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Springtime Strawberry Soiree

By Alana Sugar, May 3, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
I have a lot of fond memories of really good food, and two of my greatest involve strawberries. The first came one spring day in Louisiana when my grandparents’ neighbor brought over a fresh strawberry pie. Unforgettable! I had always loved strawberries, and my mom would occasionally make strawberry shortcake but nothing seemed to come close to the pie I had that day. The second event happened on a chance stroll through a small village in France, about an hour north of Bordeaux. I happened upon a little roadside stand where a small elderly woman was selling her fresh strawberries. Never in my life have I ever tasted strawberries like those! They were oh-so-sweet and succulent, not even slightly acidic, and before I knew it, I had consumed the whole bag! Here I am with those strawberries in France. As a grownup, I have vowed that with each new spring, I will try at least two new strawberry recipes. This year I plan to start with strawberry coconut-milk “ice cream” made with vanilla beans and cardamom. Got some unique suggestions for the other new recipe? I’d love to hear them! Not surprisingly, strawberries are the most popular of all the berries around the world. They are members of the rose family and not really a berry at all! They’re “aggregate fruits” meaning they come from a flower that has a lot of “ovaries” or parts that ripen into edible fruit. Many flowers have one ovary, but the strawberry flower has many. Once pollinated, these “ovaries” swell up and form “fleshy receptacles” also known as strawberries — the delicious, juicy fruit we love to eat. Nutritionally speaking, strawberries get high marks! They support heart health and are packed with powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, which help keep cholesterol levels healthy. Eating just eight strawberries gives your body more vitamin C than an orange while also providing manganese and fiber. Strawberries are naturally low in sodium, low in calories and, like most fruits and vegetables, do not contain cholesterol or fat. Convinced to add more strawberries to your diet this spring? Here’s a good place to start: When shopping, look for strawberries with a bright red color and a leafy green cap. Don’t wash until just before using. If storing, keep them uncovered in a bowl in the refrigerator. Un-washed strawberries should keep for about three to four days. Are you ready for your springtime strawberry soiree? I’d love to hear your recipes and ideas!
Category: Healthy Eating




12th Man says ...
When I lived in Missouri, we had wild strawberries in our yard. Everyone in the neighborhood would root them out in the spring, because if you let them go, they'd attract rabbits and other critters that would get into your garden. But it always struck me as odd that folks would root out the strawberries and pitch them into the garbage (that's right, didn't compost them but added them to the landfill) and then they would go buy them from the store. In the west there's a zero-scaping movement aimed at water conservation, trying to replace unnatural grasses with rocks and low-moisture plants, which totally makes sense. But in the wetter parts of the country, somehow we need to convince folks to let things go wild, or at least a bit wilder, so we're not doing these things that clearly don't make any sense.
05/03/2010 7:28:45 AM CDT
Kathy G says ...
What great recipes! When spring fruits are at their peak, I try to dry them in my food dehydrator to enjoy the rest of the year. (That usually doesn't happen; we tend to pig out and they're gone.) Right now, though, we have the equivalent of seven pounds of strawberries dried and waiting to be eaten out of hand, in granola, or rehydrated and used in recipes. Whoops...did I say seven pounds? Make that six :-)
05/03/2010 7:37:46 AM CDT
Gina says ...
I can't believe this article was posted without including the recipe for the strawberry coconut-milk ice cream!!
05/03/2010 10:33:13 AM CDT
Margo says ...
That's a great idea to try 2 new strawberry recipes each year. I should adopt that as well. I keep finding yummy sounding salad recipes that incorporate strawberries. The most recent one I tried had spinach, strawberries, nuts and was dressed with balsamic vinegar. YUM!
05/03/2010 10:49:03 AM CDT
screwdestiny says ...
I LOVE strawberries! What a great variety of recipes you have listed here. What annoys me is the people who say they don't like strawberries because they're dumb and they try them in January when they're gross, and so they think they're hard and sour. Just eat them in season, and they're delicious.
05/04/2010 3:01:34 PM CDT
Marie says ...
I will now go out into the high heat and attempt my third planting of strawberries. My past failures will not hold me back, not now!
05/26/2010 3:23:07 PM CDT
Evelyn Delgado says ...
I currently am enjoying making a dessert with wonton wraps, goat cheese and strawberries. I just lightly fry the wonton wraps, I then slice and layer the strawberries, strawberry jam and goat cheese on the wonton wraps. Top it off with whip cream and cinnamon sugar.
05/12/2010 10:01:01 AM CDT
Beverly J Carbonatto says ...
I must be hungry. Everything sounds good!
05/12/2010 6:26:03 PM CDT
vaughnm says ...
@Gina, Alana wanted to test out the recipe before committing it to the public. However, she did send it to me to respond with, as long as you keep in mind there might still be kinks to work out. Without further ado, here it is!: <strong>Alana’s Strawberry Cardamom Coconut-Milk “Ice Cream”</strong> Serves 4 to 6 •1 can light organic coconut milk •1 can regular organic coconut milk •2 cups sliced fresh strawberries plus 1 cup chopped strawberries •4 smashed green cardamom pods •2 vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise •4 egg yolks •¾ cup organic evaporated cane juice •Ground cardamom or vanilla extract, if desired Puree both types of coconut milk with strawberries in a blender. (It’s OK to leave some strawberry chunks if you like it). Transfer to a saucepan. Add vanilla beans and cardamom pods; heat slowly over medium low, stirring until very hot with small bubbles around the edges, but not boiling. Remove from heat; carefully remove vanilla beans and cardamom pods, including any black seeds. Scrape the vanilla seeds back into the saucepan. Either discard the cardamom or crush the black seeds and add some or all back, as desired. Whisk egg yolks with sugar until slightly pale and well blended. Very slowly temper the egg yolks by adding little bits of the hot coconut milk mixture, about 1 cup. Pour back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes. Do not let it boil! At this point you can strain the mixture if desired, or leave as is; cool to room temperature then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once ready, if desired stir in chopped strawberries or use as a garnish.
05/03/2010 10:40:24 AM CDT
Van Kirby says ...
Have some dried strawberries, how can I use them in a bread?
10/20/2010 4:38:52 PM CDT