The Heart of Santa Maria

 

Hear from Luis Chavez, a strawberry farmer from Santa Maria. He came to California from Mexico with nothing. Hear his heartfelt story about how strawberry farming gave him the opportunity to make a better life for him and his family.


CA Strawberries Healthy Recipe Roundup

Fresh or frozen, CA strawberries are a versatile fruit that can help you keep your healthy-eating resolutions in check. Available year-round and delicious in both sweet and savory dishes, strawberries offer a nutritional boost to any meal of the day.

For the New Year, we’ve enlisted four of our RD ambassadors − Regan Jones, Jenna Braddock, Robin Plotkin, and Caroline Kaufman − to create a roundup of #FreshorFrozen CA strawberry healthy recipe hacks that are perfect for the whole family, from breakfast to dessert.

BREAKFAST

Strawberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

Breakfast is the perfect opportunity to get your 8-a-day of California strawberries. Here are just a few fun new recipes you can try!

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Regan Jones, RD, serves up a Superfast Breakfast Strawberry Crisp, combining ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen in this quick how-to video. She starts with frozen California strawberries and ends up with a breakfast so delicious you’ll think you’re eating dessert!


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Making healthy easy is RD Jenna Braddock’s forte and it shines in this Strawberry Vanilla Overnight Oats recipe, featuring frozen California strawberries.
Simply prepare before bedtime and wake up to a healthy grab-and-go meal!

Strawberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

LUNCH

RD, Robin Plotkin, shares one of her favorite healthy lunch hacks − using sandwiches as an easy way to get your veggies and fruits in.

We’re loving this one in particular: Strawberry and Feta Stuffed Ciabatta Sandwich for the win!

Strawberry and Feta Stuffed Ciabatta Sandwich

DESSERT

RD, Caroline Kaufman, whipped up this simple dessert hack that makes keeping your healthy-eating resolutions more attainable. By indulging in healthier versions of your favorite desserts, it’s easy to satisfy your sweet tooth vs. depriving it.

Whole Grain Waffle Strawberry Shortcake − a handful of simple ingredients, fresh California strawberries … and no baking!



Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella Recipe

Roasted Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella

Great for the holiday season, this Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella Recipe is a hit@

The holiday season has officially arrived! Even though a bit of panic set in just as I typed that statement, I know that I have lots to look forward to during the month of December. Traditional tree trimming, checking out the beautiful holiday lights in our neighborhood, baking cookies with the kids and, of course, gathering with family, friends and coworkers.

By far, getting together and sharing great foods with friends and loved ones is one of my favorite things to do during this time of year, but let’s be honest, typical food options are not always the healthiest! No matter how strong our willpower may be, it can be extremely challenging to stick to healthy habits, but I’ve got a delicious recipe that can help keep us all on track. It’s light, healthy and will look beautiful on your holiday table!

Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella Recipe

This recipe features strawberries dressed in a combo of honey and a balsamic vinegar reduction, then roasted in the oven. Roasting brings out a rich, sweet flavor to the strawberries and this pairs perfectly with melted fresh mozzarella cheese on toasted crusty bread.

Roasted Strawberry Toasts

Besides adding a bright and festive flair to your holiday spread, strawberries are packed with nutrients that  benefit the entire body.  A serving of eight strawberries has been shown to promote heart health, brain health and even helps with diabetes management. Strawberries have also been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. (Source: California Strawberries). The best part? They are naturally sweet, yet low in sugar. A single serving has less than half the sugar of an apple and half the calories of a banana, making them the perfect option for your holiday spread. Though they may be small, strawberries pack a big nutrition and flavor punch to both sweet and savory dishes, so enjoy!

 

Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella

Recipe type: Appetizer

Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: 35 minutes  Total time:45 minutes

Serves: 4 (2 toasts = 1 serving)

Ingredients

For Balsamic Reduction:

  • 3/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar

For Strawberries:

  • 1 pound strawberries, cleaned, hulled and cut in half
  • 3/4 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic reduction

For Toasts

  • 8 slices of ciabatta or baguette
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Over medium heat, add balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Heat until vinegar boils, then reduce heat a simmer. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching. Simmer for 10-13 minutes, until vinegar has reduced by at least half and consistency is that of syrup. Set aside.
  3. Place prepared strawberries in a large bowl. Add honey and 2 tablespoons of prepared balsamic reduction to strawberries and mix to combine ingredients.
  4. Transfer berries to a parchment lined baking sheet. Arrange in an even layer. Bake berries for 25-30 minutes. When done, set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  5. While strawberries are roasting, prepare toasts by brushing them with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and place into the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove toasts from the oven. Add sliced fresh mozzarella cheese to each one and top with roasted strawberries.
  7. Place prepared toasts back into the oven for about 5 minutes, or just until cheese begins to melt. Remove from oven and top with a fresh basil leaf. Garnish with an extra drizzle of balsamic reduction and extra basil, if desired.

