This is a collection of some of my favorite strawberry recipes, plus others from around the web. Plus, a recap of my trip to California. Thank you to California Strawberries for helping me to share this with you.
Sweet California strawberries, and Sarah of Snixy Kitchen and me
It was just last week that I was standing in the middle of a strawberry field, plucking plump red fruit from the plants and eating them one after another. When fruit is that good and that fresh, you can’t eat just one. Or even just six.
And I wasn’t the only one. I was in Watsonville, California with a fantastic group of bloggers and some amazing people from the California Strawberry Commission. We ate a lot – and I mean A LOT – of strawberries, in every form that you can think of. You would think that I wouldn’t be able to look another strawberry in the calyx (the green part on top), but that’s just not so. In fact, be sure to check back next week for a fantastic strawberry potluck dish.
Strawberry Basil Bruschetta, Photo credit: Bob Durell of Robert Durell Photography
I’ll get back to the trip in a moment, but first let’s talk about why it’s a great idea to include strawberries in our diets – besides the fact that they taste so good.
Health Benefits of Strawberries:
As much as we all love the sweet taste of strawberries, there are many other reasons to eat this nutrient-packed fruit.
- One cup of strawberries contains only 50 calories, but are packed with folate, potassium and fiber.
- Eight strawberries contain more Vitamin C than one orange (that was news to me!)
- Strawberries are a great source of potassium, which helps to control blood pressure. The antioxidants and fiber in strawberries help to reduce cholesterol levels.
Santa Cruz pier
We kicked off the day with a stroll along the Santa Cruz shoreline. From now on when I think of this town, one thing will spring to mind…surfing. There are surfboards leaning up against houses, people balancing surfboards on their bikes as they ride to the beach and wetsuit-clad men and women every which way you look. These people love their waves!
Cliff beside one of the surfing spots
A surfer dude waxing his board (and me taking a photo of him)
I couldn’t help but breathe in every ounce of sea air that I could. It reminded me of my hometown, Vancouver. How I miss that salty air!
The Strawberry Farm:
We climbed aboard a shuttle and headed to one of the 400 multi-generational family farms in California. The farm we visited is owned and run by Rod Koda and his wife Gwen. Rod’s farm is planted with 18 acres of conventionally-grown and 9 acres of organically-grown strawberries at one time. That is a lot of strawberries, but just a fraction of the 40,000 acres of strawberry fields from Orange County to Monterey Bay.
I was floored to learn that 1.7 billion (yes, I said billion) pounds of strawberries are harvested in California each year, which is 90% of the U.S. production of the fruit. Now that’s a lot of strawberries!
Rod’s grandmother-in-law started growing strawberries in 1959 and Rod eventually took over the business, establishing the farm he and his wife run today, in 1985.
One of the machines that removes bugs from the plants
Rod was so generous with his time and educated us on the ins and outs of strawberry farming, both conventional and organic. We asked about GMOs and learned that there are no genetically modified strawberries commercially grown and shipped. Rather, different varieties are developed using traditional breeding methods.
An Amazing Lunch:
If you are ever in the Los Angeles area, you must check out The Lobos Truck. The chef and owner of the food truck is Jasmine Wolf and, holy cow, this woman can cook!
Every dish she prepared for us focused on …what else…strawberries! She made everything from Fresh Herbs & Farmer’s Cheese Stuffed Strawberries Rolled in Pecan Bacon Dust (amazing!) to PB, Strawberry Jam & Bacon Kobe Beef Sliders (don’t knock it ’til you try it…this was one of my favorites).
Kale Salad with Farm Fresh Strawberries, Red Grapes, Spicy Candied Pecan & Bleu Cheese in a Raspberry Honey Vinaigrette (one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten) and Babyback Ribs with Strawberry BBQ Sauce (falling off the bone) on Mac ‘n Cheese
See what I mean? Go find her truck. You won’t be sorry.
Back row (left to right): Lynda of This Mama Can Cook, TerriAnn of Cookies and Clogs, Melissa of Hungry Food Love, Caroline of Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN, Sarah of Snixy Kitchen, Anita of Dessert First, me, Katrina of In Katrina’s Kitchen, Carrian of Oh Sweet Basil, Kristy of Sweet Treats and More and Jodi of California Strawberries
Front row: Rod Koda and his daughter
Great Strawberry Recipes:
Tipsy & Non-Tipsy Drinks:
Oh Sweet Basil’s Strawberries & Cream High Protein Breakfast
Hungry Food Love’s Strawberry Vinaigrette
Closet Cooking’s Strawberry Quinoa & Spinach Caprese
Foodiecrush’s Berry with Arugula & Prosciutto Pizza
Snixy Kitchen’s Strawberry Lemon Curd Tart with Gluten-Free Almond Crust
Dessert First’s Strawberry Honey Banana Creamsicles
My Whole Food Life’s Strawberry Creme Truffles
Disclosure: This trip and post were sponsored by the California Strawberry Commission. All opinions are my own.