At the arrival of spring, the strawberry makes its appearance on our stalls for the happiness of the most gourmands. This small red fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals and has many health benefits. It is generally eaten as a dessert, raw with sugar or whipped cream, but it also goes very well with salads for a sweet / savory mixture.
- Low in calories;
- Rich in fiber;
- Rich in vitamin C;
- Source of antioxidants;
- Boosts the immune system.
Strawberry, a gourmet fruit that has many benefits: understand everything in 2 min
What is strawberry?
Strawberry identity card
- Type: Bay;
- Family: Rosaceae;
- Origin: America, Asia and Europe;
- Season: April to June;
- Color: Bright red;
- Flavor: Sweet.
When harvested, the strawberry is a small, bright red fruit with small grains and a green peduncle. Its texture is moderately firm.
Word from the nutritionist
Strawberries are rich in water and low in calories. They are a food of choice in times of weight loss. One serving corresponds to 150 to 200g of strawberries.
For 100g of raw strawberries:
|Vitamin C||60 mg|
|Vitamin B9||62 µg|
6 benefits of strawberries: why eat them?
- Strawberries are rich in water which contributes to covering daily water needs.
- The strawberry contains flavonoids which give it its red color and are among the compounds which contribute the most to its antioxidant capacity. Among the flavonoids are anthocyanins, which have a protective effect against cancer. They would also inhibit the growth of human cancer cells in the colon, prostate and oral cavity.
- Strawberries are sources of fiber that will stimulate intestinal transit and limit bloating.
- The strawberry is a source of manganese which acts as a cofactor for several enzymes which facilitate a dozen different metabolic processes. It also participates in the prevention of damage caused by free radicals.
- Strawberries are rich in vitamin C which helps fight fatigue, stimulate the immune system and fight against various infections and winter colds.
- The strawberry is a source of vitamin B9 which allows the good development of the fetus during pregnancy.
Choosing the right strawberry
The best strawberries are the ones you pick yourself, whether in your garden or at the grower’s. It is always best to pick in the cool of the early morning, while the fruits are still firm and full of flavor.
If they are not picked, they will be bought directly from the producer, who collected them in the morning, which is not usually the case with strawberries offered in grocery stores.
The fruits must be of a good behavior and a beautiful brilliant red, the peduncle very green and of fresh appearance.
The different varieties
What differentiates the different varieties of strawberry is their size, shape and flavor. A distinction is made between sweet and tangy strawberries such as Gariguette or Ciflorette, sweet strawberries such as Cléry and Darselect, and wild-flavored strawberries such as Mara des bois and Charlotte.
Fridge. Two or three days. Avoid piling them up and only wash them before serving. They should be washed quickly, keeping their peduncle to prevent them from soaking up water. We drain them, we hull them and we serve them as quickly as possible. Also avoid airtight packaging, fruits should breathe.
Freezer. Wash the fruits in ice water, hull them, drain them and place them on a plate, spacing them apart. Freeze quickly in the coldest part of the freezer. Then lock them in a freezer bag, ideally in a single layer. You can also roll them in sugar before freezing them in the same way.
How to cook it? How to match it?
- They can be served as a starter with cheeses and nuts.
- Sliced, on vanilla ice cream with semi-sweet chocolate shavings.
- In coulis, ice cream, sorbets, granita, compotes and jams.
- Milkshake: vanilla ice cream, milk and strawberries blended. Or soy milk, yogurt and strawberries.
- Mint goes well with them.
- In fruit salads, but also in vegetable salads. For example, with Boston lettuce and a thinly sliced red onion. Serve with a strawberry vinegar vinaigrette (prepared by marinating for a few days in white wine vinegar, chopped strawberries and a little sugar, then filtering the preparation).
- Put them in the pan or on the grill and serve them lukewarm.
- Dip them halfway in chocolate that you will have melted with a little brandy or brandy. Let cool on wax paper, then ten minutes in the refrigerator. Serve the same day.
- Grill them on skewers with other pieces of fruit after coating them with a sauce based on lemon and orange juice, honey and cornstarch.
- Prepare a barbecue sauce with fresh strawberries, ketchup, soy sauce, lemon juice and zest, green onions and cilantro leaves. Go to the blender and serve with fish, poultry or grilled meat.
