Strawberries – Their history, nutritional info, canning ideas and more…

Want to feel like royalty this summer? Try bathing in strawberries! Madame Tallien, of Emperor Napoleon’s court, did it! Just kidding though…that’s a lot of strawberries you could eat instead. Yum!

But really, today we are throwing it back to dirty knees, baskets so heavy you can hardly lift them, and the sweet, sweet aroma of that vibrant, heart-shaped fruit. Well, sort of. Did you know a strawberry isn’t technically a fruit? Or that garden strawberries as we know them are actually a hybrid between two species brought to France in 1624 and 1712? Crazily enough, they are the enlarged receptacle of the flower, and were created by crossing the Fragaria Chiloensis (native to Chile) with the Fragaria Virginiana (native to North America). The Chiloensis sweet but small, while the Virgnianas were the size of walnuts! A little bit of accidental magic (crossing) led to a little intentional breeding, and HOORAY for the precious little gems we know and love today called fragaria x ananassa. 

In fact, we seem to love them so much, yearly per capita (per person) consumption is over six pounds! It’s not just because of how they taste though. Ok, so it’s mostly how they taste. Strawberries are so healthy, providing you with antioxidants, folate (which recent research suggests may help in treating depression), potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. What does that mean? They are heart-healthy, great for you skin, and your immune system, among other things. 

So what’s the best way to consume strawberries? That’s ultimately up to you, but we have some ideas!

  1. Eat them fresh! Go picking. Make memories. Bring along that someone special. After all, even strawberries are social, and fruit production requires both a male and female. (Also, make sure the field you pick is okay with “two for me, one for the bucket” if that’s your style.)
  2. Toss em’! Into a smoothie, into a salad, into your pancakes!
  3. Learn to salsa. Check out my Signature Strawberry Salsa and its yummy Marinade recipe. It will not disappoint!

Be sure to check out delicious recipes, uses and more in Canning Full Circle cookbook – free shipping too!

Happy Canning!

Diane, The Canning Diva®