They get us in the mood for summer, are super healthy – and are extremely versatile in the kitchen
With their bright red color, they spread cheer, taste of sun and lightness – and yet they are sweetly deceptive. Because, technically, they are not actually berries but aggregate fruit with an aggregate of “achenes.” The small yellow specks on the surface are the actual fruits – the big, red delicious rest grows from the flower receptacle.
Packed with vitamins
But with that scent and the versatility, such botanical details are quickly overlooked, and rightly so! The garden strawberries popular in Europe originated over 200 years ago in America as a hybrid of the big Chilean strawberry and the small Virginia strawberry and consist to 90 percent of water. The remaining ten percent are packed with nutrients. Vitamins, fiber, minerals, all in abundance. Strawberries not only taste delicious but are also incredibly healthy and good for the figure with zero grams of fat and just 32 calories per 100 grams. In addition, this slimming fruit supplies even more vitamin C than oranges or lemons with 65 mg per 100 grams. A 200-g package can easily cover the daily requirement. Strawberries are rich in potassium, which stimulates the kidneys and counteracts water retention, flushing toxins from the body. With their fiber, strawberries also aid digestion.
The sun influences the aroma
The best weeks for these power fruits are from the end of May to August – that is the strawberry season. The more sun they receive during this time, the more intense the aroma will be. For full flavor, the right harvest time is especially important because strawberries do not ripen after they have been picked. Strawberries taste best when eaten or processed right after purchasing. They can be stored one to two days in the fridge. It is best to remove any bruised strawberries right away, otherwise they will spoil the others around them. Also important: Do not remove green leaves and stems until after washing; this will keep the strawberries fresh and aromatic longer.
The red temptations – not only aromatic and healthy but also true multi-talents in the kitchen. They are delicious all by themselves. And they make a perfect dessert, e.g. after an asparagus meal. As these fruits have no fat and very few calories, the dessert can naturally be topped with some whipped cream. Strawberries can serve as a healthy base for almost anything: jams, cakes, tasty crêpe fillings, sorbet or fruit puree – the repertoire is huge. They add a hint of sweetness to savory meals, harmonize wonderfully with spicy seasonings, and a strawberry dressing makes salads taste less bitter. With so many talents, it really does not matter that the red seductress is not truly a berry.
The versatile strawberry
o Strawberries not only have fewer calories than most regional fruits but also contain more vitamins, fiber and minerals. They are higher in vitamin C than lemons and oranges.
o The fruits are an excellent source of iron and folate, which is important for the metabolism.
o Their high salicylic acid content is beneficial for gout and rheumatic pain.
o Strawberries are rich in antioxidants that protect the body’s cells.
o Calcium strengthens the bones, and strawberries contain such high levels that they also protect against osteoporosis.
o The number of varieties is astonishing. Some of the best known are Sonata, Elsanta and Ostara.