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For the Love of Strawberries: Fun Facts and Yummy Recipes

Florida’s strawberry season is in full swing with clamshells of the heart shaped fruit arriving daily at local grocery stores. We’re even seeing pictures of your little ones at the U-Pick days at local strawberry fields flooding our social media feeds and we’re loving it! There’s so much love for this popular fruit that we had to take a closer look at the sweet berry grown right here in our own community and share some delicious recipes from ‘Strawberry Sue’ with the Florida Strawberry Growers Association and!

Find a local u-pick day at a farm near you by clicking here.

Fun Facts from the Florida Strawberry Growers Association

 Plant City, Florida is recognized worldwide as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World and is the dominant region in the U.S. that produces strawberries in the winter.

A dash of balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or orange juice will bring out the flavor of strawberries.

Strawberries are the only fruit that have seeds on the outside — about 200 of them.


Health Benefits of Eating Strawberries:

Eating eight strawberries a day has been shown to lower blood pressure and to improve memory and heart health. Eating strawberries on a regular basis may lower the risk of some cancers and help reduce obesity.

Strawberries provide essential nutrients and minerals including fiber, potassium, vitamin C and powerful antioxidants such as anthocyanins, quercetin and ellagic acid.



French Toast Strawberry Kabobs

French Toast Strawberry Kabobs


1 loaf French bread or Texas toast

6 eggs

½ cup milk

2 teaspoons sugar

½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 – 3 tablespoons oil

1 quart Fresh Florida Strawberries – washed with caps removed.



Cut the French bread into 1-inch slices. Cut off the crusts and cut into cubes. I got 2 square cubes out of each slice.

Beat the eggs until well mixed. Add the milk and stir it in. Stir in the cinnamon and sugar.

Add the cubes to the egg mixture. I turned them over with tongs. When coated, place on a plate. Repeat until each of the cubes is coated with the egg mixture.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the cubes, brown on all sides. Remove to a paper towel.

Thread 3 pieces of French toast on an 8-inch skewer, alternating with a strawberry. Serve with syrup.

Originally posted at Recipes, Food & Cooking.



Triple Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake



2 pounds fresh Florida strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 pint heavy whipping cream, whipped for topping


For the shortcakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour (can be half whole wheat flour)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes, COLD

1 cup low-fat buttermilk (or more)

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Milk (to brush on tops of shortcakes before baking)

Granulated sugar (to sprinkle on the shortcakes before baking)

Chocolate-covered strawberries, for garnish, if desired


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

In glass measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, chocolate syrup and vanilla. Stir to combine. Put in refrigerator.

In a large food processor fitted with the blade, combine the flour, 2 TBS granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pulse to mix.

Drop in COLD butter pieces and pulse until you achieve a mixture with the butter the size of small peas.

Dump flour mixture into a large bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips and stir once.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and fold over a few times to distribute the chips. Pat down into a round about 1/2-inch thick. (Remember, less is more when handling this type of dough…do not over work it!)

With a 3 ½-inch round cutter, push straight down into dough. Place shortcakes on prepared baking sheet. Gather up scraps and repeat until all dough is used up.

Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 12 -15 minutes.

Remove from oven and remove shortcakes from pan with spatula to a wire rack. Cool for at least 15 minutes before assembling the dessert.

To assemble dessert: 

Cut shortcake in half. Separate halves.

Place about a cup of the sliced strawberries onto the bottom half of the shortcake, cut side up. Place a large dollop of whipped cream onto the berries.

Place the top of the shortcake onto the whipped cream and add a smaller dollop of cream to the very top. Garnish as desired.

*Note: if the strawberries you are using aren’t as sweet as you like, you can add a tablespoon of granulated sugar to the berries once they are sliced. 

Originally posted at Renee’s Kitchen Adventures.

Crispy Strawberry and Brie Bites

Crispy Strawberry and Brie Bites


  • Florida strawberries, sliced thin into quarters
  • Brie, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • Basil, cut in a chiffonade
  • Filo shells
  • Balsamic glaze


First, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice brie cheese into small cubes (about ½ inch) and place inside filo cups: one or two cubes per cup.

Add thin slices of strawberry on top of the brie – about two slices per cup.

Place crispy brie bites in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted through.

Remove from oven: sprinkle with fresh basil, and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Originally posted at Ruffles & Truffles.


Florida Strawberry Nutella Pizza


  • Pizza dough for one pizza
  • 1 jar of Nutella
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate bar
  • 4 cups of sliced Florida strawberries

Preheat the oven to 450°F. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven as it pre-heats. This will give you an extra crispy crust just like a traditional stone pizza oven!

Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Pressing from the center out in a circular motion, start forming your pizza. It’s important to keep the dough density consistent so flip the dough and re-flour from time to time.

Take your pizza stone out of the oven. Dust the top of the pizza stone with flour and carefully place the pizza dough on the stone. Place back into the oven and bake for around 10 minutes or until its edges are puffy and the crust begins to turn golden brown.

Once the pizza is ready, remove from the oven and the pizza stone. Now spread the Nutella and don’t be afraid to be as generous as you like! Grate the dark chocolate bar over the Nutella.

Evenly distribute the sliced strawberries, slice and enjoy!


Strawberry Brie Flatbread Salad


  • 1 large thin flatbread
  • 6 thin slices of brie cheese, approximately ¼ brie wheel. Skin removed and sliced thin
  • 6 large Florida Strawberries or 9 large Florida Strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1 cup of arugula
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • fresh ground sea salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Lay the flatbread on a pizza tray and evenly top with the slices of brie cheese.

Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until the flatbread is crispy and the cheese is bubbling.

Let cool for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix the arugula, olive oil and vinegar.

Layer a row of Florida strawberries on top of the brie flatbread.

Top with the arugula.

Add the additional sliced strawberries on top of the arugula.

Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with fresh ground salt and pepper to taste.

Originally posted at Family Foodie.



Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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