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National Strawberry Month and National Pick Your Own Strawberries Day On May 20


Strawberries: Photo Source Public Domain Pictures


May is National Strawberry Month and May 20 is National Pick Your Own Strawberries Day. This month gives you a chance to enjoy fresh strawberries and learn about their health benefits.


Brief History of Strawberries


Animation Source Giphy


In 1714 a French engineer developed a new type of strawberry after discovering them grown in Chile. His name was Amedee Francois Frezier. During the 1600's English settlers who landed in Jamestown discovered wild strawberries growing in large quantities


Early American settlers did not have to grow strawberries as they grew in the wild. Cultivation began in the 19th century as strawberries with cream became a popular dessert. New York became a hub with the beginning of the railroad and shipping. The crop was shipped in refrigerated railroad cars.


Strawberries are grown in every states in the United States and provinces of Canada. Most come from the state of California. Strawberries have fiber and are low in calories. They contain Vitamin C, folate B vitamin, potassium, and are low in sugar.


Ways to Celebrate National Strawberry Month


Pick Your Own Strawberries: Photo Source: Flicker/Libby


  • Buy strawberries at your local farm market or pick your own strawberries grown at a local farm that features this. When you buy them at your local supermarket look for strawberries that are ripe with no brown spots or mold.


  • Explore making new recipes using fresh strawberries and enjoy serving them at meals. Look for recipes online and in cookbooks that use strawberries in a unique way. Salads, beverages, and desserts that use less sugar can be a healthy way to enjoy strawberries in season.


Strawberry Plant: Public Domain Pictures


  • If you have a garden try planting some strawberries plants in your garden or in the backyard. You can grow strawberries in pots or containers. You local garden center may have some plants to try this year.


  • Attend a strawberry festival at your local church or non-profit event. Some areas have craft and strawberry festivals.



Strawberry Festival in Florida Photos Source Flicker/M Barrison



Fresh Strawberry Pineapple Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds


Animation Source GIphy


This is a nice salad or appetizer before a meal, or it can be a healthy dessert after your meal. You will need a strainer, cutting board knife, large bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and container for the salad.


1 pint of fresh strawberries or bag of frozen strawberries

1 pint of fresh blueberries

1 cup of fresh pineapple chunks cut into small chunks

1/2 cup of diced or crumbled goat cheese

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1 or 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice or concentrate

Whipped Cream Optional


In a large bowl add warm water and soak fresh strawberries, blueberries and pineapple chunks for five minutes. Strain. On a cutting board remove tops of strawberries discard cut into thin slices and put in a bowl. Add blueberries and cut chunks of pineapple into bite sized pieces. Mix with lemon juice and honey or sugar. Dice a half cup of crumbled goat cheese and add to fruit salad. Cut or chop 1/4 cup almonds and mix well. Chill and serve with whipped cream. Serves 4



Strawberry Almond Shortcake



Strawberries: Animation Source Giphy


You will need a baking pan, measuring cup, spoon, whisk, a bowl, cutting board, knife, and oven to bake the short cake.


Ingredients:


1-pint fresh strawberries washed and diced

1 tablespoon of orange or lemon juice

1 tablespoon butter for pan

1 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon of white or brown sugar

1/3 cup avocado or vegetable oil

Whipped cream


Directions:


In a bowl of warm water soak the strawberries for about five minutes. Strain and bring to a cutting board. Remove green tops and discard. Dice into thin slices add orange or lemon juice. Put aside.


Butter the baking pan all sides and put aside. Measure and put the almond flour into a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda and milk and whisk well blending ingredients. Crack one egg and beat in measuring cup and add to batter. Blend with whisk until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and avocado oil and whisk again. Pour the mixture into a baking pan spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool and slice into pieces. Top with strawberries and whipped cream. Serves about 4.



Fresh Strawberry and Yogurt Parfait


Animation Source: Giphy


You will need cutting board, knife, measuring cups, bowl, measuring spoon, large spoon, bowls, and knife, nut chopper or blender.


Ingredients:


1 container of plain yogurt Greek or regular

1 pint of fresh strawberries diced

1 or two tablespoon orange juice

1/3 cup chopped almonds or walnuts

Whipped cream


Directions


In a bowl of warm water soak the strawberries for about 5 minutes. Strain and remove green tops discard. Slice into thin pieces and put in bowl with 1 tablespoon orange juice. Measure nuts and chop with a knife and put aside. Measure a 1/2 cup of yogurt per bowl. Add fresh strawberries and nuts for each dish and person and mix well. Top with whipped cram. Serves about 4 people.


References:


A Brief History of the Strawberry by Peggy Trowbridge Flippone, The Spruce Eats, June 24, 2022





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