Back to Basics: Strawberries

The first of the locally grown fruits to appear in spring is the strawberry. One thing that is so great about these sweet little red gems is their versatility. Strawberries are an obvious winner for desserts, but are also great in salads, cocktails, and sandwiches. To preserve the freshness of their short peak season, try making homemade strawberry jam.

strawberries, strawberry recipes

Here we've rounded up some of our favorite recipes using strawberries:

Name: Fragaria ananassa is the scientific name for the commercially grown strawberry.

Origins: The wild strawberry has been around for decades, however the more common, larger garden strawberry was first discovered in Chile and Peru by a French engineer who began cultivating the fruit in France in the 18th century.

Peak Season: Strawberry peak season varies from region to region, and is the first of the early spring fruits to appear at farmers markets. Peak season for California and Florida harvests are in April and May.

Nutritional Values: High in vitamin C, fiber, and anti-oxidants. Strawberries are also a good source of the mineral manganese, which is important to help maintain healthy bone structure. When possible, it's important to buy organic strawberries.

Prep: Use strawberries within one or two days of purchase, and wash only immediately before use. Read here for tips on how to store your fresh fruit.