Summer semester has officially kicked off. For me, nothing says it’s summertime like fresh strawberries! These sweet, juicy berries are in peak season right now. You’ll probably find them on sale at most supermarkets around the city. Here at USF, strawberries are our Produce of the Month and we’ll be featuring them most days this month at the salad bar at Argos. We’ll also have a make-your-own strawberry shortcake bar as our Produce of the Month sampling today! Stop by the pop-up shop at Argos to create your perfect dessert with our fresh Florida strawberries.
Did you know that strawberries are a member of the Rosaceae family, along with roses, apples, and blackberries? Early varieties were tiny, much like wild strawberries. The hybridized versions today are larger and juicier. Unlike any other fruit, strawberry seeds are found on the outside. This technically makes the strawberry not a berry at all! When looking for a great strawberry, look for bright red color without any white by the stem (unless you’re looking for white strawberries which are bred to be white with red seeds!).
Strawberries are low in calories and high in fiber. This makes them a great snack as they won’t spike blood sugar. Fiber helps keep your digestive track moving and fills you up faster. These berries are high in vitamin C and manganese. Manganese is essential for our bodies and aids in metabolism, blood clotting, bone formation, and reducing inflammation. This fruit is a good source of folate which is important for formation of red blood cells, as well as potassium which is one of the main electrolytes in the body. Easy ways to enjoy this fruit include raw as a snack or in a salad, smoothie, layered in a parfait, or preserved into a jam. My favorite ways are in pies and ice cream! For some recipe ideas, check out this month’s recipe page.
Don’t forget to stop by Argos today for our strawberry shortcake bar. See you there!
Stay safe, stay healthy!