Soft, delicate, sweet smelling, with an explosion of sweet flavour in the mouth is how I would describe eating strawberries.
They were originally foraged from forests as far back as ancient Rome and then first cultivated in gardens in France in the late 18th century. Technically strawberries a hybrid species of the genus Fragaria and are not actually a berry, we won’t get too precious here about what they are botanically.
Strawberries and cream was made popular in the 1500s for England’s King Henry VIII and is now a staple at the Wimbledom tennis tournament, while in Sweden strawberries are served on mid-summer’s eve as a traditional dessert cake. Strawberry jam, strawberry shortcake, strawberry milkshakes and many more strawberry based dishes have all been part of our varying food cultures.
Strawberries are coming back into season in Queensland, where I live, and they have made their now traditional appearance at Brisbane’s annual show, the Ekka. Once strawberries only made a short appearance in spring and summer but with increased varieties and better handling their growing season has extended to practically year-round in Australia.
Some people do have reactions to strawberries, this may show as hay fever, dermatitis or even an anaphylactic reaction. If that’s you, then avoid them.
There’s many reasons to include strawberries as part of your healthy eating.
There’s lots of reasons to enjoy them:
- Strawberries are versatile – eat them fresh as a snack anytime or tizz them up with a drop of orange liqueur (see recipe below) or grated dark chocolate for a simple but fancy dessert, add them to a savoury salad with a balsamic vinegar dressing, include them in your morning fruit salad, or blend them with your favourite milk and oats for a refreshing breakfast smoothie – yum!
- Berries are nutritious – a cup or 150 grams of strawberries provides:
- 68mg vitamin C (Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) 45mg/day for adult women* and men),
- 59µg folate (RDI 400µg/day for adult women* and men) – (*more required for women who are pregnant or lactating),
- 0.6mg of the mineral manganese (RDI for adult women 5mg, for adult men 5.5mg/day),
- nearly 4g of fibre (RDI 25g for adult women*and 30g for adult men/day),
- and a whole range of bioactive compounds, particularly phenols, including anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidins. Those complicated sounding bioactive compounds are thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions in the body which may be beneficial to reduce the effects of ageing (yes, please!), cause a reduction in heart disease and possibly even cancer. While some of the studies in this research have been in real people while others are on animals or test tubes, nevertheless, the knowledge around the health benefits of strawberries is ever expanding.
3. Strawberries are low in energy – they provide only 160kJ each cup (150g) – so they’re great if you are trying to lose weight; and for those who prefer low carbohydrate eating that 150g serve provides only 6g of carbs.
4. And, of course, they taste great!
So get to it! Include strawberries in your two serves of fruit each day.
- 2 punnets strawberries Each punnet is 250g
- 2 tbs Cointreau or other orange flavoured liqueur Optional: boil then cool the liqueur before use to remove alcohol content
- Wash and hull the strawberries.
- If they are large slice them, otherwise leave them whole or cut them in half, as preferred.
- Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle over the liqueur.
- Serve and enjoy.
register here to receive Dale’s blog update in your inbox each week.
contact dale if you would like help to work toward achieving your health goals.