June in Ontario means strawberries are in peak season and there’s more than one reason why this “fruit of love” is included on many therapeutic food plans:
1. Eating one cup of strawberries a day provides well over your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, as well as manganese, folate, potassium and magnesium.
2. Strawberries are also rich in antioxidants, including quercetin, tannins and polyphenols.
3. Strawberries have been proven to help improve immune system function, fight cancer and heart disease, improve skin health, and benefit cognitive function.
Fun Fact: Jacques Cartier recorded seeing “vast patches” of wild strawberries along the St. Lawrence River in 1534.
Here are some buying and storing tips from Foodland Ontario:
- Look for berries that are completely red with no white or green spots and have a sweet smell. The nose always knows…
- Avoid crushed berries and berries packed in juice-stained containers.
Storing & Preparing
- Remove any damaged berries as soon as possible. Trim damaged areas and use in sauces or for baking where appearance doesn’t matter as much.
- Store berries in the refrigerator with hulls intact, unwashed and lightly covered in a single layer.
- Berries are best when eaten within three to six days.
- Prior to serving, rinse under cold water and pat dry.
This is a great way to enjoy the flavour and health benefits of strawberries year-round because they are always more nutritious (and kinder to the wallet) when purchased in season.
- Strawberries can be frozen whole or sliced for up to twelve months. Before using, thaw at room temperature.
- Place berries in a single layer on a large tray or cookie sheet. Freeze until firm (about 1-hour), pack in freezer bags and seal.
- Before using frozen berries, thaw at room temperature.
Fun Fact: There are more than 600 varieties of strawberries.
© ONFORM coaching 2023
Photo by Couleur: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-red-strawberries-2661790/