All About Strawberries

Updated: Jul 12

Strawberries are one of the first fruits many of us look forward in spring. This small tasty fruit can be enjoyed in so many ways.

Jacek Dylag - Unsplash

By Wendy Behenna June 26, 2022

Strawberries are the first fruit that ripens in spring. It is a favorite of many, and may be one of the most look forward to fruits here in Ontario. Buying locally grown strawberries are usually tastier and have more nutrients than the berries in the store that have travelled many miles to get here. Get your fill of local berries while they are here or freeze some for future eating when strawberries are no longer available.

History of Strawberries

Strawberries are a member of the rose family and it's the only fruit that has seeds on the outside. Other fruits in this family are blackberries, raspberries, apples, almonds, peaches, plums, apricots and more. Strawberries originated from Europe in the 18th century. Our most common variety of strawberry plant today is a hybrid of the wild Virginia strawberry(native to North America) and a Chilean variety. It's hard to believe that a tiny white flower produces such a succulent red fruit.

Health Benefits

Strawberries are a good source of Vitamin C and manganese. They are low in calories, rich in antioxidants and have a decent amount of fiber. Strawberries are mostly made of water (91%) and carbohydrates(7.7%)

A bonus benefit of strawberries is that they have a low glycemic index and should not spike our blood sugar like some other fruits do - this does depend on how many you eat however!

Some people are allergic to strawberries due to a protein that can cause symptoms in people sensitive to birch pollen or apples. This tends to be more common in children.

Unsplash - Tetiana Bykovets Allergic symptoms may include itching and tingling in the mouth, hives or headaches.

Growing Strawberries

Strawberries are a perennial and there are 3 main varieties.

  • June Bearing - This variety produces the largest fruit and has one large crop of berries per year - usually June but is Unsplash - Henry & Co. dependent on your zone.

  • Ever-bearing - This variety has more modest size crops but can start producing once there is 12 hours of sunlight. They can produce all summer long.

  • Day-neutral - This type of strawberry plant has three peak producing periods. Usually in June, mid-July and late August.

Strawberries are said to be relatively easy to grow and make a great plant for beginners to try. You don't need much space for growing and they don't need any fancy equipment. Many people grow them in containers on their deck, patio or balcony.

Growing your own strawberries will ensure that no pesticides were used. Strawberries are one of the most sprayed crops based on the Environmental Group's Dirty Dozen list. When purchasing them, try to find organic or ones with a lower amount of spray from your local farmer, if possible.

Here is a really good site I found to help you learn all about growing your own strawberries.

How to Choose Good Strawberries

Strawberries don't ripen after picking so be careful when choosing your basket. The freshest strawberries are bright in colour, have a natural shine and fresh-looking green tops. Size Unsplash - Roman Kraft doesn't matter. If the berries have a dull hue, then their prime ripeness has passed. These strawberries may be a bit mushy and may have lost some of their antioxidant power. Once you get your strawberries home, put them in the fridge right away. Don't wash them until ready to use. Here's a guide with a few different ways to wash your strawberries.

Strawberry Recipe Ideas

Strawberries picked in their prime are great as a topping on many types of dishes - pancakes, yogurt and oatmeal. They are wonderful in salads, used for desserts like strawberry crisp or strawberry shortcake. There are so many ways to use this delicious fruit that it would be Unsplash -Wesual Click

hard to name them all.

If you find yourself with some strawberries that are passed their prime, use them in smoothies, jams, sauces etc. to use them up.

Easy Strawberry Crisp (Gluten-Free)

Easy Strawberry Crisp Recipe (Gluten-Free) (

Strawberry Lime Popsicles

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Kiwi Salad

Wendy Behenna is a retired Medical Laboratory Technologist who now uses the kitchen as a "lab" to create healthy, real food dishes. As a graduate of the Culinary Nutrition Program, she wants to share the knowledge she acquired to help people with meal planning and cooking skills, especially those transitioning to a gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyle. She is also a Certified Tea Sommelier and loves incorporating tea in her recipes when possible.

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