 

Check out more California Strawberry Recipes here!


Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries

Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream

There are some desserts that just stand out from the rest when it comes to both visual appeal and taste, and this tres leches cake is one of them. The best part is that it’s a very basic recipe, and one that you probably already have the ingredients for in your kitchen. Another great thing about this cake, is that the cake portion can be made the day before it’s served – and that’s always convenient, especially if the cake is for a party or special occasion.

Since the cake is covered in whipped cream and fresh strawberries, it only takes about thirty minutes the day-of to make the frosting, slice the strawberries, and decorate before serving.

This cake is adapted from Garlic Girl’s Naked Strawberry and Honey Cream Cake.

Enjoy!

Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: one cake
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 11/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature, cut in pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whipped Cream Topping
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. With butter, grease 8-inch, square cake pan and cover the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the paper too, and lightly dust pan with flour.
  3. Sift flour, baking soda, sugar and salt in bowl of stand mixer. With paddle attachment, blend on slow for 10 seconds.
  4. In small bowl, lightly whisk eggs with ¼ cup of the milk and vanilla extract; set aside.
  5. To the dry mixture, add the butter and beat on low for about a minute until combined. Slowly add the remaining ½ cup milk until incorporated into dry ingredients.
  6. Increase speed to medium and blend for about 1½ minutes until you have a thick, smooth batter.
  7. Add egg/milk mixture in three parts on medium speed, scraping down sides and bottom at least once. Beat for another 30 seconds until batter looks airy and smooth.
  8. Pour batter into pan.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes, until light golden brown and toothpicks come out dry when inserted in the top center. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then on wire rack until room temperature.
  10. For whipped cream, beat heavy cream and granulated sugar until stiff peaks. Add vanilla extract and beat 30 seconds until combined.
  11. Generously cover cake with whipped cream and smooth to desired look. Top with sliced strawberries.

 


Strawberry and Cinnamon Bowl Breakfast Recipe

Break the breakfast blues with this easy, and delicious, Strawberry and Cinnamon Bowl recipe from Robin Plotkin of Robin’s Bite! PLUS, a $100 Target giveaway below.

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I’m fairly old school when it comes to recipes….I’ve got 4 key indicators of a good recipe:

  1. the final product has to taste good -yes, this is my #1
  2. the ingredients have to provide nutritional benefits to me and my family
  3. the ingredients must be simple to find and the directions easy to follow
  4. easy clean up

This recipe has all of that and more.

  1. All I can say is I wish my blog had taste-o-vision.  This recipe is a go-to for my son and me for breakfast and snacks. The added cinnamon gives the yogurt a depth of flavor that’s a surprise to many.
  2. The main ingredients are packed with health. The strawberries are naturally sweet, but low in sugar (only 7 grams per cup) and provide the perfect combo of essential nutrients, dietary fiber and health-promoting phytochemicals.  In fact, there’s only 45 calories in 8 strawberries-it’s safe to say I consumed about 8 while making this recipe. Yes, the honey adds sugar, but you can decide how much or how little you’d like to add, if any. 0404161144_HDR
  3.  I had all of the ingredients in my house!  If I didn’t, I could find them easily at the grocery store and could purchase them at a reasonable cost.

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4. One bowl. One spoon. Need I say more?

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Strawberry Cinnamon Bowl Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup Greek Yogurt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons honey, divided

1/4 cup fresh California strawberries, chopped

Place yogurt in a serving bowl. Add in 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon honey and mix well.  Top with chopped strawberries and drizzle with remaining honey – and sprinkle remaining cinnamon.

Makes 1 serving

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Spring Giveaway! $100 Target Gift Card

Did you know? CA strawberries are more than just a pretty face.
They’re actually nutritional powerhouses that make eating healthy … easy!

Enter our giveaway below and share your favorite strawberry fun fact
for a chance to win a $100 Target gift card.
PLUS, share the 8-a-day image below (tweet, post or pin) to earn bonus entries!

 

Eight Strawberries a Day
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules: Must be a U.S. Citizen, at least 18 years old and not an employee of California Strawberry Commission or an immediate family member of a Commission employee (husband/wife, child, sibling) to enter. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google+. Participant releases Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, California Strawberry Commission and its agencies or representatives of any liability. Entries will be judged on creativity and selected by California Strawberry Commission. California Strawberry Commission reserves the right to disqualify an entry for any reason, at any time. By participating in this contest, participant grants sponsor permission to use his/her name, likeness, and photograph and/or video, submitted as an entry in this contest, for promotional purposes in connection with this contest without additional compensation, notification or permission, unless restricted by law. With all entries, you must note that your tweet, post, video or photo share is an entry into a contest (examples: #contest, I just entered a contest, etc.). By entering, you understand that your email will be added to California Strawberry Commission’s newsletter database, with an option for you to opt out in all related emails. No purchase necessary.