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. Read Full Post >
Other than a box of chocolates, the dessert most synonymous with Valentine’s Day is the strawberry. Finally, a holiday with a love affair with fruit!
Strawberries are an incredibly delicious and healthy fruit. They are an exceptional source of antioxidants. While they are a generous source of vitamin C, that really only applies to the freshest of strawberries. After two days they start losing this vitamin’s potency. The bright red berry helps to regulate blood sugar and fight inflammation. One serving of strawberries is about one cup, or eight large ones. By themselves, on top of yogurt, tossed in a smoothie, or lovingly dipped in chocolate, there are innumerable ways to get at least one serving of this sweet fruit on to your plate every day.
For one special day in particular, treat yourself and your loves to dark chocolate covered strawberries. They’re a sinfully indulgent dessert that is completely guilt free.
The most anticipated day for all guests when I stayed at the Biggest Loser Resort was the day chocolate covered strawberries were served for dessert. Two very large, ripe berries were generously rolled in a dark chocolate and delivered to us with just the faintest sign of condensation (we were in the Utah desert, after all!). There, this dessert added only 91 calories to our 1200 calorie day. And we’d most certainly earned it! Read Full Post >
Even in the winter, when you wake up craving a warm meal, a yogurt parfait can be a surprisingly satisfying choice. Yogurt is full of calcium and protein and when you need a quick breakfast before work or school, it’s easy to make a parfait that tastes gourmet with whole grains and fresh fruit.
If you like to get your kids involved in the kitchen, you can make a fun event out of prepping your parfaits – set out bowls of granola, fresh and dried fruit and other favorite toppings and let them compile their own tasty morning treats.
My favorite combination is vanilla yogurt, fresh blueberries and strawberries but off-season, frozen fruits will work in a pinch.
The argument to eat organic foods just got stronger. A study recently conducted by Washington State University found that organic strawberries are more flavorful and nutritious than conventional strawberries. The most comprehensive and detailed study of its kind, the researchers analyzed berries from 13 conventional farms and 13 organic farms in California, the state that produces 90 percent of the nation’s strawberries. “There is no paper in the literature that comprehensively and quantitatively compares so many indices of both food and soil quality at multiple sampling times on so many commercial farms,” said John Reganold, professor of soil science and lead author of the paper.