Did You Know?
- Strawberries make a great salad ingredient, especially when combined with fresh greens, nuts and cheeses.
- Frozen strawberries retain all the nutritional benefits of fresh strawberries.
- North Carolina is the fourth largest producer of strawberries in the country.
- It takes about a month from when the strawberry flower first opens for the fruit to become ripe and ready to eat.
- The average strawberry has 150 to 200 seeds on its surface.
- A serving of strawberries contains more vitamin C than a medium orange to help your body heal, resist infections and maintain healthy bones, gums and teeth.
- Strawberries are a significant source of fiber, which aids digestion.
- Very high in antioxidant capacity, which is important for good health and disease prevention.
- Fat-free and only 50 calories per one-cup serving.
Selection & Storage Tips
Strawberries can be found at farmers markets across N.C. from about mid-April until the beginning of June, with the season beginning earlier and ending later from east to west.
What to look for
- The best quality strawberries are firm and red with no blemishes. They have a distinctive sweet scent that makes them irresistible.
- If you choose to pick your own, pinch the stem of the berry between your thumb and forefinger to prevent damage to both the fruit and the strawberry plant.
How to preserve your produce
- The flavor is most intense when the berries are eaten soon after picking.
- Store ripe berries in the refrigerator for only a few days. Do not wash berries prior to storage. For the best quality, gently wash them immediately before eating.
- Freezing is easy! Wash and cap the strawberries. Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and put them in the freezer. Place the frozen berries in freezer bags to portion out as needed.
Fruit Blast Smoothie
- ½ cup nonfat milk
- ½ cup nonfat vanilla or plain yogurt
- 1 cup frozen, unsweetened fruit such as blueberries, strawberries or peaches
- 1 teaspoon honey
Put all the ingredients into a blender. Process until smooth. Serves 2.
Award-winning Recipes from Johnson & Wales Chefs and Students
As part of the N.C. Strawberry Project, Chef Mark Allison and his Johnson & Wales students are creating recipes using this favorite spring crop. Student recipes are showcased in competitions. Visit your local strawberry farmer for the freshest berries and try some of these delicious recipes.
The N.C. Strawberry Project
North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus has teamed up with chefs from the Johnson & Wales University culinary education program in Charlotte, N.C., to breed a better North Carolina strawberry. The N.C. Strawberry Project is a dynamic, first-of-its-kind partnership to team a plant breeder with chefs. The project aims to grow the state’s agricultural industry by breeding a strawberry that is adapted specifically to the state’s climatic conditions and is available for a longer period of time. Chefs, consumers and produce buyers will participate in taste tests to identify specific traits – flavor, texture, color, size – that they prefer. The taste tests will be conducted on about 20 different strawberry varieties. Dr. Jeremy Pattison, strawberry breeder with N.C. State’s Plants for Human Health Institute, will incorporate this information into his traditional breeding program.