Put some spring in your step: A California Giant berries giveaway!

Winter seems to have finally given up the ghost (she says, hoping not to jinx it!) and the bulbs we planted in the autumn are peeking their heads cautiously out and dotting the ugly post-winter earth with splashes of colour.  Snow shovels have been put away and boots retired to the basement. It’s time to start thinking about all those spring menu items we’ve been hankering for these past few months…  Something I miss in the winter is fresh berries. I always have a stash of (Canadian) frozen blueberries and raspberries on hand for cooking and baking but I love the spring and summer when I will often buy fresh berries and they will end up being my meal. Of course, we are lucky in Canada that we can get berries from California pretty much year round, but in the winter this is really something I will only buy for a special dish or if we have company.  So whilst I do prefer to buy local when I can, it is nice to have the luxury of year round produce from warmer climes.

With the arrival of spring come many more seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables to look forward to  and I’m thrilled to be participating in the California Giant Berry Farms“Put Some Spring In Your Step” Promotion. Cal Giant is a California-based company on a quest to provide perfect strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries to their customers – all while promoting delicious nutrition, an active, healthy lifestyle, and charitable giving.  And this spring, they’re offering tips that will most certainly put some spring in your steps.

Their website is home to a ton of delicious berry recipes as well as tips for healthy living.  For example, did you know that 4lbs of strawberries will provide a delicious and nutritious snack for an entire little league baseball or soccer team?  Kids love berries and what better way to  encourage healthy snacking?  How about tossing some blueberries or raspberries in your water bottle for a burst of freshness as you sip throughout the day?  I know I get bored drinking plain water sometimes and berries are the perfect addition – natural sugars for a hint of sweetness.  For a more decadent treat on a hot summer’s day (they *are* coming…), how about freezing berries to replace ice cubes in a refreshing glass of home made lemonade?  Not just tasty but pretty too!

I have to admit that one of the things I look forward to in the warmer weather is ice cream and frozen yoghurt and since I now have my own ice cream maker, I am excited at all the possibilities this affords.  As a consolation prize for having to cancel all my spring break plans, I bought myself a number of new cookbooks (ahem…) including David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.  As an even better consolation prize for being so sick, I made myself some strawberry frozen yoghurt using his recipe and some California Strawberries (treating myself again!).

Oh my, I may never buy frozen yoghurt again!  Look at the beautiful bright hue that the strawberries lend to this:

No, this is not Photoshopped!

After a few days in the freezer, the hue lessens slightly (not sure why – some chemical reaction?) and it hardens a little, requiring a quick zap in the microwave to achieve the soft, almost thickshake-like consistency that I prefer.

Topped with a fresh strawberry, it’s a decadent-tasting dessert with all natural ingredients.

And not bad to look at either!

Hankering after your own berry treats?  Well California Giant Berry Farms is offering not one but TWO lucky readers (United States and Canadian readers only, sorry international friends) of eat. live travel. write. the following prizes:

A shipment of fresh berries!
A $25 Gift Certificate to Academy.com (Academy Sports & Outdoors)!

In addition, I will be entered into a drawing and THREE bloggers will receive a $500 donation to the charity of their choice completing the “trifecta” of delicious nutrition, an active, healthy lifestyle, and charitable giving!

How to enter?

Leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite way to enjoy fresh berries.

for a bonus entry, tweet the following message and come back and leave a separate comment on this post.

I just entered to win FRESH BERRIES from @californiagiant Berry Farms from @eatlivtravwrite ! You can too! http://bit.ly/igqBO9

Contest closes Sunday, April 10th at 6pm EST.  I will choose two winners using Random.org and announce them the following day.


* Want your own copy of The Perfect Scoop? Check it out on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com. I HIGHLY recommend it!

** Don’t forget to check out next month’s “Forever Nigella” event – I’m hosting a street party in honour of the Royal Wedding and would love for you to join me. All the details here.


131 thoughts on “Put some spring in your step: A California Giant berries giveaway!”

  1. I’m guessing this is a US/Canada only promotion, so I’m sadly left out again, but I just wanted to tell you that the last photo is absolutely stunning! Nice job, Mardi! 😉

    Jax x

    • Can’t wait to visit again Neil to see first hand the transformation your garden has undertaken. I recall the days when it was never stepped foot in!!

