We all love strawberries and now we know they are good for our health. Spring has arrived in the West Coast, BC and the strawberry plants are in full bloom, with picking time not far away. Here are a few ideas on how to grow, eat and enjoy one of our favourite, easiest and healthy fruits in your home garden:
Blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are true "super" foods. Naturally sweet and juicy, berries are low in sugar and high in nutrients - they are among the best foods you can eat ~Joel Fuhrman
Strawberries & Your Health
Many super-foods claim health benefits and for the strawberry it is : lowering of blood pressure, reducing the risk of arthritis and helping against heart disease.
Most recently a report came out on how this fruit helps against aging - "Strawberry consumption improves aging-associated impairments ... ". Great research information for the ever-increasing number of 'baby boomers'.
Enjoy Your Fruits
There are many ways to prepare and preserve this delightful berry as it is delicious for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.
Strawberries do not can (preserve) well but are great frozen - if you have leftovers from your garden. These berries are super :
- Simply delicious as a topping on coconut flour pancakes
- On a Low Sugar Yoghurt Cheesecake
- Served with Greek yoghurt & nuts
- Dipped in chocolate (dark 70%+)
- A special occasion - champagne and strawberries anyone?
- ... and especially mouth-watering when just picked fresh!
Strawberries have always been super healthy as they are low in calories and carbohydrates, contain no fat or cholesterol and are :
- High in Vitamin C
- Contains calcium, iron and potassium
This has been one of my top Caramel and Parsley articles. I now have 3 strawberry plots in our home garden :
- In the main vegetable garden
- Under the fig and espalier apple trees
- As a border on our backyard flower garden
There are about 200 plus or minus, plants which we enjoy every year, especially picking fresh chemical free fruit with our grandchildren.
Please read my article if you wish to grow your own plants. They also grow very well in a container and are so easy to care for with such a bountiful reward.
(Organic) "Strawberry Fields Forever" ~ John Lennon
Pesticides & Chemicals Used by Farmers
For the past few years strawberries have been the top Fruit on the Dirty Dozen pesticide residual list. A Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce (EWG). Here are three of the chemicals used on strawberries in California, USA in 2012 including chlorpyrifos, captain, malation and ...
If you are going to share your bounty, organic is the best treat.
Happy Spring gardening and strawberry picking ~ Liz
Links & References
- US Department of Agriculture - Nutrition (Link above)
- "What's on My Food - Strawberries" - 45 pesticide residuals
- Declining numbers of bees have necessitated hand pollinating of fruit trees the past few years - Where have all our Bees Gone?
- There are several towns named Strawberry in the USA & one in Jamaica
- "What Does Organic Mean" (2011 - CAP archives)
- How to grow a Blueberry Bush
- And which child of the 1970's & 1980's could forget Strawberry Shortcake
Word Origin & History - Strawberry
Old English streawberige, from streaw"straw" (see straw) + berige "berry" (see berry). There is no corresponding compound in any other Germanic language; the reason for the name is uncertain, but perhaps it is in reference to the tiny chaff-like external seeds which cover the fruit. A cognate Old English name was eorðberge "earth-berry" (cf. Modern German erdbeere). Strawberry blonde is attested from 1884
Update March 2023: Unfortunately Strawberries are at the top of the "most pesticides" Dirty Dozen list again this year. Here is the link to most recent EWG #Dirty Dozen" and #Clean 15" lists (2023)