Fast Facts: Strawberries

I live in Florida, so it’s no wonder strawberries are one of my favorite fruits. We are home to the winter strawberry capital of the world, Plant City, where each year a strawberry festival is hosted. I was there once and it was so much fun! You can find all things strawberry in there: strawberry shortcake, strawberry milkshakes, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and even strawberry pizza. Needless to say, for a strawberry fan such as myself it was strawberry heaven!

 

 

Now, what makes strawberries so deliciously nutritious? Well, first the let’s take a quick history lesson. Strawberries were first cultivated in France in the mid-18th century. The variety that we know and love today is actually a cross from North American and Chilean berries. Prior to cultivation, wild strawberries picked from the forest were the mostly commonly used.

If we start talking nutrition, did you know that ounce for ounce strawberries have more vitamin C per serving than oranges? Pretty crazy, huh? These little berries certainly pack a punch. Not only are they excellent sources of vitamin C, but also contain a good amount of fiber and powerful antioxidants per 1-cup serving. And at only 50 calories per cup, they’re a sweet guilt-free treat to have everyday.

Berries do tend to spoil quickly, so I always suggest buying fresh when in-season and frozen year-round. When buying fresh, make sure to choose shiny and firm strawberries with a bright red color. Caps should also be fresh, green and intact. Avoid shriveled, mushy or leaky berries (yuck!). And always wash just before you are ready to eat them. This is really important to preserve them for as long as possible as water may promote mold growth and rapid spoilage. Strawberries can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-3 days.

Can’t buy fresh? Then frozen is a great alternative. Sometimes it may be the best choice during off-season or when the quality of fresh strawberries is poor. These are flash-frozen at their peak preserving all the nutrients. Not bad, right? So, whether is fresh or frozen we can enjoy strawberries all year long.

Need some healthy recipes to use up your strawberries? Don’t miss my next post for a couple of different ways to enjoy them daily.