Strawberries

By EAT SMARTER
Updated on 22. Apr. 2020
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​The strawberry bears the title "Queen of Fruit" for good reason: everyone loves it, it tastes delicious and it's also incredibly healthy. Read below for more information on this sweet, nutritious fruit.

strawberries

Strawberries…

  • ...are heart-healthy. studies show that strawberries can reduce the formation of harmful deposits in the blood vessels and thus protect against cardiovascular diseases. Strawberries also have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels.
  • ...are high in folic acid. strawberries contain more folic acid than almost any other fruit. The body cannot produce this B vitamin itself, but needs it for cell division, among other things.
  • ...support a healthy immune system. Strawberries are not only a booster for the immune system because of their vitamin C: Strawberries contain a lot of secondary plant substances, including many polyphenols. They are able to render germs harmless and can also help prevent inflammation.
  • ...are packed with vitamins. Anyone who eats a medium portion of strawberries (200 grams) has already more than met the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. 100 grams of strawberries contain around 60 milligrams - at least! Because the more ripe they are and the darker their red color, the more vitamin C they contain.
  • ...help keep you mentally fit. If you eat strawberries often, you could possibly prevent mental deterioration in old age. This is suggested by a long-term study in which US researchers found Out of 16,000 nurses over 70, those who regularly ate strawberries were still mentally fit.
  • ...help protect your cells. Among the secondary plant compounds in strawberries, there are particularly high levels of antioxidants such as flavonoids. They intercept free radicals in the body and prevent them from damaging body cells.
  • ...are not for everyone. about 5-7 percent of all Germans react allergic to strawberries; pollen allergy sufferers are particularly often affected. Typical signs include itching in the throat, pustules on the tongue, swollen lips or tongue, inflammation in the mouth, skin rashes and redness on the face. As an allergic shock is also possible in the worst case, a doctor should always be consulted if the slightest symptoms occur.

What You Should Know About Strawberries

On average, we eat about three kilos per year and head. Real strawberry fans also eat far more. In any case, the strawberry has been the undisputed number one fruit in the charts for many decades.

By the way, strawberry fans don't care what the individual strawberry is called, just as much as the fact that strictly speaking it is not a berry at all. Even though they are traditionally courted as the "Queen of Berries" - from a purely botanical point of view, the aromatic strawberry is a so-called "aggregate fruit". Behind this name, however, is not that strawberries can be collected, but rather that it is made up of several seeds. One can even see this at first sight. The small yellow seeds, which are stuck in the red surface, are the actual fruits.

Those who know that the sweet objects of culinary desire consist of around 90 percent water may wonder why they taste so delicious. But the remaining 10 percent are really something special. The more sun the strawberries were allowed to soak up, the higher their content of fruit acids, fructose and aromatic substances and the more intense their taste.

Origins

The ancestors of our garden strawberry were the small scarlet strawberry and the large chili strawberry, which were crossed in America over 200 years ago. Strawberries have only been cultivated here since the end of the 19th century. Before that, only the particularly aromatic, small wild strawberry was known.

Seasonality

Strawberries in March or April? Fair enough, but real fans prefer to wait until the season starts. For us, the season runs from about the end of May to August. It is not at all an illusion that precocious strawberries that come to us from Mediterranean countries and Israel do not taste as sweet and "strawberry-like" as native summer strawberries. In fact, German growers cultivate other, more aromatic strawberry varieties.

Flavor

Ripe strawberries have a sweetish-caramel note.  

Varieties

In Germany alone, there are around 1,000 different varieties of strawberries, some of which have strange names such as "Mieze Schindler", "Pegasus", "Lambada" or "Polka". Depending on the variety, they are light to dark red in colour and roundish or oval to pointed in shape. However, these varieties are only of importance for people with a garden who grow their own strawberries - the names of the varieties do not play any role in sales.

Our Favorite Strawberry Recipes

Find all our strawberry recipes here.

How Healthy Are Strawberries?

If you like strawberries and eat them often, you will not only live well, but also very healthily. With zero grams of fat, the fruits are absolutely figure-friendly. Strawberries also contain more than 300 different aromatic substances, including ferulic and ellagic acid. These two secondary plant substances are known for their cancer-preventing effect.

