What’s so great about strawberries?

  Well, first of all, they are beautiful, all bright red with some green jester caps for the perfect accessory.  Look at one close – not many fruits wear their seeds right on the surface like that ; there are 200 or more of those little seeds on every berry.  In fact, technically they really aren’t berries since a true berry has its seeds on the inside (like a banana – ya those little black dots in there are seeds.). Botanists consider every one of those 200 little seeds on the outside of the strawberry to be its own fruit. 

I have always said, “food is prettier than flowers. Bring me a perfectly ripe strawberry, spare the roses!”  Well, turns out that strawberries are members of the rose family, but roses are $30/dozen and I’ve been buying their cute little cousin strawvberries for 99 cents/pound!  What a deal! 

 Nutritionally speaking, strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C  – 1 cup of strawberries provides 89 mg or 149 percent of the DRI (daily recommended intake.)   Compare that to the 36.1 mg from a clementine (little Cutey or Halo name brands).  They are also a good source of folate – providing 36.5 mg from that same 1 cup ( for more info on folate, see what’s so great about asparagus)  and a good source of manganese providing .6 mg or 29 percent of a day’s need, important for bone production, skin integrity, and blood sugar control. 

 Another talent those strawberries have is as making you feel full and Satisfied. Their fullness factor come in at 4.3 out of 5, meaning they are super good at filling you up with few calories. 

 Buy them and eat them; they will only keep in the fridge for a few days.  Don’t wash them till just before you are ready to enjoy them; washing will speed up spoilage.  Wash under cool running water or fill two bowls with cool water.  Add the berries to one bowl and gently swish around a little, then gently lift from the water and place into the other bowl.  Dump the first bowl of water out and refill.  Continue till the water remains clean and clear looking. 

If you were hoping for a recipe…you actually don’t need one.  Wash and pop into your mouth or quarter them first so you can savor each quarter without juice running down your chin.   For a more meal- like use, add strawberries to a mixed vegetable salad – they add color and sweet variety and go particularly well with a tart dressing (my favorite is seasoned rice vinegar / red pepper flavor.). If you want to get all ‘gourmet’, simmer some balsamic vinegar till it gets syrup-like then put a few berries in your prettiest little dish and drizzle a teeny bit of the Balsamic reduction over them.  No whipped cream or shortbread needed for the perfect ‘dazzle your guests’ dessert!

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