  2. I prefer local berries as well but sometimes it’s nice having the option off-season. Love the idea of berry ice cream and fresh smoothies!

    I prefer berries in tartlets and desserts!

  3. I am a chocolate dipped strawberry gal myself. I don’t have them that way often, normally we slice up strawberries and serve them mixed, with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, whatever is in season. But my all time favourite treat is dark chocolate dipped strawberries. YUM!

  4. Morning Mardi 🙂 I like mounds of fresh berries on warm crepes, with a little cajeta (Mexican goats-milk dulce de leche) drizzled over. Mm!

  5. My favorite way to enjoy fresh berries is raw. There’s nothing better than a perfectly ripe strawberry or raspberry. Second favorite would have to be fruit tart.

  6. Those berries up there look gorgeous! Thank you for reminding me that brighter, sunnier days are around the corner.
    I like to eat fresh strawberries or in a pudding dessert that I frequently make over the summer.

    p.s. sorry if you got this twice… I got an ‘error’ message the first time I tried to send it.

  7. I love berries in everything! Once summer hits and berries are so available, I tend to let them be a part of every meal. One favorite way is in a fresh green salad; berries add a color pop and a fresh taste.

  8. I enjoy the berries in the form of milkshakes which I often make at home….Thanks for this giveaway….

  9. i enjoy blueberries fresh & plain. (or if frozen in smoothies or in pancakes) but i like strawberries with angel food cake & whipped cream.

  10. Now that I have a new Quisinart Ice Cream maker I can’t wait to try some fresh berry Ice Cream. The strawberries looked just luscious.

  11. That frozen yogurt is seriously pink! I love it! I have been contemplating buying this cookbook for a while. While summer coming I should just give in and buy it! 🙂

  12. Wow! That is some vibrant frozen yogurt there! It looks great, only fresh fruit can do something so colorful to food 🙂

    I have to say my favorite way to eat berries is either in plain 0% yogurt or in pie… mmmm pie 😀

  13. That color is fantastic! I love eating berries fresh as a snack or to my morning oats!

  14. My favourite way to enjoy fresh berries is with some lemon juice and a little bit of sugar… simple, but tasty!

  15. I love the picture of the ice cream. Such a beautiful color 🙂 I would use the strawberries to make more of my peppered balsamic strawberry jam. I can’t get enough of it.

  16. I prefer my berries on top of cereal or inside of a cupcake…depends on the berry and what kind of mood!

  17. I have fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries) every single day with greek yogurt (mixed with splenda & cinnamon) and a sliver of good dark chocolate on the side. Yes, I live a life of pure decadence.

  18. AAAAHHHHHH! Giant berries… run AWAYYYY!!!!

    Oh, wait. Now I get it. Please enroll me in the contest. I love fresh berries with yogurt and a li’l grape nut cereal.

  19. honestly, i like them straight up plain IF they’re field-ripened and kissed by the sun; but i also love them in smoothies or gelato; awesome giveaway Mardi!

  20. I love making berry tarts and pies with flaky, buttery crusts 🙂 A great compliment to their shining pops of flavor!

  21. I love to put strawberries in my smoothies – very delicious. They’re such a versatile fruit, they’re great in just about anything!

  22. Freshly picked, over the top of ice cream, mixed into my yogurt, blended into a smoothie. I like them just about any way at all!

  23. What gorgeous photos! You have me daydreaming of warmer days. 🙂 I love enjoying a little scoop of lemon sorbet topped with berries galore– the sweet and tart flavor combination is just perfect. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  24. I like my berries chopped up with a tiny splash of balsamic and some black pepper!

  25. I’m not entering the contest Mardi, just had to tell you how amazingly sharp these photographs are. Strawberries never looked more beautiful!

  26. Fresh sliced strawberries, or raspberries sprinkled with sugar and mixed with yummy cottage cheese!

  27. I love to use fresh strawberries in my morning Smoothies, & cut up on top of vanilla ice cream!! Yummy!!

  28. I love making a fruit salad every spring and summer with all the fresh berries available. I also make a mean strawberry chocolate chip ice cream. So glad that fresh berries are almost here.

  29. My favorite way to eat berries is mixed with plain Greek yogurt or just by themselves! So sweet and delicious.

  30. I like to eat berries fresh out of the patch/or package. I rinse with with water and enjoy (I bought some strawberries from WalMart Sat. they look sooo good-I bought a bottle of water and clean them and ate a few in car)……Yummy!

