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Recipe Round-Up: It’s Strawberry Season!

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It’s that time again! Ripe, locally grown are now available in abundance in many parts of the U.S. Of course, you can generally find imported or frozen strawberries in the grocery store just about any time of year, but those berries pale in comparison to the juicy little gems that emerge in late spring to kick off fresh berry season.

Like other berries, strawberries are true anti-aging superfoods. They’re higher in vitamin C than oranges, and an excellent source of disease-fighting phytonutrients. Strawberries are rich in anthocyanins, red pigments with powerful antioxidant properties, and ellagic acid, a compound found in berries shown to fight wrinkles.

It’s important (year-round) to choose strawberries that are grown without pesticides, to ensure that you are getting their nutritional benefits without potentially exposing yourself to harmful chemicals. Conventional growers tend to spray strawberries heavily, and like other berries, they have thin skins, which means that it’s harder to wash off pesticide residues. Either buy berries that are certified organic, or buy from smaller local growers who can verify that they do not spray their berries. Before I buy strawberries (and other types of produce) at a farmer’s market, I always ask whether or not they have been sprayed with pesticides. I used to feel kind of uncomfortable about doing this, until it occurred to me that the only way to let your local growers know that there is a real demand for pesticide-free produce is to tell them.

Unfortunately, buying organic or pesticide-free strawberries may soon become even more important. We recently learned that California has just approved a known carcinogen called methyl iodide for use as a pesticide on strawberries. This is bad news, considering that California produces over 80% of the nation’s strawberries, and considering that the President’s Cancer Panel has just released a report warning that exposure to chemical toxins can cause cancer. (Note: The California Department of Pesticide Regulation is accepting comments on this decision until June 14, 2010. If you disagree with this proposed regulation, let them know how you feel!)

Your best bet for nutrition, taste and safety is organic or pesticide-free, and locally grown, if you can get ‘em. Fresh, “just picked” strawberries taste amazing by themselves, in a bowl with fresh whipped cream or yogurt, blended into a smoothie, tossed into a salad, baked into a pie with rhubarb, or… well, you get the point. Below are some selections from our collection of healthy recipes that feature, you guessed it… strawberries. Enjoy!

High Antioxidant Strawberry Salad

Heart-Healthy Whole Wheat French Toast with Strawberries

Low-Fat Rhubarb Strawberry Parfait

Heart Smart Flourless Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Sauce

Flavanol Full Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries


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Article updated on: May 12th, 2010

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10 Responses to “ Recipe Round-Up: It’s Strawberry Season! ”

  1. Lissa on May 12, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    Thanks for posting this. I have truly been enjoy strawberries this season so far. Went strawberry picking last weekend and easily picked over four quarts! Because strawberries are high on the pesticide list, purchasing either organic or locally grown (home grown included) is important as this article suggests. To find local produce in your area, check out this site: http://www.localharvest.org/.

    I look forward to testing these recipes!

  2. Joshua on May 13, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Here's a little interesting fact that you can use to stump your friends. Of the fruits listed below, which one does not belong?

    Strawberries
    Blackberries
    Raspberries
    Tomatoes

    The obvious answer is “tomatoes.” But why is really going to throw you for a curveball.

    From the list above, tomatoes are the only true berry. That's right, tomatoes are technically berries, while strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are not.

    I was shocked when I first learned this, and I stump people all the time with this one.

    For more info, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berry#True_berries

  3. BethF on May 13, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    I do try to buy organic, but sometimes it's just not always possible.

    I have been using a product called Environne Fruit & Vegetable Wash for a good 6-7 years. Before eating any fruits or veggies, I wash them off using this product (it's really easy to use…just pour a little on the fruit and then wash your fruit and veggies off as you normally would).

    Environne removes pesticide, fungicide and herbicide residues, waxes and oils. So if you can't always buy organic, using a product like this definitely helps keeps the food we eat safe, or safer, than just rinsing with regular water.

    I have always found Environne at Trader Joes. Whole Foods sometimes has it, but they often just carry the spray (which I am not a fan of…I like the one that you pour on).

    Anyhow, if you are interested in the product, here's their website http://www.vegiwash.com/

    BTW, all of those recipes look delish!!!!

  4. galemaleskey on May 14, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    How about the berries used in some of Stop Aging Now's products? Are they organic? Are they tested for any pesticide residues?

    • Mina on May 18, 2010 at 8:48 PM

      All of our berry extracts are standardized for potency and tested to ensure that they're free of potential toxins or contaminants. In many cases, the most effective berry extracts are derived from wild plants, for which there is no organic certification. However, these extracts are subject to rigorous quality testing to ensure their purity and safety.

  5. galemaleskey on May 14, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    How about the berries used in the fruit powders? Are they organic, or are they tested for any kind of pesticide or herbicide residue?

  6. MaryJane on May 18, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    These strawberry recipes look fantastic. I cannot wait to try them out after the Pungo Strawberry festival in Virginia Beach. Is it safe to eat a few strawberries right after picking at local farms? What if i wipe them on my dress first?

    • Mina on May 18, 2010 at 8:39 PM

      Ask whether or not the berries have been sprayed. If they've been grown sans chemicals, I say go for it! It doesn't get much fresher than that.

  7. [...] They feel just the same after consuming organic strawberries as they do after consuming chemical-ridden strawberries. Let’s be honest — the negative effects of eating pesticide-coated produce items that are [...]