There are so many reasons I love to live in California—The year-round sunshine, the beach activities, the mountain activities (love driving to the snow without the worry of shoveling it!) and, of course, the California Strawberries!
We recently went to an event hosted by the California Strawberries Commisson. Hector Gutierrez, one of the Oxnard, Ca farmers was on hand to weave a tale of strawberries from seed to store. They are committed to water conservation and have both drip and microsprinkler installations to aid in this effort. This type of watering system also helps with pest control. Another interesting fact: Strawberry production in California employs over 70,000 people!
David Grotto, RD (author of 101 Optimal Life Foods) also presented and provided us a nutritional perspective on them. Here are the highlights:
Serving size: 1 cup of strawberries (approx. 8 medium strawberries)
- Has a low sugar profile.
- Full of nutrients such as potassium, fiber, Vitamin C and folate.
- These nutrients are important in controlling blood pressure (potassium), controlling weight and relieving constipation (fiber), repairing damage in the body (Vitamin C), fighting birth defects and controlling the inflammatory process associated with heart disease (folate, a B vitamin).
- Also contains important plant nutrients called polyphenols such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid, ellagitannins, gallotannins, quercetin, kaempferol and phenolic acids. These have antioxidant capabilities and help protect and repair cells. Research on these and other nutrients found in strawberries have shown promise in various studies in improving cognitive decline, reducing damage that leads to aging, enhancing signaling between brain cells, reducing total and LDL cholesterol, reducing insulin requirement for glucose control and protecting DNA from harmful mutations.
- California strawberries are grown year round, so they can be found fresh or frozen ALL THE TIME, making them very accessible.
To say the least, we learned A LOT about California strawberries. In addition to it’s nutritional attributes, we learned that it is actually not a fruit at all! It is a member of the rose family, and is technically a flower. Strawberries are also ranked #1 as kids’ favorite fruit and adults love them, too! We are most used to eating them plain or in desserts. But as the California Strawberry Commission demonstrated to us that evening, they are great in savory dishes as well!
California Strawberries also served up a delicious medley of strawberry-themed appetizers. Our favorites were the strawberry bruschetta and strawberry gazpacho. You can view all their recipes on their blog.
One thing I struggle with is the optimal way to store all our fruits and veggies. Follow these simple steps to prolong the life of your strawberries:
- Refrigerate immediately after purchasing and keep them stored in the container you purchased them in.
- When ready to eat, rinse, gently blot to dry.
- Slice off stem at top of berry.
Strawberries are most flavorful at room temperature, so remove them from the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to serve them for optimal flavor.
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. Heather and Tee attended this event to facilitate this review.This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ. Nutritional information provided by the California Strawberry Commission and is not the opinion of That’s IT Mommy.