The History Of Strawberries
Strawberries belong to the genus Fragaria and are members of the family Rosaceae. Strawberries are characterized by their juicy, sweet flavor, subtle tartness, and vibrant red hue. Given these points, the strawberry is considered one of the most popular fruits worldwide.
Early cultivations of strawberries began around the turn of the 15th century. There are several varying types of strawberries, ranging from ‘woodland’ or ‘wild’ strawberries and ‘beach’ strawberries, to ‘garden’ strawberries. Of these species, the garden strawberry is the most consumed variation that exists today. Additionally, a fun fact about the garden strawberry is that it was created recently as a hybridization. Created as a cross between the woodland and beach strawberries and was first bred in the 1750’s in Brittany, France.
Strawberries are sodium free, fat free, and cholesterol free. Especially relevant is that they are packed with age-fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients. Therefore, these nutrients combat the oxidative stress that leads to cancers, coronary heart disease, and inflammation in the body.
Strawberries For Inflammation and The Prevention of Heart Disease
Inflammation is the body’s reaction to injury and physical stress, but too much inflammation plays a role in the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Eating these bulk strawberries have anti-inflammatory properties due to their high supply of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which neutralize cancer-causing chemicals and reduce blood pressure. For these same reasons, research has indicated that a diet including bulk strawberries may be beneficial in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Phytonutrients are also responsible for giving berries their rich colors. Some of the phytonutrients in strawberries include anthocyanins, quercetin, catechins, and ellagic acid.
Culinary Uses of Dried Strawberries
Strawberries pair beautifully with a number of ingredients, namely spinach, dairy dishes including yogurt, cheeses, and other creamy foods. Therefore, these bulk strawberries work well in cakes, cookies, muffins, and dark chocolate. Here are some ideas to add a spark of this summer fruit to your cooking and baking:
- Mix dried strawberries into yogurt for a healthy breakfast
- Add to trail mix or cereal
- Toss them into a spinach salad – they pair especially well with walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds
- Use as a layer in cakes and other sweet confections
- Mix them into muffin and cookie batter prior to baking
- Top your pancakes with dried strawberries
- Mix them into ice cream for added texture and flavor
- Eat them alone as a sweet snack
Storage and Shelf Life
Our dried, bulk strawberries will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a year and up to 18 months in the freezer. Be sure to store them in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.
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