A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the local town of Davis, CA on behalf of Best Food Facts. I’m their newest blogger for their Taste Program, where they educate about the benefits of fresh food and answer nutritional questions by a panel of experts. It’s a wonderful organization to work with and an excellent tool for those of you who may have questions about certain foods, benefits of eating certain foods, or nutritional questions.
My favorite part of our trip to Davis was visiting the T&Y Strawberry Patch in Woodland, CA. T&Y is a family-owned strawberry patch that’s been in business for years in the Woodland area. They have a huge property that boasts tons of, you guessed it, strawberries! The berries are divided by their type, Chandler, which are grown earlier in the year, and Albion, a newer strain of strawberry, grown right now. The Albion were what we had the chance to pick on the farm.
The most interesting thing I learned from T&Y’s resident tour-guide and strawberry aficionado was that their strawberry farm is prepared for the California drought we’re in. The strawberries are resistant to the heat, especially the Albion strain, and resistant to the drought. T&Y operates on a minimal water drip system which adequately nourishes the strawberry plants without flooding them or wasting precious water resources. Since California’s drought is a serious one (and believe me, we’re suffering) it was interesting to know that T&Y was operating as they normally would, thanks to their drought-efficient watering system.
I was also pleased to know that California produces 80% of the nation’s strawberries. That means the berries you have right now are probably grown here in California. And I totally didn’t know this, but the brighter the color of the strawberry flesh, the sweeter the berry will be. That’s why Albion berries are a huge hit right now; they’re a deep red color that yields a seriously juicy and sweet flavor profile.
And if you’ve ever wondered if there’s a difference between organic or conventional strawberries when it comes to scary things like pesticides, have no fear. The USDA and Best Food Facts say that a man could eat 2,640 strawberries a day without any adverse side effects from pesticide residue. But I also don’t recommend eating 2,640 strawberries a day either, as tempting as it may be 🙂
And strawberries, but of course, were the inspiration for these simple and scrumptious Strawberry Pretzel Salad Parfaits. Have you ever had strawberry pretzel salad? It’s traditionally served like an ambrosia or in bar-form with a pretzel crust, so I took that inspiration to make a layered dessert that’s oh-so delicious. Sweet, salty, juicy and tart, it’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures. You’ll love it!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad Parfaits & My Trip To T&Y Strawberry Patch
- 2 (8 oz each) pkgs cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp white sugar divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip thawed
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 2½ cups pretzels
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- First, make your crust. Pulse the pretzels in a large food processor until they're coarse crumbs. Pulse in the melted butter and 2 Tbsp white sugar until moistened. Portion evenly among four pint-sized mason jars or parfait glasses and use a smaller glass to compact into a loose-ish crust.
- In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheeses, remaining sugar, and vanilla extract with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Fold in the Cool Whip until completely combined and fluffy. Spoon the cheesecake mixture into a large resealable plastic bag, seal out the air, and snip off a tip of the bag.
- Pipe the cheesecake about halfway full into the jars; sprinkle with about 2-3 Tbsp chopped strawberries. Continue piping the mixture until it reaches the brim of the jar and top with another 2-3 Tbsp of chopped strawberries. Repeat with remaining jars.
- Serve immediately, or store leftovers in the fridge for 1 day.
I love how easy these are to whip up and how amazing they taste! The crunchy, salty pretzel crust pairs beautifully with the juicy, sweet strawberries and the fluffy, creamy cheesecake. These parfaits have so much flavor and awesome texture happening all at once!
I hope you enjoyed my recap and my recipe! Stay tuned for more awesome info with Best Food Facts, and be sure to connect with them on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter!
Full disclosure: I was generously invited onto a trip to Davis, CA on behalf of Best Food Facts, who graciously sponsored this event. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands who help make The Domestic Rebel possible!
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says
Hayley – It looks like you had a great trip to visit the berry farm. My boyfriend and I went berry picking this weekend and made all sorts of goodies with the pickins! I still have some berries in the fridge and I think I know what I’m going to use them for! 😀
Berry picking is so much fun isn’t it?! Glad you and your man had a fun time this weekend!
Andie @ The Well Bread Baker says
Oh my gosh, my mom makes a variation of this recipe (in a sheet pan) every year on Christmas Eve. We all go crazy for it!! Makes me so happy to see that someone else knows about it and enjoys it. Such a delish dessert!
Ooh, a gigantic version of this salad sounds fantastic! Where’s my invite? 😉
This parfait looks amazing! : ) I can still taste those delicious California strawberries!
Thanks SO much Bethany! xoxo!
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
The strawberry patch sounded like so much fun! Loved learning about one of my favorite berries. These parfaits are the perfect treat to use up some of these sweet berries. They look so pretty and I love that they’re no-bake!
I learned a lot while I was there – happy to pass on the info! 🙂
What gorgeous berries!!! And those parfaits??? Sublime.
Ashley | The Recipe Rebel says
This is SUCH a good idea! I am loving everything salty and sweet, and no-bake?! Always a win in the summer!
Thanks a ton Ashley!
Sounds like a fun trip Hayley! I think you found the best way to use up fresh strawberries. The pretzel salad parfait looks so creamy and light, the perfect combo to justify eating four parfaits!
Right?! I totally wanted to finish off all four!
Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says
These parfaits sound perfect! I love the combo of the salty and sweet flavors in it!
Thanks so much Shelby! xoxo!
Katalina @ Peas and Peonies says
Those fresh strawberries look so good, I must go to a patch too, love the sweet and salty combo, great summer treat.
I love strawberry patches!
Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies says
I’m jealous of all the strawberries you undoubtedly got to sample! These parfaits look so perfect. Basically cream cheese anything is something I want to eat, but these are really over the top with crunchy pretzel bits and strawbs.
The crunchy pretzels really take the cheesecake and strawbs over the topppppp!
Sarah Schultz says
So glad we got to met in California, these look delicious and it sounds like you learned a lot. I’m a huge fan of salty & sweet!
Same here Sarah!!
Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says
I could go for one of these parfaits right now, Hayley!
Thanks Jamie! You and me both! 🙂
Jocelyn @BruCrew Life says
This was such a fun trip and I learned so much! I’m glad we had a chance to chat while there! These little parfaits sound amazing…I puffy heart sweet and salty treats so much!!!
Love it! This is definitely going on the menu this week! So nice to meet you Hayley!
It was so nice to meet you Lauren!
Adriana Martin says
Beautiful berries and what a gorgeous dessert. Loving the combinations and the different textures that si what makes a dish from good to amazing!
Thanks so much Adriana! <3
What size jars?