Yes indeed, strawberries are not berries. They are botanically classified as ‘’false fruits’’. The real fruits are the little yellow-brown grains that are on the surface of the strawberry and that we generally refer to as seeds. There is an actual seed inside each of this grain. This does not diminish in any way the fabulous nutritional value of strawberries. It just shows that things are not always what they appear to be… Like for example, an eggplant is a berry, and a blackberry is a cellphone!
They are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and an exceptional source of polyphenol antioxidants. Their beneficial effect on different aspects of our health is well-recognized (they protect the cardiovascular system, lower risks of cancer, decrease inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, increase HDL cholesterol…).
There is one issue though: strawberries are often treated with multiple pesticides and fungicides, and rinsing them remove only part of the chemicals. So, every time you can, get good organic ones.
Let’s see what is the optimal way of treating them in order to get the most out of them:
– Ideally, you should consume them right away but if you do not, put them in the refrigerator and eat them within 2 days. After that, they lose a lot of their nutrients, especially their vitamin C. Take them out 20 minutes before serving so they have time to reach room temperature and regain their flavor.
-To preserve their taste, a trick that my Mom got from her Mom is this: always rinse them just before serving, never in advance. Rinse them well under running cold water and with their stems on. If you cut out the stems before washing them, the strawberries will absorb water and lose most of their taste and consistency. Once clean and drained, remove the stems and prepare as you wish (my family recipe says to cut them in 4 and to add a few drops of lemon or red wine vinegar and a little bit of sugar. It is quite delicious).