Farm-Fresh Produce: Time for Strawberry Treats

February 14, 2024

Florida agriculture is producing farm-fresh produce year-round. February is one of our favorites because that means the return of Florida strawberries. We love strawberries so much, that we even devote a festival to them. This is a great time to share some delicious ways you can enjoy strawberries from our produce department.

Strawberry Fritters

Let’s start with an appetizer that you can make using your farm-fresh produce.


  • 2 cups Florida strawberries, diced
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 1/2 cup sugar (for coating)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (for coating)
  • 2 quarts (or more) oil, for frying


In a medium bowl toss sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.

To prepare the batter, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and white pepper in a large bowl. Add the diced strawberries to the flour mixture and toss to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together the orange juice, vanilla, eggs, and melted butter. Add dry ingredients (in 2 stages) to wet ingredients until fully combined. Set batter aside to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add at least 2 inches of oil to a cast iron pan or Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until 350 degrees. Using an ice cream scoop (or other high-heat safe spoon) drop mounds of batter into hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Allow to fry for at least 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until golden brown. Transfer fritters to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain any excess oil. Immediately toss in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Serve warm.

Strawberry and Basil Chicken

Often when we think of strawberries, we think of desserts or salads. Those are great, but here is a way to use this farm-fresh produce in a dinner entrée.


  • 2 1/4 cups fresh Florida strawberries, diced small 
  • 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice 
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic or balsamic vinegar  
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced 
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning (Everglades seasoning) 
  • 4 large boneless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed  
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced small 
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped


Make the marinade for the chicken by combining the vinegar, 1 tablespoon cooking oil, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, garlic, 1 teaspoon seasoning blend, and 1/4 cup diced strawberries. Stir ingredients well and use the mixture to marinate the chicken for a minimum of 2 hours, or preferably overnight.  

Preheat a saute pan over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and pat dry. Carefully place the chicken in the saute pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes (4 to 5 on each side) until the chicken is completely cooked. Remove the chicken from the pan and let cool slightly.  

In a small mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of strawberries, red onion, 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice, 1 teaspoon seasoning blend, and basil. Stir to combine. Taste the strawberry-basil mixture and adjust the seasoning with the spice blend.  

To serve, add the cooked chicken to a platter and top with the fresh strawberry-basil mixture. Garnish with fresh citrus, whole strawberries, and fresh basil leaves.  

Strawberry Icebox Pie

We can wrap up the suggestions with a tasty dessert suggestion.


  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 cups Florida strawberries, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8-10 full sheets of graham crackers, roughly crushed


In a small sauce pot over medium-low heat, combine 2 cups of sliced berries, cornstarch, lemon juice, sugar, and lemon zest. Cook, while stirring, until a sauce has formed, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool. In a large mixing bowl, add the heavy cream, confectioner sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk to form stiff peaks. Line the inside of a 9 x 5-inch inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Extend the plastic wrap over the edges for easier removal.

To assemble, spread an even thin layer of the whipped cream on the bottom. Next, add a layer of crushed graham crackers, then a layer of sliced berries then drizzle a layer of the berry sauce. Repeat this process until the pan is full. Cover the pie using the extended plastic wrap and freeze. Before serving, place the frozen pie in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Use the extended plastic wrap to remove the pie from the pan and place it on a platter. Slice and serve cold. Garnish with whipped cream, crushed graham crackers, and/or berry sauce.

We love farm-fresh produce. These are just a few ways to use your Florida strawberries. Check out more suggestions at the Fresh from Florida website. See you at the Strawberry Festival!

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