It’s strawberry season here in Florida. Having lived in San Francisco for 10 years, I used to believe that California strawberries were the best. My husband and I used to stop right in front of the Watsonville Farm for strawberries that were picked first thing that morning. Sounds like heaven right? It was….until I had a Plant City Strawberry! There’s something about the rich, delightful fragrance of a Florida strawberry. The earthy, sweet taste that follows that first bite is the beacon that Spring is on the way.
As any healthy gourmand will tell you, “Food Is Medicine” and strawberries are at the top of the list of naturally healing foods. In addition to being low glycemic (having a minimal effect on your blood sugar), they’re loaded with anti-oxidants in the form of vitamin C and other phytonutrients known as anthocyanins. These nutrients, which also provide the deep red color, help keep our cells from damage and act inflammation fighters as well. In fact, one cup of strawberries contains only 43 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 82mg of vitamin C, 20% of your daily manganese which is necessary for making hormones, energy, bones, as well as helping with digestion and food absorption.
With over 65 different chemicals on a continuous drip feed, strawberries top the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of most chemically-treated produce in the US today and for this reason should be purchased as organic whenever possible. If it’s not possible, consider going the extra step and giving them a very good cleaning with a fruit/vegetable wash.
A simple and healthy end to the perfect dinner is Chocolate Drizzled Strawberries.
Simply wash and cut your strawberries in half. Place them cut side down on a plate or parchment paper. Melt your favorite dark chocolate made with at least 70% cacao (my favorite is Black & Green brand) and drizzle it over strawberries. A slight drizzle is all you need – too much drowns out the succulent flavor of the berry.
So, my fellow Floridians (and the rest of the US February-May), enjoy this year’s bumper crop of strawberries! Who knows, I may even see you at the Strawberry Festival March 3rd-13th. I’ll be the one WITHOUT the strawberry shortcake ;)
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