Strawberries: A Taste of Spring

Funny how January really feels like winter.

But by the end of February, you can start to ‘smell’ spring.

With the change in seasons just around the corner, we can look forward to eating in-season fruit…like strawberries!

strawberrySweet and juicy, strawberries are nutritious and loved by many all around the world.

Plus, they are so versatile—delicious when eaten fresh and whole, but they can also be transformed into jams, smoothies, pies, salads and much more.

Strawberries are one of the earliest fruits to ripen each year, so they are often referred to as the first “taste of spring.”

And even though it is technically still winter, there is no better time to start talking about strawberries, because February 27th is National Strawberry Day!

Strawberries: A Quick History

group of strawberriesStrawberries have been around for a LONG time.

They were first mentioned in ancient Roman literature for their medicinal properties.

In the 1300s, the French began to grow this most famous of fruits in their gardens.

Eventually, strawberries made their way to North America in the 1750s, as a gift from Chile.

Over the centuries, strawberries have steadily gained in popularity and are now enjoyed by millions around the globe.

Fun Facts About Strawberries

single strawberryHere are some of my most favorite fun facts about strawberries:

  • Strawberries belong to the rose family.
  • The United States produces over one-fourth of the world’s total strawberry production.
  • About 88 percent of the strawberries grown in America are produced in California. In 2014, the state harvested over 2.3 billion pounds of berries!
  • Strawberries contain about 200 seeds per berry on average.
  • Strawberries are on the list of the top five most consumed fresh fruits in America, along with bananas, apples, oranges and grapes.
  • Strawberry varieties that were developed at UC Davis make up 50 percent of the world’s commercial strawberry production!

Why Strawberries Are so Good for You

strawberry sliceStrawberries contain a high level of flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidants.

They are a good source of folate and potassium, and an excellent source of dietary fiber, manganese and vitamin C. In fact, they have more vitamin C than an orange!

Moreover, the phytonutrients in strawberries seem to starve tumors of their blood supply and may help in reversing certain types of cancer.

How to Celebrate National Strawberry DayDr. Rosane Oliveira and Savory Strawberry Soup

Here are some ways to have fun on National Strawberry Day (February 27th):

  • Experiment: If you eat strawberries plain, switch things up. Add some to your oatmeal or salad.
  • Grow Your Own: Strawberries are best planted in the spring. Even though it is a little early for that, you can take this opportunity to learn how to grow them and be ready to plant when the time is right.
  • Make A New Strawberry-Based Recipe: There are plenty of strawberry desserts out there. How about trying something completely different—our cool and refreshing Savory Strawberry Soup!

Here’s to a sensational National Strawberry Day!