North Carolina is ranked 4th in the US for strawberry production. Strawberries are a delicious berry and great source of many nutrients. Strawberries were even once used for toothpaste as the juices have been known to cleanse stained or discolored teeth. Strawberries range from about an inch in size to up to several inches with vibrant red berries and green tops, and little bumps all over the outside. The bumps on the outside of each strawberry are actually seeds, with each berry averaging around 200 seeds!
BEST STORAGE PRACTICES:
If strawberries are not quite ripe, leave them on the counter to ripen. Once strawberries are ripe they have a very short shelf life. Refrigerate in a warmer part of the fridge (45-50 degrees F) for up to a week. Always wash before eating or preparing.
FUN WAYS TO EAT AND COOK:
Strawberries are a delicious, healthy snack raw and on the go. A handful of berries is much more nutritious than a bag of potato chips—and if ripe, far tastier! Strawberries can be frozen or preserved for a sweet treat all year long.
Select those strawberries with no damage, spots, bumps, or discoloration. These will signal past-due or older strawberries. Strawberries should be plump and full with bright red flesh.
WHY IT’S GOOD TO EAT:
- Great source of Vitamins A & C
- Great source of folate and dietary fiber.
- Good source of iron
- Small caloric intake & no fat
WHEN IT’S IN SEASON:
Strawberries thrive in warmer climates and are most often available between April and mid-June.
HOW IT’S HARVESTED:
Strawberries are harvested by hand due to their delicacy. Strawberries grow on a low growing plant with the berries often hidden beneath the cover of leaves. Pluck strawberries by the stem.
Strawberry Parfait – In a cup layer yogurt, granola, then strawberries. Repeat until the cup if full. Your delicious parfait is ready to eat!