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19 Sep 2007

Strawberries....Anytime!

Strawberries were prized by the Romans and during the Middle ages for their medicinal properties. In the 18th Century a French explorer returned with a larger variety from South America which, by natural crossbreeding with other varieties, produced a large, sweet, juicy hybrid. This tasty fruit became popular all over Europe and today strawberries are the most popular culinary berry Worldwide.

Nutritionally strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, a very good source of iodine and dietary fiber, and a good source of vitamins B2, B5, B6 and K, potassium, folate, magnesium, copper and omega_3 fatty acids.

Healthwise strawberries are also a rich source of phenols like anthocyanins. These phenols have potent antioxident properties and it is said that they may help in the prevention of cancer and heart disease. The antioxidants with the high level of vitamin C also fight free radical compounds in the body which can cause chronic illnesses. Note that anthocyanins are found in fresh and frozen strawberries but not in canned and processed strawberry products including baby food (refer the U.S. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry).

Strawberries also enhance memory function and as a cup of sliced strawberries is only around 50 calories (200kj) they are also an excellent fruit to eat when slimming.

Warning: Strawberries are one of the fruits which can cause allergic reactions in some people. They contain measurable amounts of oxalates and goitrogens so should be eaten with care by those with kidney, gallbladder and thyroid problems.

Strawberries are very perishable and once picked do not ripen further. Purchase ripe, firm berries and eat within a few days. It is also important to purchase the organic variety as normal strawberries contain pesticide residues even after washing. Store in the refrigerator and only wash just before use.

So pop some fresh or frozen strawberries in your shopping basket for a healthful treat.

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Strawberry Fields- Haiku by Joy Marsh

Speckled scarlet treats
ripen in mossy green beds
luscious strawberries

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Strawberry Tabouli
From the Vegetarian Times

1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
1 to 2 tsp salt
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup finely chopped mint
4 cups chopped strawberries
1 cup toasted pecan pieces

In large bowl, combine bulgur and salt. Add boiling water, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork. Stir in oil and lemon juice. Add parsley, mint and strawberries. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, add toasted pecans and toss to mix, or serve with pecans sprinkled on top. 8 servings.

Strawberry Sorbet
From Jolinda Hackett at About.com

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 cups water
2 cups pureed strawberries

Dissolve the sugar and cornstarch in the water in a large saucepan over low heat, then boil until thick, like syrup, about ten minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. When the sugar syrup is completely cooled, add the pureed fruit and mix well. Place in a plastic contained and freeze, uncovered, until it is solid.Cut the sorbet into chunks, then process in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Put the sorbet back into the freezer and allow to freeze for another 4 hours.

Strawberry Nut Milk (Raw)
From Karen Knowler-The Raw Food Coach
This drink tastes like a high-class strawberry milkshake minus the junk and over sweetness.

1 cup almonds
3 cups water
4-8 strawberries (to taste)
1 Medjool date OR 1 tbsp agave nectar (to taste)

Place almonds and water in a blender and blend on high speed until nuts are completely broken and almond milk is created. Strain the almond milk through a fine sieve or nut milk bag into a bowl or jug. Save pulp for a dessert recipe, for dehydrating into almond flour, or compost. Rinse blender and add back in the strained nut milk. Add strawberries and sweetener and blend. Taste test for strength of flavour and sweetness and add more strawberries and/or sweetener if required. Serve and smile!
TOP TIP: This mixture makes for a lovely ice-cream. Either pour into a lidded container or put into ice-cream making machine.

Strawberry Salsa
From Clay's Kitchen Salsa Recipes

1 pint (1/2 litre) fresh strawberries, sliced
4 roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine strawberries, tomatoes, chile peppers, garlic, lime juice and oil. Toss all together to mix and coat. Cover dish and refrigerate for 2 hours to chill.

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17 comments:

Cherry said...

I love strawberry also. But I am not really convinced by an organic strawberry that they sell here. It looks so perfect, so red and so beautiful that I suspect it is laden with food coloring.

Suzi said...

Mmmmmm. Now I'm hungry! I have to admit, though, that I actually like my produce to be sprayed with a little something to ward off the creatures!

Chandira said...

I had a frozen strawberry dipped in white chocolate at the weekend. Good to know it was healthy!! ;-)

urban vegan said...

I can never have enough. And yes--I only ever eat organic strawberries. They taste muich better, too.

Johanna3 said...

i will love to have organic strawberries around so i can eat them much more !

great post!

Sheila said...

I've never tried fruit salsa with strawberries. Sounds good. Thanks for the recipe. Strawberries in the US tend to be overly sprayed though. The best ones I've had were in Italy. Not the same.

Morgan said...

We grow our own strawberries and also get them from the farmer's market. Our favorite methods of eating them - plain and also making sorbet.
Thanks for the other recipes which we will try soon.

Marion said...

I find the supermarket strawberry to be almost tasteless these days. I grow my own; the rest of the time I buy at the Farmer's Market.

There is nothing like a strawberry that is still warm from the Sun!

Great recipes, Jackie, thank you!

bazu said...

Oh my god, these recipes sound so good! Strawberry tabouli? Strawberry nut milk? I think I'm in heaven. Except... you are teasing us northern hemispherites- we have to wait 10 months for strawberries to come back- ha!

dreamy said...

I would need lots of strawberries for my brain! :D

Wally Banners said...

I Have a city nearby called Oxnard its in California and its out strawberry capital here. I LOVE STRAWBERRY'S!!You got my Battle of the Blogs Vote:)

aTxVegn said...

Strawberries are the best! I will miss them after summer. The strawberry tabouli and salsa look especially good. You always find the most interesting recipes.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

yum,yum,yum on strawberry sorbet~! We got a little over a handful of strawberrries off our plants this year - they are like gold.

Sharon Lynne said...

That's certainly true about NOT washing strawberries until you are ready to eat them. I learned the hard way about that :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog to say hello.

RawFoodGrl said...

35 Raw Food Recipes on 6 DVDs, plus interviews with gurus like David Wolfe that you don't want to miss!

Naomi said...

Wonderful strawberry recipes Jackie. I will have to try those. I love strawberries, especially the Scottish ones you can buy here. I like strawberries with porridge in the mornings. A nice way to start the day.

ChrissyJo said...

Mmm I am gonna make this this weekend! Sounds so good. I voted for you for best health blog on the choice awards!