The next featured crop in our “What’s In Season?” series is strawberries! Read on to learn more about this classic spring and summer fruit.
What sets strawberries apart?
Strawberries belong to a subgroup of fruits called Berries and Summer Fruits and are known for their bright red color and sweet taste. This fan-favorite fruit is also high in nutrients that are beneficial for our overall health. Some of these benefits include:
- Strawberries and other berries are high in antioxidants, like Vitamin C, which can help keep our immune system strong to fight off disease. 
- Anthocyanins (an-tho-sigh-uh-nins) give strawberries their rich red color and are linked to health benefits. For example, including strawberries in the diet has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. 
- Strawberries have a high water content. To meet hydration needs, fruits with high water content (lots of juice!) can help. 
Harvested in Georgia
Most strawberries that are grown in the United States come from California.  But did you know that Georgia harvests a large number of strawberries each year? In fact, there are 130 strawberry farms with 143 acres in the state dedicated to growing this fruit every year. 
Strawberries are sensitive to colder weather, which is why they are grown in the warm summer months.  Strawberries do not ripen after they are picked, so they are harvested when they appear plump and bright red with a green cap.  For information on how to grow your own strawberries at home, check out this UGA Cooperative Extension Services resource or call your local UGA Extension office.
The best time to find fresh, locally grown strawberries in Georgia is between the months of March and July.  You can find them at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. However, if you are looking for a fun family activity, there are a handful of strawberry farms across the state that allow you to pick your own. Click here to find out where you can purchase locally grown strawberries.
Strawberries aren’t the only fruit that is in season in the spring and summer months. If you love blueberries, peaches, and watermelon, this is the perfect time for you to support Georgia farmers by buying locally. For more information on when to buy produce when it is in season, check out our “What’s In Season in Georgia” chart.
Strawberries are a highly perishable fruit meaning they need to be eaten quickly after they are picked. Plan to use them a few days after they are harvested.  Since they are so tasty, this isn’t normally a challenge! However, if you are looking for creative ways to use your strawberries this summer, look no further than this list:
- Make your next salad colorful by adding strawberries and other fresh fruit. We suggest this recipe for Spinach Romaine Salad with Strawberries and Poppyseed Dressing.
- Stay hydrated in the warmer months by adding fresh fruit and herbs to your water. Try this recipe for Strawberry Orange Water with Mint.
- Smoothies are a great way to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet like this 4 Fruit Smoothie or Strawberry Smoothie.
- A frozen treat can be the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day. Try our recipe for Frozen Banana Splits or Fro-Yo Drops. Both of these recipes are simple and can give your kids an opportunity to practice their kitchen skills!
We hope this blog helps you enjoy the strawberry season to the fullest! Check back next month for the next blog in our “What’s In Season?” series.
Written by Darci Bell, RDN, LD | Edited by Leslie Davis, RDN, LD, CDCES, and the Nutrition Team
Posted: April 25, 2022Be Creative Drink Water Focus on Health How to Cook Better Invite Your Kids Plan Ahead Save Money Shop Smarter Store Food Uncategorized