Strawberries are grown in every county of Michigan and your fun fact of the day is that 53% of seven to nine year olds say strawberries are their favorite fruit. Strawberries are high in iron and Vitamin C – Eight strawberries will provide 14% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for kids – and have less than 60 calories per cup, and they are also a wonderful source of vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber, iodine, potassium, folate, riboflavin, vitamin B5, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, vitamin K, magnesium and copper. One cup of strawberries contains only 55 calories.. We have read that you can mix strawberries and baking soda to form an at-home tooth whitening compound but you should probably read more about the ins and outs of DIY tooth whitening first.
Once strawberries are picked they stop ripening, so choose deep red berries without green or yellow patches which may have a sour flavor. Small or medium sized berries often have more flavor compared to the larger sizes. After picking berries they should be used within a few days, and it is recommended not to remove caps or wash until ready to eat.
Here’s a listing of U-Pick farms in Michigan.
If you have some strawberries left over after tying them to the neighbor’s cow (and trying out the Strawberry Shortcake Recipe from Beth’s Grandma) consider this recipe for Strawberry Sorbet!
Strawberry Sorbet (serves 6-8, courtesy Joy of Cooking)
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
5 cups or 2 lbs. fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or other liqueur (optional)
Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan, over low heat, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved (about 3-5 minutes). Boil the mixture for one minute then remove from heat. Pour the sugar syrup into a heatproof container, and place in the refrigerator until completely chilled, about an hour or so.
Meanwhile, thaw the strawberries and then place the thawed strawberries in a food processor and process until the strawberries are pureed. Transfer to a large bowl, add the lemon juice and liqueur (if using), and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled. If using fresh strawberries, puree the berries in the food processor, transfer to a large bowl, add the lemon juice and liqueur (if using), and place in the refrigerator until chilled.
Once the simple syrup and pureed strawberries are completely chilled, combine the simple syrup with the pureed strawberries. Pour the mixture into a 8 inch or 9 inch stainless steel pan (sorbets will freeze faster in stainless steel), cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer. When the sorbet is completely frozen (3 to 4 hours), remove from freezer and let stand at room temperature until partially thawed. Transfer the partially thawed sorbet to the food processor, and process to break up the large ice crystals that have formed on the sorbet. (This step is what gives the sorbet its wonderful fluffy texture.) Place the sorbet back into the pan and refreeze for at least three hours, and up to several days.
Note: If you taste the sorbet after freezing and find the amount of sugar is not right, adjust the level of sugar by adding a little sugar syrup (too little sugar in sorbet) or water (too much sugar in sorbet) and then refreeze the sorbet. The sorbet is not affected by thawing and refreezing.