Strawberries . . . yum! Who doesn’t just love ‘em? Well, I am a true, through and through, strawberry lover and eater. I just love a bowl of these adorable berries. My favorite way of eating strawberries is as simple as it can be . . . just the berry. No frills, nothing complicated . . . I’m a purist when it comes to strawberries. Of course, I can eat and enjoy them in more ways than only raw. But my favorite is and will always be as nature intended . . . a beautiful red berry in it’s natural and raw form. Yes, strawberry jam is delicious when slathered on top of a warm, buttery piece of toast, dried strawberries add so much fun to a trail mix, frozen strawberries help turn a smoothie into a dessert through a straw, and fresh whipped cream atop sliced strawberries is the simplest of gourmet. But a bowl of strawberries . . . now that is a gift from mother earth! And one I could endlessly enjoy. Sitting with a bowl of berries . . . and my world is feeling alright! The simplest of pleasures . . . and life is good!
One of spring’s first fruits to ripen is the strawberry . . . how sweet is that? Yes, sweet indeed! But remember that once a strawberry has been picked, it no longer will ripen so make sure your berries smell sweet. Strawberries are a member of the rose family . . . so scent is an indicator that it is ripe. Strawberries are the only fruit with it’s seeds on the outside . . . with an average of 200 seeds per berry. They are known to reduce one’s risk of cancer and heart attacks too. Eating strawberries, which are rich in nitrate, can increase the flow of blood and oxygen to your muscles which in turn prevents muscle fatigue and makes exercise easier. It has also been shown that eating nitrate rich foods, like strawberries, before doing exercise can help you burn an extra 100 calories than someone who doesn’t . . . pre-workout snack, huh? Strawberries are low in fat, low in calories, high in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid and potassium.
As I mentioned, I am a strawberry lover ! And for good reason . . . they are a medieval symbol of perfection and righteousness. During ancient times, strawberries were used medicinally to alleviate symptoms of melancholy, fainting, inflammations, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, bad breath, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen. Wow, a fruit miracle cure! Maybe modern medicine could learn a remedy or two! And how about this lovely fun tidbit . . . folk lore states that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with the opposite sex, you will soon fall in love! Yes, strawberries are something to love . . . and by some, considered an aphrodisiac. Can I just say maybe this spring there might be some love in the air? Well, as long as there are strawberry fields . . . forever!
Ps I am a purist but my kids do enjoy “Strawberry Milk”! Here’s a favorite snack they wanted to share.
1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
3/4 cup fresh strawberries
*sweeten if you need with honey, agave or maple syrup
Place ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
Drink and enjoy!
To loving one of spring’s first fruits . . . one strawberry at a time! Hugs, M.