All the information you need to know about strawberries – from did you know facts, medicinal benefits, and buying and storing.
My second edition of an in-season food feature. Today we are talking about the most popular berry, the strawberry! I think they are probably the most well known and well liked. From kids to grandparents, you can’t really go wrong. The summertime is the best for fresh and eating them just as is, but they can be used for baking, in salads, in smoothies, in jam, and even dipping in chocolate!
A little did you know…
Strawberries are a distant relative of the blackberry that grow wild in Europe and North America. In the United States, California provides about 80% of the nation’s fresh and frozen strawberries. The fruit is a little unusual in that its seeds are imbedded on its surface.
They can help whiten teeth. Yep, you read that right. If you try to limit the chemicals you place in and on your body, look to holistic approaches. A kitchen remedy to remove tartar and strengthen teeth is to rub a halved strawberry on the teeth and gums and leave on for 45 minutes. Rinse with warm water after time is up.
Strawberries have a tranquilizing effect. This is the reason why you see gloves for dentists and masks for children’s anesthesia often perfumed with a strawberry scent. They are beneficial to the kidneys, liver, lungs, stomach, and spleen. Strawberries help break down execs toxins in the liver increase the appetite, have antiviral properties, and are moistening and lubricating for the body.
1 cup whole strawberries (144g)
total fat: 0.4g
carbs: 11g (2.9g fiber, 7g sugar)
The berry also provides as much vitamin C as oranges, vitamin A, B-complex vitamin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber. Strawberries, like all berries, contain chemicals found to protect against cervical and breast cancer by decreasing the rate of growth in those cancer cells. They also contain ellagic acid, which has shown to have anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic activity, which causes cell death of cancer cells with no change to healthy, normal cells. To top things off, compounds in strawberries may also protect your brain and memory.
Buying local is always best when you can. They will be the most favorable and nutrient dense. Peak season is from late spring to early summer. Look for ones that are fully red, unblemished, and fragrant with the hulls intact. Since they do not ripen off the vine, the ones with the green tips will never become fully ripe/sweet. Keep the green stems intact until right before serving.
While organic is not necessary for all fruits, it should be considered when buying strawberries. Unfortunately nonorganic strawberries most often exceed the pesticide tolerance levels set by the USDA.
Strawberry Inspired Recipes: