Recently I had the opportunity to join nine fellow bloggers on an exciting and informational retreat to learn all about the strawberries grown in California. We were able to see how they are grown, packed, shipped, sold and we even got a little peek at the research being done to benefit both consumers and farmers. I also got to eat a few strawberries here and there, as well.

One of the things that really stood out for me during the trip was learning about the health benefits of strawberries. Most of you probably already know that strawberries are high in vitamin C and low in calories, but there’s more to them than that!

  • The potassium in strawberries helps control blood pressure and fight stroke.
  • They contain fiber, which is helpful for weight control and relieving constipation.
  • Women who consume more strawberries are found to be less likely to develop dementia later in life.
  • Phytochemicals found in strawberries help prevent cancer.

 

 

Strawberries are quite the overachievers, aren’t they?

If you can’t get your hands on fresh strawberries all of time, that’s okay because frozen strawberries are just as nutritious. Even freeze-dried strawberries can be beneficial. They lose a minuscule amount of the vitamins, but the fiber, anti-oxidants and phytochemicals all remain intact.

Strawberries are on the lower end of the sugar scale compared to many other fruits, but you’d never be able to tell by their taste. They’re sweet enough on their own that I don’t have to add a bunch of sugar to any of the dishes. Occasionally I might sprinkle a little stevia into a recipe, but most of the time it’s not needed at all.

How can you get more strawberries into your diet?

I truly feel that the best way to eat a strawberry is to eat it fresh, but there are other ways you can get lots of strawberries into your diet without getting all straw-berried out.

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, smoothies, crepes and waffles are all very compatible with strawberries. Experiment and see what your favorite combo is.
  • Snacks: I love to stir cut-up strawberries into some plain yogurt, or have them on top of a piece of toast with almond butter.
  • Lunch and Dinner: Try them in a salad, on pizza, or as a fresh salsa on top of fish. They also pair well with pork.
  • Dessert: Sorbet, shortcake, pie, mousse, ice cream, cakes, the possibilities are endless. Get creative with strawberries, either as an ingredient or a topping, or both!

The California Strawberry Commission has plenty of recipes available on their website. You can also find plenty of inspiration by searching online, or browsing pinterest. Or get creative and make up your own great dishes!

Giveaway Time!

The California Strawberry Commission has kindly offered a lovely gift basket with a cookbook, gardening tools, and other fun stuff for one lucky winner:

To enter: (Please leave a comment for EACH entry, and include your twitter handle so we can get a hold of you if you win.)

1. Leave a comment with your favorite strawberry recipe.

2. Share this post on Facebook (3 entries)

3. Follow @CAStrawberries on Twitter (1 entry)

4. Tweet the following and leave a link to your tweet: “I just entered to win a @CAStrawberries gift basket from #Mamavation! Enter here: http://www.mamavation.com/?p=7889”

5. Join the Mamavation Forums and post 10 times (10 entries, new members only)

6. Share this on Google+ (2 entries)

7. Join the Bookieboo Blogging Network (2 entries, new members only)

8. Watch the Mamavation Video and share it with friends (1 entry)

This giveaway ends July 11th. Prize can only be shipped to a physical address in the 50 United States. No PO Boxes. A winner will be selected at random via random.org. Please leave an email or twitter name in the comment section so I can get a hold of you if you win. If there is no email or twitter name, a new winner will be drawn.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the California Strawberry Commission. I was taken on a retreat to learn more about strawberries, from how they’re grown and packaged and sent to stores, to all the health benefits. All facts and statistics are taken from the Strawberry Commission’s website. All my opinions are my own.

Mamavation
Leah Segedie is the Founder of Mamavation and Bookieboo, a blogger network. After losing over 100 lbs, she started a career mentoring women in health and since then has assisted in over 3,500 lbs lost via the Mamavation community. Leah and her work has been mentioned in Ladies Home Journal, Reader's Digest, Fitness, Women's Day, CNN, ABC, CBS, the O'Reilly Factor, AOL, Entrepreneur, and Yahoo to name a few. She works from home in her fuzzy slippers.
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