Strawberry

The strawberry, Fragaria, is one of the most popular berry fruits. The garden strawberry (or simply strawberry; Fragaria × ananassa) is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria . This is collectively known as Strawberry.

 Strawberries have the highest amount of nutrients. It is an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant's ovaries but from the receptacle that holds the ovary. Strawberries are not actually fruits as their seeds are on the outside. Strawberry plants are runners, and are not produced by seeds. They have an average of 200 seeds per fruit and are actually a member of the rose (rosaceae) family. First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular berry fruit in the world. In provincial France, they were regarded as an aphrodisiac. 

Strawberries are incredibly easy to grow. Strawberry plants can be grown almost anywhere – in borders, containers or hanging baskets. And of course the fruit is extremely popular – home-grown strawberries taste delicious and are great value too! Strawberries are so versatile – they just need sun, shelter, and fertile, well-drained soil. Avoid areas prone to frost and soils that have previously grown potatoes, chrysanthemums, or tomatoes because they are all prone to the disease. Runners look like little pieces of roots with very few leaves. Strawberries are traditionally grown in rows directly into the garden soil – often referred to as the strawberry patch. Strawberries in containers can also be grown in an unheated greenhouse, which encourages an even earlier crop, by 10–14 days. Pick strawberries when they are bright red all over, ideally during the warmest part of the day because this is when they are at their most tasty. Strawberry flowers are the means by which strawberry plants ultimately produce fruit.  But, they are tremendously intricate. Strawberry flowers are not all identical.  Different varieties have different numbers of petals and relative positions of their strawberry flowers.  Some hybrid strawberry plants even have flowers that are pink or other colors.  However, all strawberries have flowers.  Most strawberry flowers will have 6 petals, but anywhere from 5 to 8 petals on a strawberry flower is not uncommon. Strawberry flowers also need protection in the spring.  Strawberry flowers are rather delicate and can succumb to frosts.  So, special attention should be given to the weather forecast so that the strawberry plants and flowers can be protected from the cold. The strawberry flower is a small wonder that turns into a wonderful delight by June.  Without strawberry flowers, there would be no strawberries. 

Most of the people around the world love to eat strawberries. Kids love strawberries the most. They can be eaten fresh, frozen, cut, sliced, in so many forms , in so many ways. The heart shaped beautiful fruit is so wow!!. They cannot be stored for many days even in the refrigerator they can be kept for the best two days . They are very fragile and perishable. They loose their nutrients and mainly Vitamin C if kept for many days. If you want frozen strawberries, then wash then gently, remove their caps and let them dry in open. Never soak them in water or they will  loose teir color as well as their nutrients.After washing and drying , place them on the cookie sheet and then you can freeze them. Once you see and feel that they are frozen keep them in a ziplock and take care to suck all the air out before locking it. When buying or eating strawberries, one should check its ripeness by judging at its amazing pinkish-red color and bright green caps attached

We can enjoy eating strawberries in many ways like strawberry jams, jellies, spread, ice-creams, candies, cakes, creams, muffins, cupcakes,strawberry milkshake, strawberry dipped in chocolate, Cream filled strawberries, strawberry sliced in salads with fresh greens, over pancakes and many more. I love eating strawberries straight too, without adding anything to it. Strawberry and avocado dip is also very tasty as well as healthy which is enjoy with any king of chips or tortilla. To make it you have to chop both the strawberries as well as avocado, mash them and toss them. Sprinkle some salt and lime and your delicious dip is ready to eat. There is one more way I serve strawberries to my parents as they find them a bit sour, mix some lime juice and sugar , stir it well, and then slice and mix and toss your strawberries in it, they taste so woww!!. I too love that, but I enjoy them straight too. Try a mix of whole strawberries, slice grapes, I like grapes because the sweetness of the grapes and tanginess of strawberries goes very well, chunks of blue cheese or any other cheese if you are allergic to blue, toasted almonds or hazelnuts, some pine nuts and some your choice of greens. It is very  tasty. Strawberries can also be enjoyed by adding them into low-fat pro-biotic flavored yogurt. We can have them in our morning cereal. Its very healthy and tasty. We can enjoy it with any meal or sandwich too by making a good salsa of it by chopping some bell peppers, onions, cucumbers and adding lime juice and pepper and salt. You can opt vinegar instead of lime juice if that taste more good to you.You can make strawberry cheesecake also, frozen cake, no-bake strawberry cake, strawberry flavored water by just adding a thin slice of strawberry into the glass of water. One of the most hit and tasty dish I remember is green salad with little greens and nuts of your choice, olives, and a grilled chicken breast finely sliced. 

Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving about eight strawberries, provides more Vitamin C than an orange. The red coloring contains anthocyanins, which stimulate the burning of stored fat. Strawberries may also help to prevent cataracts. They are very good for the pregnant women too. The anthocyanins boost short term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks. Strawberries are an amazing source of folate (the folic acid found in food). Medications used for conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis can actually deplete folic acid in the body, so stock up on strawberries to replenish. Strawberries are high in fibre, which is important for moving food through your digestive system and helping bowel movements. This can help improve digestion especially for those with constipation or irregular stools. They are good in Potassium so they are good for people who are suffering from high pressure. It is also very good for our bone health because strawberries are good in potassium, magnesium and Vitamin K. The antioxidant power of the anthrocyanins found in strawberries lasts up to 24 hours after consumption; this makes them a great defence against free radical damage. They have low glycemic index and high in fibre so it is good for the diabetics in controlling their blood sugar. It also helps fight and prevent cancer. It is so good in Vitamin C that it helps the skin look younger. As we age our skin starts loosing collagen so it sags and feel loose. Eating fruits like strawberries which are so good in vitamin C content, our skin looks much more fresh and young. The compound nitrate found promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body, which is great for weight loss.





References taken from Wikipedia, bbcfood, greenliving, whfoods, besthealth. 

(all the pictures are extracted from internet)

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