- Serve as an antipasto with other chopped fruit, parmesan cheese and thinly sliced prosciutto. Drizzle with a dressing of olive oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic.
- In an oven set to 150 ° C (300 ° F), bake a piece of brie until the inside melts. Remove the top of the cheese, line with strawberries and slivered almond pieces and sprinkle with sugar.
- Let them marinate for a few hours in a little balsamic vinegar and sugar. Serve seasoned with freshly ground pepper. Surprising, but delicious.
- In cakes, pancakes, waffles, muffins and flans. Strawberry shortcake is a classic in North American cuisine. It is prepared with a Savoy cake (angel cake) cut in half horizontally and topped with whipped cream and strawberries.
- Rhubarb and strawberry go perfectly with a pie.
It has long been believed that people with diverticulosis should not consume certain fruits (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries …) for fear that their small seeds get lodged in the diverticula. However, no clinical study has been carried out to validate this hypothesis. According to a committee of experts from the American College of Gastroenterology, it would not be necessary to exclude these foods in the event of diverticulosis. On the other hand, in some individuals, small fruit seeds can irritate the intestine. It may be wise for these people to consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
History of the strawberry
The term “strawberry” appeared in the French language in the 12th century. It derives from the popular Latin fragra, which gave the ancient French fraie. Fragra refers to the fragrance of this berry that, it seems, fine noses can spot at great distances.
The strawberry plant is native to Asia, Europe and America. On these three continents, about 35 species have been counted which testify to the diversity of climates where the plant is established. It was probably spread by birds who had no trouble transporting the small bay laden with its tiny seeds over long distances. Our Neolithic ancestors consumed it and, 1,000 years before our era, the Romans cultivated it in their gardens. However, it will not be the subject of a true commercial culture until the 15th century. The English, then the Dutch then improve the wild species which grow in abundance in the surrounding woods in order to obtain larger fruits, in particular from the species F. vesca. Up to
However, as early as the 16th century, the plants of a strawberry with larger fruit and a darker red (F. virginiana) were cultivated, sheltered by the walls of the botanical gardens, which explorers had brought back from the north. is from the United States. But it will take another 200 years before its culture really spreads. This will only happen after another species (F. chiloensis) has been brought from America with which it will be crossed.
It is a French spy with the predestined name of Amédée François Frézier, whose mission consisted in “observing” the port fortifications of Chile and Peru, who will discover it. He had noticed that the Picunches and Mapuche of Chile cultivated it and consumed its fruit in all sauces: fresh, dried or transformed into an alcohol which they offered to distinguished visitors. From this union, consecrated on European soil, between two plants of American origin, will be born a new species which, very quickly, will supply the main part of the world production of strawberries. It will be called F. x ananassa (pineapple strawberry) because of the flavor of its fruit, which is similar to that of pineapple.
However, the French have remained attached to their little wild strawberry which they find infinitely more fragrant than the big American hybrid. In season, it can be found on local markets. It is also grown in family gardens. In America, it also has its fans, who are more and more numerous to appreciate it.
Except for wild strawberries, which can reproduce by seeds, the plant is propagated by dividing the roots or by rooting the runners (creeping stems which produce roots from place to place). Buy certified virus-free plants. Store the plants in the refrigerator until you are ready to plant them.
Plant in a rather sandy soil, but rich in soil, well drained and sunny, if possible slightly sloping. Avoid the lower parts of the garden, or “frost holes”, where cold drafts gather. Choose a place which, in the previous 2 years, has not received tomatoes, peppers, potatoes or eggplants in order to avoid the risk of diseases that the strawberry plant shares with these plants.
Plant in single rows or in beds, spacing the plants 45 cm to 60 cm for the stolon varieties, and 30 cm for the alpine varieties.
Ecology and environment
According to the United States Environmental Working Group, cultivated strawberries are among the 12 products most contaminated by chemical residues17. The agency based its findings on data from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on pesticide residue levels.
Note that all products had been washed before analysis, in order to take into account the reality, that consumers generally wash their fruits and vegetables before consuming them. In short, washing does not remove, far from it, all pesticide residues. Hence the recommendation of the Environmental Working Group to favor organic strawberries as much as possible.