This post is sponsored by Florida Strawberry in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.
Did you know that if you are buying strawberries in your local grocer now they are probably coming from Florida? Sure some come from other places but by checking the label you’ll get the best. The winter Florida climate is perfect to grow the beautiful luscious berries. In fact, Plant City, Florida is recognized worldwide as the winter strawberry capital of the world. If you’ve never had a juicy Florida strawberry, well, you’re missing out. They are available from November to April each year. If you don’t see them in your grocer, ASK! You’ll be happy you did.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog you know how much I love my Florida strawberries. I just can’t get enough when they are in season. If you want to know more about the best berry on the planet find out more here at Florida Strawberry. Each beautiful berry is jam packed full of berry good nutrition. Strawberries are virtually fat free so it’s easy to indulge. Just eight berries contain more vitamin C than one orange and the perfect serving size is 5 ounces. With such a small serving size it’s so easy to include the the nutritional benefits of Florida strawberries in a healthy diet in a variety of ways. Especially if you’ve made New Year’s resolutions! A few of my favorite ways to get this uber healthy berry into my family’s diet is to make smoothies, add chopped strawberries to warm oatmeal on a cool morning and add them to salads, which is probably my favorite way and why I developed this salad recipe with a strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. Florida strawberries add a touch of sweetness to my salad, in addition to the nutrition benefits. The vinaigrette would be good on a variety of salads that include protein for a healthy meal. I also think it’s pretty cool that a strawberry is the only fruit with the seeds on the outside. On a less healthy note…I like to make strawberry milkshakes for my kids. When the price is right, which is usually the entire Florida strawberry season, I also buy up the berries to make freezer strawberry jam so I always have my favorite spread for my toast. The possibilities for using strawberries are endless. Strawberry salsa is delicious over chicken or fish, dipping them in chocolate is always a treat and I’ve read where there are health benefits to dark chocolate so there’s a win win!
- 2 grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups mixed salad greens, or your favorite blend
- 1/4 cup cucumber chopped
- 1/2 cup Florida strawberries, hulled and sliced
- Candied Almonds
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 cup fresh Florida strawberries, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup good olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar, more to taste depending on berries
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- To make candied almonds:
- In a small skillet, cook almonds and sugar over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar is melted and almonds are coated. Sprinkle almonds onto a sheet of waxed paper; let cool. Break almonds apart and set aside.
- To make strawberry balsamic vinaigrette:
- In the bowl of a blender, combine all ingredients. Puree until liquified. Tasting as you go, adding more sugar if necessary. Start with 1/4 cup olive oil and add to drizzling consistency.
- To assemble salad: Place one cup of mixed greens on each of 2 plates. Arrange 1/4 cup of sliced strawberries and 1/8 cup of chopped cucumber on each plate. Slice grilled chicken breast on the diagonal and lay slices over salad. Sprinkle with candied almonds. Serve with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette on the side.
Now for a cool contest! #FLStrawberryCap contest is happening right now! The folks at the Florida Strawberry Growers Association have a fun contest where you can get your very own Florida strawberry cap plus enter to win a trip to Florida. Rules and information are here. and you can enter through this link as well. The Grand Prize is a trip for 4 to TradeWinds Beach Resort on beautiful St. Pete Beach. You must be at least 21 by December 12, 2016 to enter. There are so many exciting parts to this prize in addition to a beach stay. You get admission to the “Swim with the Fishes” experience at RumFish Grille, which I hear is pretty cool, as well as a personal tour of a Florida strawberry farm. If you’ve never been to a strawberry farm you won’t want to miss out. There are rows and rows of beautiful strawberry plants with varying degrees of strawberry ripeness. Enter now! It’s as easy as snapping a photo with Florida strawberries, uploading it, tagging with #FLStrawberrycap and sharing on social media!
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