Finally the snow is gone, the birds are chirping and things are greening up beautifully. Many of us gardeners and home canners are excited for strawberry season! Picking your own berries to enjoy fresh and in canning recipes is a sure delight!
Strawberries are considered one of the healthiest fruits. The red coloring contains anthocyanin, which stimulate the burning of stored fat and boost short term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks. (The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry) Flavonoids are responsible for the color and flavor of strawberries which have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Strawberries contain potassium, vitamin K and magnesium which are all important for bone health. The highly acidic strawberry is perfect for home canning. Water bathing these beauties is all you need to do to preserve them for long-term storage.
Michigan is one of the largest growers of strawberries in the nation, second to California. I am proud to say Michigan leads the nation in production of 20 agri-food commodities like strawberries, apples, pumpkin, cherries, peaches and more. There are hundreds of farms throughout our state and many of them offer U-Pick opportunities.
Strawberries are used in several of my canning recipes. Because it is a family favorite we often create several batches to ensure we have a good supply lining our pantry shelves. One of our must-have recipes is my Signature Strawberry Salsa & Marinade. This salsa is a fun blend of sweet and heat and is just gorgeous in color.
Here are several yummy uses:
- The remaining liquid makes a delicious marinade – inject into a pork loin or chicken breast, marinate for 3 hours then grill or bake
- Use a pint of salsa and liquid atop pork chops, or fish, and bake
- Over a bed of spinach leaves with roasted pecans, fresh cilantro, thinly sliced red onions and a dash or two of balsamic vinegar
- Enjoy over a brick of cream cheese or simply on the end of a tortilla chip!
I encourage you to explore your local area and head out to a U-Pick strawberry farm. There’s no better time to enjoy a Strawberry then when it is at its freshest peak. Delight in creating, preserving and eating a variety of delicious strawberry-based recipes this very season!
For more recipes be sure to pick up a copy of Canning Full Circle cookbook – it not only gives you canning recipes, but recipes on how to use your home canned goods in meal creations! It is filled with several recipes that highlight the gorgeous strawberry.
The Canning Diva®