Need inspiration to eat seasonal and local? Here are 6 great reasons!
Dotted with more than 200 seeds per tiny heart-shaped berry, strawberries are the first fruit to ripen every spring. This member of the Rosaceae (rose) family is not really a berry at all – it's botanically classified as an “accessory fruit,” which sounds more suspicious than it is. It simply means that much of its flesh is composed of a tissue spawned from the plant and the flower as opposed to flesh produced from a single flower, which is the botanical definition of a berry. Although California produces approximately 80% of the US supply, they are grown in every US state and every province of Canada.
Peak Season: April to August
How to select: Choose symmetrical, bright red berries with no white around the stem and bright, unwilted green caps. Avoid berries that are dull, shriveled or mushy.
Price range: $1.50 to $3 per pound
Keep it Fresh: Place in a shallow container, cover loosely and refrigerate up to 2 days. Wash just before using, as moisture leads to quicker spoilage.
Pairs well with: Spinach, arugula, shallots, corn, raspberries, blueberries, feta, Brie, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, basil, mint, quinoa, couscous
Creative uses: Make a summery grilled cheese sandwich with Brie and sliced strawberries. Mix chopped strawberries with corn, shallots, basil and cooked quinoa.
Nutrition highlights: Strawberries' dizzying mix of phytonutrients, including various anthocyanins, flavonols and hydroxycinnamic acids, works to provide cardiovascular benefits and reducing enzymic activity that can lead to high blood pressure.