends and family.