Celebrate the holiday season with a Strawberry Christmas Tree! Ready in just 20 minutes, this healthy holiday treat is sure to impress friends and family this holiday season. While this post is sponsored by Florida Strawberry Growers Association, all opinions and our love of Florida Strawberries are our own.
The holidays are here and what better way than to celebrate with a homemade, edible, Christmas tree! Oh…and it’s easy to make! Yes, an edible Christmas tree that will impress your friends and family that is easy to make and…wait for it….healthy! Yes! A holiday treat that is naturally sweet.
What could this magical holiday treat be? A Strawberry Christmas Tree! The holidays are filled with lots of different sweets and treats, and we love them all! But we also like to balance all those holiday cookies with some naturally sweet treats, like Florida Strawberries.
This Strawberry Christmas Tree is not only easy to make and festive, it’s also delicious. Did you know that Florida Strawberries are in season from Thanksgiving to March? Yes! That makes Florida strawberries the perfect addition to your holiday menus!
I live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, and Florida strawberries have been growing in here for over 100 years! Florida strawberries are grown by local families. Families that are dedicated to feeding your family the best, freshest strawberry possible. These families are Florida strawberry farmers. They are truly stewards of the land and I couldn’t be more appreciative of what they do for us.
Before I give you all the tutorial on how to make a Strawberry Christmas Tree, I want to share a few facts about Florida Strawberries that you may not know.
Florida Strawberry Facts:
- Florida strawberries are hand planted and hand picked.
- They are picked directly to the clam shell (the packaging that you purchase them in).
- There has never been a recall on a Florida strawberry. Never.
- The taste and quality of Florida strawberries depends greatly on weather. Like most produce.
- Strawberries don’t ripen after they are picked.
- Store your Florida strawberries in the refrigerator after purchase, but leave them on the counter for a few before eating them. Strawberries taste best at room temperature.
- Florida strawberries are in season from late November to late February.
- Florida strawberries are Fresh From Florida. Be sure to look for the Fresh From Florida label on the packaging!
This delectable fruit can be used in many recipes such as; desserts , jams, smoothies, slushies, muffins or as I prefer, eaten straight from the package (or vine!). Whether you grow your own, pick them at a strawberry farm or buy them at a roadside stand or in the grocery store, there are few things you should know about fresh strawberries.
It is best to use strawberries as soon as they are picked because they do not ripen any further once they have left the plant. A berry stain on the bottom of a container indicates that the berries are beyond peak ripeness and should be avoided.
Also, avoid berries that have yellow or green splotches or ones that have mold growing on them. You should choose strawberries that are dry, firm and deep red in color, not soft and dull. One way to ensure you get fresh strawberries is by purchasing them at local farmers markets or strawberry farms where the berries are more likely to be in perfect condition. We got our Florida strawberries for our Strawberry Christmas Tree right from the farm!
Storing Your Strawberries
Once you have purchased your strawberries, inspect them for imperfections and discard any that are overripe, as these can cause the whole container to spoil. Keep the strawberries in the refrigerator and do not wash them until you are ready to eat them, as water can accelerate the spoilage process. Fresh strawberries should be enjoyed within 3-4 days of purchase.
If you plan to freeze your strawberries, freeze them individually on a cookie sheet (I rinse mine under water first and let them dry thoroughly). Once they are frozen, you can then group them in a plastic bag and return them to the freezer. This process helps the strawberries retain their shape and helps cuts down on mushiness when they thaw. Strawberries can be kept in the freezer up to one year.
Enjoying Your Florida Strawberries
If you have your strawberries stored in the refrigerator and are ready to use them, rinse them well several times under running water using a colander. Remove the leafy stem after you have rinsed them so the berries do not absorb as much water.
Use a paring knife to remove the leafy stem and white hull. You may have to make a v-shaped cut to get the white hull out…or just bite around it 😉 . After cleaning and cutting your berries, they are now ready to eat in hundreds of different recipes!
Whether you add your Florida Strawberries to a bowl of cereal, use them in desserts, dipped in chocolate, eat them as is, or make a festive Strawberry Christmas Tree they will provide a juicy, fresh treat that will leave everyone smiling.
Speaking of having everyone smiling….you guys ready to get crafty? Let’s make that Strawberry Christmas Tree!
Strawberry Christmas Tree Key Ingredients
- Florida Strawberries – I used Florida Pearls (also know as pineberries) for the top of the tree
- Green crafting cone
- Romaine lettuce or other leafy greens
- Tooth picks
- Powdered Sugar if desired
How To Make A Strawberry Christmas Tree
- Crafting Cone – I used the 3.8 in x 11.9 in
- Florida Strawberries
- Romaine lettuce or another leafy green
- Prep the strawberries – rinse and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Unwrap the packaging from the crafting cone.
- Cut the center out of the romaine (the white part). That way you are left with the tender leafy part.
- Wrap the pieces of lettuce around the cone. I started front right to left and used a toothpick to hold the ends in place.
- Once the cone is covered in the lettuce, start adding toothpicks. We spaced ours about 1 in apart and worked in a circular direction from bottom to top.
- Once the toothpicks are in, start adding the prepared strawberries. Be careful not to poke the toothpick all the way through the strawberry.
- Fill in any empty spots with extra toothpicks and strawberries.
- I used Pearl Strawberries for the top of my Strawberry Christmas Tree.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
- As friends and family eat the strawberries from your tree, be sure to replace them!