Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Antioxidant Superstar

The Strawberry: the antioxidant superstar known anciently for its medicinal purposes. Today, we know it as that little piece of fruity goodness topping our pancakes, ice cream and in a pie. To give you a little history on this berry you must go back many centuries. The name was derived from the fact that the berries were "strewn" all over the plants. Strewn berry became Strawberry. There are accounts of the berry as early as the 1300's but it wasn't a major staple for eating until later. At this point, it was used largely medicinally by the early Romans. They would use it for digestive aid and as a skin tonic. The berry was prescribed to relieve diarrhea and the berry was also smashed up and put on a sun burn or a blemish. Those in high society would eat these at a banquet to show their status. Today they are still served between matches at Wimbledon with whipped cream.
The nutritional facts on these berries put them on list of the top 100 superfoods. Just one cup will give you 140% of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin C, this is more than many citrus foods! It also contains fiber, folate , potassium and antioxidants. They are packed with flavonoids to help cholesterol. They contain ellargic acid which help "bind" the cancer causing chemicals to make them inactive. They also prevent the binding of carcinogens to DNA reducing cancer risks.
Of course, the down side to these delicious snacks is that they are sprayed with pesticides unless you can find them organically grown and want to shell out 5$ per pound. I do my best but just wash them as best as I can. I guess since they contain antioxidants, maybe they can help rid themselves of pesticides? Good thought anyways.
For you local ladies, Sprouts just put them on sale till next Wednesday for $.97 per pound. They are beautiful. I just made 15 cups of freezer jam today with them and it only took me 45 minutes. No peeling at all. Easy. I love to use it for my granola and thin it a bit for syrup. Sure, there is tons of sugar but much better than the stuff you can buy in the store. Just make sure you buy the pectin that doesn't require you to use corn syrup. I used the Sure Jell brand today.
You can also freeze the berries. Just wash them and let them dry on paper towels. Lay them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and put saran wrap on top. Put them in your freezer and when hard, put them in a freezer bag. Much cheaper than buying them already frozen.
Another tip, only wash your berries just before serving them. They will keep much better!
My favorite plain pancake recipe I use when I want to smother them in fresh berries is this Whole Wheat Griddle Cake recipe. I now switched to making my own whipped cream since I can't find one that is suitable for eating. The only cream I find is organic. It is crazy that the companies can't even keep MSG out of cream! Try these delicious babies out.
Whole Wheat Country Griddle Cakes
1 1/4 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 C Buttermilk
1/3 C Instant Cream of Wheat (DRY)
1 Egg
1/3 C Sugar
1 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Baking Soda
1/4 C oil
1/2 t. Salt

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Yum! I can't believe how cheap you can get them there...I'm still paying at least double that for a quart. That recipe sounds great too.

Missed talking to you the other night, glad you got to talk to Eric though!