  31. Just looooove strawberries, but unfortunately around here they are one of the most pesticide ridden fruit, so don’t feature on the menu unless I can get my hands on certified organic produce 🙁

  32. I LOVE to put fresh berries with a big gallop of homemade whipping cream in a delicious fresh crepe. YUM!

  33. I like my strawberries sliced with a sprinkle of sugar and a splash of chocolate balsamic vinegar.

  34. My favorite way of eating berries is just plain, with maybe a hint of sugar. In a dessert, I love schaum torte – meringue shells, lemon curd, berries and whipped topping. Yum!

  35. The color of that frozen yogurt is unbelievable. Well done, Mardi!

    Berries make there way into cereal, desserts and salads at our house, but perhaps my favorite way to enjoy them is with a little milk.

  36. Fresh berries? Cooking them into pies and cobblers! If there’s enough after I’ve eaten quite a few plain :).

    Frozen, though, I always make smoothies with orange juice and bananas!

  37. I manage to get really good fresh berries so rarely that I really can’t bring myself to do anything with them except eat them as is, raw and unadulterated. Though if they’re too sweet or mushy I might blend them with frozen bananas into “ice cream” for breakfast.

  38. If they’re too tart, I like my strawberries in yogurt, with cereal, and in pancakes. If they’re just ripe enough and a lovely deep red, I like to have them plain 😀

  39. Fresh berries, mmmm. Where do I start? Strawberry season always holds great memories of picks flats and flats full of sweet red goodness at the pick-your-own strawberry farm when I was a child, followed by baking up Grandma’s strawberry shortcake recipe and indulging in a meal entirely made up of a huge bowlful of freshly baked, warm, crumbling shortcake smothered in freshly picked berries and cream. So delicious. June can’t come soon enough! Of course, on a pedestrian basis, there is always a quickly whipped up berry-yogurt smoothie for breakfast, but doesn’t shortcake sound so much more tempting?

  40. My favorite thing to do is just take a juicy bite out of a fresh ripe strawberry! … but as soon as I can get past the first few delicious strawberries of the season, I like to make strawberry / blueberry tarts

  41. I like them best plain for breakfast or a snack, especially when I’ve just picked them from the back yard (not yet this year though). For a fancier, though simple, dessert, I LOVE a fresh fruit tart made from a shortbread crust, a layer of jam to match the fruit, topped with fresh berries. I’ve tried strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Awesome!

  42. I don’t know a berry dish I didn’t like. All of the above, but lately I’ve been making a quick sauce in the microwave, sort of like mixed berry pie filling, and having it over light ice cream. And also throw a few into my oatmeal before cooking it.

  43. I LOVE making smoothies with berries! And there are so many ways to make a smoothie that they never get boring. Always yummy! 🙂

  44. I love eating berries fresh with a slight dusting of powdered sugar if need be. I also make berry salads. (Now I’m craving fresh berries and fruit and there are none as yet at the local farmstand.)

  45. My favorite thing to do with fresh strawberries is make my family’s amazing strawberry pie recipe. My family has been making this pie for years and it was always my favorite dessert at gatherings. It reminds me of my childhood and my amazing family.

  46. Let me count the ways how I love berries… the best is probably eating them raw when they have been freshly picked. Otherwise, I also love them simply overtop my breakfast oatmeal. Yum!

  47. Hands down favorite way to eat strawberries: sliced with vanilla ice cream. The ice cream freezes the berries a bit.. SO decadent!

  48. Besides eating them fresh, I would have to say my favorite way to use fresh berries is first in pies, muffins and cakes, frostings etc. Now, if you’re like me, and you buy bushels of berries at a time, you usually have lots of berries left over, and since they’re so perishable, I immediately make purees to freeze for loads of dessert preparations. Good luck to me 😀

  49. I don’t think there’s a bad way to eat strawberries! Our favorite is to slice them up in a bowl and dress them with a little raw sugar and a splash of good quality balsamic vinegar. The sugar and vinegar make a sweet-tart glaze that complements the berries wonderfully. Top with a little homemade whipped cream. Heaven!

  50. Fresh blueberries in pancakes, can’t beat ’em!

    Or, if we’re being healthy, fruit salad with cottage cheese is just as good.

  51. I make a wicked strawberry shortcake – that has to be my favourite way to enjoy strawberries!

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