All About Strawberries

Few berries evoke summertime nostalgia the way that strawberries do. If you have a chance to get to a pick-you-own patch this year, it's worth it. Strawberry picking is not only fun, it will give you an ample stock for baking, making jam, or just eating straight out of the crate. Make sure to save those natural gems, though! Store strawberries properly as to save your summer produce for as long as possible.

Strawberries are great for your health. They can help keep your teeth white and boost your immune system with lots of vitamin C. Just like acai berries and blueberries, strawberries also contain potent antioxidants, which can help your body fight off those pesky toxins. Strawberries are low in calories making them a tasty and healthy treat whether you eat them straight or dipped in yogurt.

If you're planning on growing strawberries this season, keep in mind that the plants will need full sun. Strawberry plants do best in soil where nightshades have grown, affects the pH balance for the better. Pick the strawberries when they're at their ripest, which can mean a day or two after they've reached their full color. Taste testing is crucial (and delicious!)

Try making your own jam or even in a whole-wheat cake with your strawberries. If you want to really experiment with these tasty fruits, try adding them on top of pizza with meyer lemon.

What's your favorite way to use strawberries? How will you be using them this summer?

Photo: Lindsay Hunt