Strawberry: " You may not know all about me!"
Saturday, March 12, 2011 8:55:55 PM
I've got these beautiful strawberries yesterday from the super market. It's been for a while since the last time I saw red and beautiful strawberries like this. Another woman was also selecting fresh strawberry containers nearby, and we both got super excited when we remove the boxes on top and discovered more pretty and fresh strawberry underneath, like we'd just found a precious treasure:). Seeing our happy faces, other people started to come around and picked some containers for their carts. Such a happy and friendly atmosphere that I would never forget!...Thanks to you Strawberries...
When I came home, the pretty image of these strawberries made me want to take some photos to restore their beauty. I also did a little research about them, how to select and store them, as well as how to make some quick serving from this kind of fruit.
Strawberries contain a range of nutrients, with vitamin C heading the group. They also contain significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight free radicals. These antioxidant properties are believed to be linked to what makes the strawberry bright red.
So what are these weird free radicals? Free radicals are elements that can damage cells, and they are thought to contribute to the formation of many kinds of cancer.
In addition to vitamin C, strawberries also provide an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. The health benefits of strawberry include eye care, proper brain function, and relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout and heart diseases.
Tips for Preparing Strawberries:
Since they are very perishable, strawberries should not be washed until right before eating or using in a recipe. Do not remove their caps and stems until after you have gently washed the berries under cold running water and patted them dry. This will prevent them from absorbing excess water, which can degrade strawberries' texture and flavor. To remove the stems, caps and white hull, simply pinch these off with your fingers or use a paring knife.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
* Add sliced strawberries to mixed green salad.
* Layer sliced strawberries, whole blueberries and plain yogurt in a wine glass to make a parfait dessert.
* Mix chopped strawberries with cinnamon, lemon juice and maple syrup and serve as a topping for waffles and pancakes.
* Blend strawberries with a little bit of orange juice and use as a refreshing coulis sauce that goes well with poached pears.
* Add strawberries to breakfast shakes to give them a more vibrant taste and texture.
How to Select and Store:
As strawberries are very perishable, they should only be purchased a few days prior to use. Choose berries that are firm, plump, free of mold, and which have a shiny, deep red color and attached green caps. Since strawberries, once picked, do not ripen further, avoid those that are dull in color or have green or yellow patches since they are likely to be sour and of inferior quality. Medium-sized strawberries are often more flavorful than those that are excessively large. If you are buying strawberries prepackaged in a container, make sure that they are not packed too tightly (which may cause them to become crushed and damaged) and that the container has no signs of stains or moisture, indication of possible spoilage.
Before storing in the refrigerator, remove any strawberries that are molded or damaged so that they will not contaminate others. Replace unwashed and unhulled berries in their original container or spread them out on a plate covered with a paper towel, then cover with plastic wrap. Strawberries will keep fresh in the refrigerator for one or two days. Make sure not to leave strawberries at room temperature or exposed to sunlight for too long, as this will cause them to spoil.
To freeze strawberries, first gently wash them and pat them dry. You can either remove the cap and stem or leave them intact, depending upon what you will do with them once they are thawed. Arrange them in a single layer on a flat pan or cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the berries to a heavy plastic bag and return them to the freezer where they will keep for up to one year. Adding a bit of lemon juice to the berries will help to preserve their color. While strawberries can be frozen whole, cut or crushed, they will retain a higher level of their vitamin C content if left whole.
Source: www.whfoods.org, www.strawberry-recipes.com, www.organicfacts.net