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Strawberry

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Fragariax ananassa

CLASSIFICATION

Fruit

SEASON

January, February, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

About

If there were a berry popularity contest, the strawberry would win hands down. These luscious red berries are renowned for their sweet, tart flavour and firm flesh that is punctuated with delicate yellow seeds. World wide there are more than 600 combined varieties of cultivated and wild strawberries. They are a low GI food, with antibacterial and anti- inflammatory qualities. Strawberries don’t just taste good, they do good.

Sweet and tart in flavour with firm flesh, the strawberry is available all year round with peaks in August through to January.

West Australian Strawberries are available to consumers all year-round with excellent local seasonal supplies from the regions of Perth & Surrounds and Great Southern regions, in particular Wanneroo and Albany from June to April. They are at their most succulent from August to October.

Strawberries from the Great Southern region around Albany are available from October to April, peaking from November to January.

It is important to note that the strawberries harvested at the end of the season are usually smaller, sweeter and need to be consumed quicker, preferable within a day.

So if you are buying WA strawberries in October and November, check the labels or with your local Great Greengrocer.

Tips and Hints

Late harvest berries are usually smaller, sweeter and need to be consumed within a day.

Choose berries that are firm, plump, free of mould with a shiny, deep red colour and attached green caps. Since strawberries, once picked, do not ripen further, avoid those that are dull in colour or have green or yellow patches since they are likely to be sour and of inferior quality.

If you are buying strawberries pre-packaged in a container, make sure that they are not packed too tightly (which may cause them to become crushed and damaged) and ensure there are no signs of stains or moisture (indication of possible spoilage). When selecting turn the container over to check that there are no mouldy or rotten berries and that bruising is minimal.

As strawberries are very perishable, they should only be purchased a few days prior to use.

West Australian strawberries have less travelling time and as a guide can be stored longer at home (5 – 7 days) then Eastern State strawberries. Be aware that strawberries at the end of the season store less well and should be consumed within a day of purchase. See the seasonal chart featured on this website for further details or ask your local Great Greengrocer.

Like all berries, strawberries are very perishable, so great care should be taken in their handling and storage.

Before storing in the refrigerator, remove any strawberries that might be damaged. Replace unwashed and unhulled berries in their original container or spread them out on a plate covered with a paper towel, then cover with plastic wrap.

Make sure not to leave strawberries at room temperature or exposed to sunlight for too long, as this will cause them to spoil.

To freeze strawberries, first gently wash them and pat them dry. You can either remove the cap and stem or leave them intact, depending upon what you will do with them once they are thawed. Arrange them in a single layer on a flat pan or sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the berries to a heavy plastic bag and return them to the freezer where they will keep for up to one year. Adding a bit of lemon juice to the berries will help to preserve their colour. While strawberries can be frozen whole, cut or crushed, they will retain a higher level of their vitamin C content if left whole.

Tips and Hints
Choose berries with attached green caps
Can be frozen for up to 12 months
Lemon juice preserves their colour

Strawberries are best eaten fresh at room temperature. Since they are very perishable, strawberries should not be washed until right before eating or using in a recipe.

Do not remove their caps and stems until after you have gently washed the berries under cold running water and patted them dry. This will prevent them from absorbing excess water, which can degrade their texture and flavour.

To remove the stems, caps and white hull, simply pinch these off with your fingers or use a paring knife.

Despite their perishable nature, strawberries do hold up well in fruit salad if properly stored and chilled in the refrigerator. To enjoy a fruit salad all week, ensure fruit is cut minimally, either whole or in halves and store in a sealed plastic or glass container in the refrigerator.

Tips and Hints
Great partners of the strawberry:
Cream
Icing Sugar
Black Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar
Basil

Strawberries are best eaten fresh at room temperature. Since they are very perishable, strawberries should not be washed until right before eating or using in a recipe.

Do not remove their caps and stems until after you have gently washed the berries under cold running water and patted them dry. This will prevent them from absorbing excess water, which can degrade their texture and flavour.

