My Sweetheart Strawberry
While I was taking strawberries out of the basket and carefully checking them, I grabbed a strawberry that felt quite strange. When I looked at the strawberry that I had pulled out of the basket, it was a perfectly heart-shaped strawberry!
Of course I took a picture of it, pampered it and just looked in amazement. I put in the refrigerator, then the freezer, then back in the refrigerator. I was so excited and thinking of ways to save this beautiful and rare strawberry that looked as though it was custom designed for February to celebrate Hearth Health Month and Valentine’s Day. Mother nature made such a beauty.
Strawberries are rich in phytonutrients* that protect the heart and help to regulate blood sugar. Loaded with antioxidants and antiflammatory benefits, research has indicated that polyphenols in strawberries can limit spikes in blood sugar levels after consuming sugar. Adding strawberries to your diet could lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Strawberries also have an abundance of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals. They contain more vitamin C than even oranges and grapefruits!
Pick firm, mold-free stawberries; they should have a shiny, deep red color and the attached green leaves. Avoid strawberries that appear discolored, bruised or mushy. The smaller the berry the sweeter it tastes. Always eat strawberries within a couple of days of purchase.
They are delicious on their own and many times don’t require any sweetener.
What other ways can we incorporate these lovely red berries into out diet? You can add them to salads and sweeten your cereal or yogurt with berries. If you have some overripe strawberries don’t fret. Add them to smoothies and make beautiful purees or sauces.
And guess what? A few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar can bring out the most delectable sweet flavor of strawberries!
Pickup some strawberries at your local market or farmers market and enjoy! Let me know if you find another rare strawberry!
*Phytonutrients are natural chemicals in a plan that protect them from germs, fungi and insects. When humans eat phytonutrients they help keep to prevent disease and proper body function.