Simplifying nutrition and using food as medicine - one bite at a time.

My goal with this blog is to set folks straight about what good nutrition really is! Starting by discarding the info we get every day from 'sponsors' that do not really have our best interests at heart, I want to inspire you to eat better AND realize it is much easier than you thought it would be!

Just about any health issues can be addressed with nutrition (and meditation), from mild to chronic to acute. We truly have the ability to heal ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually...

And you can use your daily routine as your vehicle to drive that change :)

Join me...

Quote of the Month

"When food, in the minds of eaters, is no longer associated with farming and with the land, then the eaters are suffering a kind of cultural amnesia that is misleading and dangerous"
~Wendell Berry

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Strawberry Bliss!

Our strawberries have been ripening the past 2 weeks and are absolutely delicious! There's nothing quite like a fresh-picked strawberry from a sun-ripened vine. I prefer them straight-up, unadulterated and still warm from the sun.

Strawberries, particularly organically grown ones, are rich in vitamin C and higher in iron and potassium than other berries. Strawberries, like other berries, are famous in the phytonutrient world as a rich source of compounds called phenols. One family of those phenols is called anthocyanin, which provide the strawberry with not only its flush red color, they also serve as potent antioxidants that have repeatedly been shown to help protect cell structures in the body and to prevent oxygen damage in all of the body's organ systems. Strawberries' unique phenol content makes them a heart-protective fruit, an anti-cancer fruit, and an anti-inflammatory fruit, all rolled into one.*

Choosing/Storing your Strawberries:
Store-bought prepared foods containing berries are devoid of healthy anthocyanins and other nutrients such as Vitamin C that are only measurable in fresh and whole, frozen berries, not in their processed counterparts.
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found anthocyanins, among other beneficial nutrients, were almost undetectable in canned foods, bread, cereals, and other foods containing berries.  So choose fresh, raw as much as possible and try to retain their nutrients by freezing them whole in a well-sealed glass jar or tupperware container if you are not consuming them within a day or 2 of picking.

Here are a few creative ways to prepare your fresh or frozen strawberries:

1.) Homemade strawberry slushies - just add ice (or frozen berries), and maple syrup if they’re a little tart.

2.) A great ice-cream accompaniment – just throw them on whole or crush them for a more compote-like effect.

3.) Strawberry tarts or shortcake. Alter your favourite recipe and use fine-ground spelt flour and unrefined sugar, for a much healthier version, instead of white flour and white sugar.

4.) Instant strawberry jam; just crush berries with a fork and add raw honey, mix well and voila – delicious homemade strawberry jam. *It will last for a week or so in the fridge or much longer in the freezer.

5.) Add them to your favourite smoothie. Just yogourt and strawberries are nice blended together but you can also add ice, a bit of lime juice and/or rosewater(optional) to make, what is traditionally called in India, a 'Lassi'.

If you're a berry lover...raspberries are also now in season as well as huckleberries and salmonberries.  Blackberries will be out in about a month or so...enjoy!

*Be sure not to pick berries from roadways, railway lines (they tend to be sprayed with pesticides/herbicides) or where dogs may be 'roaming'.

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