To remove the stems, caps and white hull, simply pinch these off with your fingers or use a paring knife.

Despite their perishable nature, strawberries do hold up well in fruit salad if properly stored and chilled in the refrigerator. To enjoy a fruit salad all week, ensure fruit is cut minimally, either whole or in halves and store in a sealed plastic or glass container in the refrigerator.

Tips and Hints
Great partners of the strawberry:
Cream
Icing Sugar
Black Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar
Basil

Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C; folate and a number of phytochemicals such as anti oxidants and a good source of dietary fibre. They are an excellent low GI food (40) and assist in stabilizing blood sugar levels. Studies have indicated that strawberries are found to enhance memory function and (as part of a healthy low-fat diet) may help decrease blood pressure, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities suggest too that they may assist in maintaining healthy kidney and bladder functions.

Vitamin C
Half a punnet of strawberries (125 g) gives you 55 mg vitamin C, more than a whole day’s recommended intake of vitamin C, which is as much as from an orange. While we are aware of the health benefits of a diet rich in Vitamin C, certain studies also indicate that foods rich in Vitamin C may lower the risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.

Folate
Folate (also known as folic acid) is also found in strawberries and half a punnet (125 g) will provide almost 10 percent of your daily folate needs. A diet rich in folate is particularly important for pregnant women as it aids in the prevention of birth defects.

Phytochemicals
Strawberries contain several classes of phytochemicals – naturally occurring compounds found in plant foods. Phytochemicals have been shown to act as antioxidants, providing protection by neutralizing free radicals or substances in the body that can damage cells and lead to disease. Strawberries are an excellent source of ellagic acid, a phytochemical that helps combat carcinogens. Cooking does not destroy ellagic acid, so even strawberry tarts or jam may be beneficial.

STRAWBERRY
Nutrient Value per 100 g
Proximates
Energy, including dietary fibre 108 kJ
Moisture 92.1 g
Protein 0.7 g
Nitrogen 0.11 g
Fat 0.2 g
Ash 0.5 g
Dietary fibre 2.5 g
Fructose 2.1 g
Glucose 1.8 g
Total sugars 3.8 g
Starch 0.1 g
Available carbohydrate, without sugar alcohols 3.9 g
Available carbohydrate, with sugar alcohols 3.9 g
Organic Acids
Malic acid 0.1 g
Citric acid 0.6 g
Minerals
Arsenic (As) 0.8 ug
Cadmium (Cd) 3.1 ug
Calcium (Ca) 18 mg
Chromium (Cr) 0.1 ug
Copper (Cu) 0.065 mg
Iron (Fe) 0.58 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 8 mg
Manganese (Mn) 0.328 mg
Mercury (Hg) 0.6 ug
Molybdenum (Mo) 8.6 ug
Nickel (Ni) 1 ug
Phosphorus (P) 24 mg
Potassium (K) 158 mg
Selenium (Se) 1 ug
Sodium (Na) 3 mg
Zinc (Zn) 0.18 mg
Vitamins
Thiamin (B1) 0.02 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.05 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.1 mg
Niacin Equivalents 0.22 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.09 mg
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.02 mg
Biotin (B7) 2 ug
Folate, natural 39 ug
Total folates 39 ug
Dietary folate equivalents 39 ug
Lutein 94 ug
Vitamin C 45 mg
Alpha tocopherol 0.2 mg
Beta tocopherol 0.2 mg
Gamma tocopherol 0.2 mg
Vitamin E 0.32 mg

Source:

NUTTAB 2010(Food Standards Australia New Zealand); The University of New South Wales; Professor Heather Greenfield and co-workers at the University of New South Wales; Tables of composition of Australian Aboriginal Foods (J Brand-Miller, KW James and PMA Maggiore).

Tips and Hints:

Low GI Food Half a punnet gives you more than 55 mg vitamin C, more than a whole day’s recommended intake of vitamin C