When I think of June, I think of celebrations—especially graduations and weddings—and, l think of strawberries. 1 At their peak and bursting with flavor, strawberries herald the long days of summer, with its change of pace and its promise of possibility. Strawberries are a lively, “happy” food: like raspberries, they are one of the few fruits with “fire energy” which, like other “fire”2 foods—chocolate, popcorn, chips, and salsa—fit so well parties and special celebrations.
Strawberries, a rich source of vitamins C and K, flavonoids, and fiber, also bring their own health benefits. The deep red color of strawberries is associated with its special mix of flavonoids which helps to protect against cancer, heart disease, and inflammation. Almost all (some 80 percent) of the strawberries produced in the United States are grown in California, but if you are fortunate as we are to have access to pick-your-own strawberry fields, I hope you can venture to enjoy the delights of strawberries picked fresh from the vine. In our family, early-June trips to the local strawberry fields ushers in summer and its promise of fun, in a similar way that unpacking the holiday decorations each December brings with it the anticipation of seasonal joys and good times.
Whether you pick your own or not, strawberries are delicious washed and eaten fresh, served with fresh whipped cream, in smoothies, or mixed into salad greens. Because strawberries are one of the fruits with a high pesticide levels, it is best to buy those raised organically.
Strawberry Soup (Serves 4-6)
2 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 cup half and half
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon brandy extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into chilled soup bowls.
Strawberry-Apple Kanten (serves 6 to 8)
3 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons cold apple cider
1 pint fresh strawberries
¼ cup agar flakes
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1. In a blender, combine 1 cup of the cider and 1 cup of the strawberries and liquefy. Stir through a fine mesh strainer of cheesecloth to get 1 ½ cups strawberry juice.
2. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the strawberry juice, 1 ½ cups cider, and the agar3 flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the agar dissolves.
3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons cider and arrowroot powder and mix well. Add to the saucepan and simmer for 1 minute. Pour into a shallow 2- to 3- quart-capacity pan and refrigerate.
4. While the kanten is cooling, slice the remaining cup of strawberries.
5. In a blender or food processor, blend the chilled kanten until creamy. Fold in the sliced strawberries and serve, accompanied by pralines if you choose.
Source: Peter Berley
Strawberry-Couscous Cake (one 9” x 14” cake)
6 cups organic apple juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups couscous
1 pint strawberries
1. Wash and stem strawberries. Set aside on paper towels to dry thoroughly. Then slice.
2. Place the apple juice, vanilla, and couscous in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Stir continuously, until the couscous has thickened and all the juice has been absorbed.
3. Gently fold the strawberries into the hot couscous. Pour immediately into a 9” x 14” rinsed, un-dried shallow baking pan. Chill until set, about 2 hours.
Source: Annemarie Colbin
Copyright 2010, Pathways4Health.org
- For a small portion of the population, strawberries can cause allergic reaction. And, because they contain oxalates, eating excessive amounts can increase the risk of kidney stones for people that have calcium oxalate…Michael Murray,The Healing Power of Foods [↩]
- See Chinese Five Phase Theory, Resources tab of my web site. Other “fire” foods include alcohol, coffee, and tobacco. [↩]
- Agar, derived from red seaweed, is a natural gelling agent. To dissolve agar flakes, stir or whisk the flakes into cooking liquid that has been brought to a boil and then reduced to simmer. Simmer for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until all flakes have disappeared. [↩]