Strawberries Announce the Start of Summer
Nothing says the start of summer like strawberries. Each sweet, juicy berry seems to shout out “summer’s here!” They are an amazingly versatile berry; they can be frozen, made into jams, pies, cakes, smoothies; the list is endless. However, the best way to enjoy them is out of your hand fresh from the field. They have amazing health benefits – they are full of vitamins and antioxidants that can boost your immunity, improve your eye health, help fight cancer and bad cholesterol, and help regulate blood pressure. But really, the main reason to eat them is because they taste so fabulous!
How about a look into the other side of strawberries?
- The most widely held view is that the name strawberry was derived from the berries that are “strewn” about on the plants, and the name “strewn berry” eventually morphed into “Strawberry”.
- The ancient Romans believed that strawberries alleviated symptoms of melancholy, fainting, all inflammations, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, bad breath, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.
- Native American Indians called strawberries “heart-seed berries” and pounded them into their traditional corn-meal bread. Discovering the great taste of the Native Americans bread, colonists decided to create their own version, which became a favorite that we all know and love; strawberry shortcake.
- The strawberry belongs to the genus Fragraria in the rose family, along with apples and plums. The name of the scientific classification was derived from the Latin word for fragrant. Strawberry’s wonderful fragrance, make them a perfect fit in this family. The fragrance from our local berries can be enjoyed throughout the whole house!
- Scientists don’t classify strawberries as a true berry. That’s because true berries, like blueberries and cranberries, have seeds inside. The strawberry, however, has its yellow “seeds” on the outside (each of which is actually considered a separate fruit). Therefore, botanists don’t classify the strawberry as a true berry. (From BC Farm Fresh – these are probably the same guys that classify rhubarb as a vegetable!)
- Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside
- Nutritional experts have recently named strawberries a nutritional “superfood,” as a result of their being an excellent source of antioxidants, Vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber.
- Eight strawberries contain more Vitamin C than a medium sized orange. That’s 140 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for kids. Vitamin C is important for the development of healthy bones and teeth. It also helps fight off colds!
- Strawberries are low in calories: one cup of unsweetened strawberries has only 55 calories.
The bottom line; be sure to enjoy these wonderful summer treats!