Just the thought of strawberries brings to mind summer, shortcake, jelly and chocolate. Bite into a strawberry and it explodes in your mouth making your tongue tingle with delight. With the red heart shape of the strawberry, no wonder it’s the symbol for Venus, the goddess of love. Maybe that’s why strawberries go so perfectly with chocolate and champagne.
A member of the rose family, it is documented that strawberries have been enjoyed as a domesticated fruit as early as the 1400’s. Now, we know the nutritional value of strawberries. They contain amino acids and beta-carotene as well as A, C, E, K, B-complex vitamins. An excellent source of calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper and zinc, strawberries are high in sugar so should be eaten in moderation.
Some of my favorite ways to enjoy the fruits of strawberry plants are serving on waffles (Yummy!), in a spinach salad with walnuts, in a cucumber & strawberry salad, or served with only a splash of balsamic vinegar. Harvest strawberries in early summer and freeze to preserve them for future use.
Tips for strawberries:
- Do not wash berries until ready to eat
- Remove caps after washing
- Store in colander (or vented container) in refrigerator for air circulation
- Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving
- To whiten teeth – mash one strawberry and mix with baking soda, brush on teeth and leave on for 5 minutes then rinse
Greenwood Nursery will begin shipping strawberry plants in mid November. Recommended zones are lower 6, 7, 8 and 9. Mid zone 6 and north will schedule to ship in spring.