I don’t want February to slip by without at giving a nod to this month as “Fabulous Florida Strawberry Month.” Especially since we live in Florida, right?
FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
I certainly don’t want you to miss out on the up and coming Strawberry Festival which is February 27 through March 8 in Plant City, Florida. Here is a web link that will give you information on all the events, admission and directions regarding the Festival: https://flstrawberryfestival.com/. Be sure to pay close attention to the link on the website menu under INFO regarding “Special Days & Discounts.”
There is always great entertainment there as well as rides and food tents. You will also enjoy The Neighborhood Village, located on the east side of the Festival grounds. The Neighborhood Village “is dedicated to the homemade and handcrafted items created by folks in our community.”
FACTS ON STRAWBERRY GROWTH
Though strawberries are a perennial, they are treated as an annual in Florida because of the heat. Here they are planted from September to November and will flower and fruit from December through until April and May. The Florida Strawberries Association director stated “It’s a happy coincidence that Valentine’s Day, one of the most popular celebrations in the country, falls during the peak of our season.”
FACTS ON STRAWBERRY NUTRITION
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services states that “eating three or more servings of strawberries per week may help women reduce their risk of heart attack by as much as one-third.” In addition, they have stated strawberries not only contain Vitamin C, but also antioxidants, fiber and folate [a Vitamin B nutrient that is necessary for cell growth and metabolism].
HOW TO FREEZE STRAWBERRIES
I know you have seen all the great sales on strawberries in the stores lately. This is a great time to store them up. My mom likes to freeze them for smoothies.
To freeze strawberries merely:
Hull them (remove the green leaf cap and attached pith)
Place on a tray lined with parchment paper
Put in freezer for about an hour
Then remove from freezer, put in a Ziploc and return to freezer for future use
When making a smoothie, there is no need to defrost. Simply put in blender with other smoothie ingredients to add frostiness to your drink. Of course, there are many more things to be done with strawberries other than smoothies. Besides just popping them in your mouth as is (did I hear you say “YUMMY?”), you can make jams, cakes and cookies.
Plus, here’s a fun fact you may be interested in. Strawberries are good for dogs. They even have enzymes that can help to whiten their teeth. Strawberries are non-toxic for cats and horses (though they offer no nutritional benefit to cats) and you should limit the amount of strawberries given to a horse.
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
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