Thursday, July 03, 2008


We LOVE strawberries in this house! California had a bumper crop this year, so you should be able to find them easily, and at a great price in the stores!

Did you know that 88% of the nation's strawberries come from California's 35,000 acres of strawberry fields? That means that nearly 6 million crates of strawberries will fill stores this summer!

Some other fun facts about strawberries:
  • If you lined up all of the strawberries grown in California in one straight line, they would wrap around the entire Earth 15 times.
  • There are about 200 seeds on the outside of each strawberry.
  • California harvests over a billion pounds of strawberries annually.
  • One acre of land (about the size of one football field) grows about 50,000 pounds of strawberries - that's the same weight as 4 elephants!
And, even more important -- some great health information about strawberries:
  • Strawberries contain powerful antioxidants and rank second among the top ten fruits in antioxidant capacity: one serving of strawberries contains more Vitamin C than an orange.
  • Strawberries may help reduce the risk of heart disease, fight some types of cancer and lower blood pressure. Not bad for a little red berry!
  • The antioxidants in strawberries also aid in memory performance and may help prevent Alzheimer's disease by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, two key factors that can cause age-related diminished brain function.
Other than eating them straight out of the refrigerator, my family loves it when I make strawberry shortcakes. I don't actually make a shortcake, it's a sweet buttermilk drop biscuit, but it is yummy and we all love to eat them!
  • 3 T dry buttermilk (I use SACO blend, but you could use actual buttermilk and decrease the liquid a little)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening (sometimes I use butter, sometimes I use CRISCO. If you use butter, make sure it's cold)
  • 2/3 cup water
Mix well, drop on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for 10 - 12 minutes. Makes 6.

Wash, cull and slice strawberries. I usually just cut the berries in half, or sometimes quarters. I like to prepare the berries first and let them get cold in the refrigerator before preparing the shortcakes. I slice the biscuit in half, pile strawberries on, put the top back on, pile more strawberries on, put on some whipped cream, and another few strawberries. The juices melt into the biscuit and the whole thing is scrumptious!!

Hundreds more recipes using strawberries can be found here. The California Strawberry Commission also has a fun kids site named Strawberryville, where you'll find interactive games, activities, information and kid-friendly recipes using strawberries.

Summertime means enjoying two of my favorite fruits -- strawberries and watermelon! I hope you enjoy your favorite fruits this summer, and try a few new recipes!

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