We’re still three weeks and an entire season away from summer officially starting, but that’s not keeping anyone in Florida from celebrating strawberries. The 77th annual Florida Strawberry Festival has kicked off in one of the warmest states in the union. Taking place in Plant City, the festival focus is on juicy red berries, but beyond that the food vendors, crafts, entertainment, and parades mimic festivals throughout the country.
We love that while some fairs, like the State Fair of Texas, are synonymous with the most gut-busting food creations around, Florida’s festival is focused on fruit! They’re obviously preparing for the season early as strawberries are traditionally in season June through August.
Truly, there isn’t anything much sweeter or more delicious than a ripe strawberry. While the taste is remarkable, so are the health benefits. You can practically eat as many as you want. One whole cup of strawberries has about 45 calories and they’re full of fiber that promotes digestion. Additionally, hidden under that leafy green top are antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that make this a cancer-fighting food. You’ll get a big boost of vitamin C and the mineral manganese from strawberries, and the potassium, vitamin K and magnesium promotes strong, healthy bones.
It should come as no surprise that the strawberry shortcake is one of the most sought-after foods at the Strawberry Festival. That’s one of those fairly healthy desserts than can take a turn for the worse pretty quickly. Bake a light angel food cake, top with fresh strawberries, and use just a touch of whipped cream. That’s all you need!
Most grocery stores keep strawberries stocked all year long, granted at a higher cost during off-season months. If you find yourself picking up a pint of berries, wash them off and eat them for your between-meal snacks to really feel full and satisfied. But if you’re looking for a few more ways to enjoy these bright berries, give the following recipes a try!
March 2nd, 2012