When my girls were small, our strawberry picking excursions marked the beginning of our favorite time of year… spring!
We’d head to our local farm and fill our baskets to the brim with “nature’s candy”, often stuffing our faces full (which the grower’s signage encouraged – not the norm these days) even before we weighed in.
I felt like a good mom encouraging my daughters’ delight in this beautiful, aromatic fruit loaded with goodness. Why wouldn’t I? Ever in the know about the most recent findings and benefits of my favorite foods, I was well aware that strawberries are brimming with antioxidants like vitamin C and anthocyanins. They’re chuck full of potassium and folic acid too, among many other beneficial vitamins. They’re also low in calories and have been labeled a “diabetes superfood” by the American Diabetes Association.
Some even say they whiten your teeth!
However, now’s the time to be especially mindful when choosing and eating this superlative treat. As of recently, the Environmental Working Group published a report revealing strawberries to be the #1 most pesticide-laden food in America…
Read this important EWG report HERE.
What’s the bottom line? Always, always buy organic strawberries as opposed to their conventional counterparts at the store. Yes they will be a few dollars more… But after reading the report linked above, I think you’ll agree it’s a small price to pay in exchange for healthier bodies and a happier earth!
Fun facts about the crimson fruit:
- Strawberries are part of the rose family.
- In ancient Rome, the strawberry was believed to have healing properties and was prescribed as a medicine for sore throat, fever and even as an anti-depressant.
- In the Middle Ages, strawberries were a popular dish served during official peace talks – they were eaten while sitting at the table during negotiations.
- The “seeds” you see on the outside of the strawberry are actually the fruit’s ovaries, and are called “achenes.” Technically speaking, each achene is actually it’s own fruit with an individual seed inside.
- If you eat fish, you’ve probably heard about the ever-increasing levels of dangerous mercury in common seafoods today. What does this have to do with strawberries? As it turns out, scientific studies have revealed the dietary fiber in these little red berries to be a “mercury sponge” that can absorb up to 95% of mercury in the body and safely eliminate it during digestion.
- Each year, spectators at the Wimbledon tennis tournament go through a whopping 30 tons of strawberries over the course of a summer fortnight.
Have you ever added strawberries to a dish that wasn’t a fruit salad or a bowl of yogurt and granola? They really are a very versatile fruit! Here are a few creative ideas for the next batch of organic strawberries you buy:
- Use as a substitute for tomatoes in a recipe for salad or salsa
- Toss sliced berries onto a bed of greens
- Substitute pureed strawberries for part or all of the vinegar in a salad dressing
- Freeze whole strawberries and use as “ice cubes” in your morning orange juice or in a glass of iced tea