The conclusion of an American study suggests, among other things, that the polyphenols and anthocyanins contained in strawberries could even considerably reduce the lung cancer risk of smokers (1).

But that's not all: strawberries even provide more vitamin C than oranges or lemons, namely 65 milligrams per 100 grams. In addition, strawberries contain considerable amounts of vitamin K, folic acid, biotin and pantothenic acid.

Because of their relatively high iron content, strawberries are also considered to be particularly beneficial in the treatment of anaemia. Strawberries therefore help us to dehydrate and detoxify the body. Doctors and naturopaths therefore recommend strawberries for people suffering from gout and rheumatism.

Whether strawberries from organic cultivation taste better is a matter of debate. In any case, there are no studies that confirm a better taste of organic strawberries. However, consumer protection organisations and research institutes have been able to prove that organic strawberries contain significantly less residue than their conventionally grown sisters.

This is because strawberries, due to their rough surface, offer an ideal breeding ground for fungi, especially in damp weather, which is compensated for in conventional farming with pesticides. Organic fruit growers, on the other hand, prevent infestation by natural means. By sparingly "pimping" with purely organic fertiliser, less foliage is formed on the plants. The result: dew and rain on the leaves dry out faster and fungi have hardly any nutrient medium.

Strawberry Nutritional Info (100 g)  
Calories 32
Protein 0.8 g
Fat 0.4 g
Carbohydrates 5.5 g
Fiber 1.6 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Shopping

Juicy plump and appetisingly shiny, that's how strawberries should look. But beware: unfortunately, appearance is often deceptive when it comes to strawberries, and appearance alone says little. A deep red colour, for example, does not mean that the strawberries taste sweet and aromatic. Often the beauties in taste are rather bland or not yet fully ripe. The right time for harvesting strawberries is therefore particularly important, as they do not ripen once they have been picked.

If you want really sweet fruit, there is only one thing to do: buy strawberries when they are really in season - and try them! The best place to do this is at the weekly market, but even some Turkish traders don't mind if you want to taste strawberries before buying them.

A good indicator for the correct ripeness of strawberries are the sepals: if they can be easily removed, the strawberries are fully ripe.

If strawberries are stored in a plastic container, it is best to look critically at any pressure marks and mould. When shopping, also make sure that the fruits are not overripe, mushy looking or have green spots.

Storage

Ripe strawberries react to pressure, moisture and cold with loss of aroma, nutrients and shape. Experts therefore recommend that you enjoy the fine fruit immediately after buying or picking it and only in exceptional cases should you store it for a longer period of time. Strawberries keep best in the refrigerator for 1-2 days if they are placed on a tray lined with kitchen paper immediately after washing and cleaning.

Important: Moldy berries or berries with large bruises should be sorted out immediately as they cause the other fruits to spoil very quickly. Under no circumstances should you eat mouldy strawberries!

Strawberries are good for freezing, but they become very soft after defrosting because of their high water content. Strawberries from the "cold sleep" are therefore not suitable for cakes or tarts and fruit salads, but for creams, quark dishes, ice cream and smoothies. To freeze, spread the cleaned, dry and flawless strawberries flat on a tray and spread them out flat next to each other. This way they do not stick together and can be perfectly removed in portions when they are finally frozen in bags or cans.

Preparation

Strawberries need tact! They don't like a cold shower and a hard water jet makes them muddy and watery. To preserve the flavour, do not wash the strawberries under running water, but in a bowl of fresh water. Gently move the strawberries back and forth first, then put them in a sieve and finally let them drip off on kitchen paper. Only now remove the green leaves and stalks.

What To Make With Strawberries

Actually, there is almost nothing that cannot be conjured from strawberries: Fruit salad, ice cream, cake toppings, quark dishes, fruit sauce, jam, jelly, smoothies, cold cuts, red fruit jelly and, and, and. The list of sweet treats with strawberries is endless.

But what is still almost an insider tip: strawberries are also a perfect accompaniment to hearty dishes. The slightly sour sweetness of free-range strawberries harmonises perfectly with hot spices. A pinch of chilli or pepper, for example, gives strawberries a special kick, and the combination with a good air-dried ham can also taste very appealing.

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