If you took a look at EWG's dirty dozen, revised and re-released for 2011, strawberries are number 3 on the list. Non-organic strawberries, that is. And the ones I have growing in my garden haven't been touched by anything other than homemade compost and water. And, um, slugs, racoons and a dog...but say it with me - "NO MAN MADE TOXINS!" Organic baby.
I will be honest, I am also buying the dirty, dirty non-organic ones. I wash them well, but I know that only removes a fraction of the pesticide. But until my ship comes in, I can't afford to manage my strawberry habit on only organic ones. So, non-organic in moderation and backyard berries until they're gone.
In addition to being yummy dipped in chocolate or piled with whipped cream onto biscuits, strawberries are also good for you (though not necessarily prepared these ways). They are high in antioxidants (way up there with blueberries) and vitamin C, and are good sources of magnesium and potassium. They also are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. So win-win-win.
- A Christmas Green Smoothie Dessert - Strawberries, Baby Spinach, Aloe Vera, Bananas and Dates from the Green Smoothie Queen. This one you can make all year - keep some berries in the freezer.
- Fresh Strawberry Salsa from Jeanette's Healthy Living.
- Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares with Homemade Jam from Oh She Glows.
- Avocados with Strawberry Salsa and Crispy Tortilla Strips from Epicurious.
- Strawberry Pecan Salad from Canadian Living. Try subbing in roasted pumpkin seeds for the nuts if, like me, you are allergic to tree nuts, or if you don't have any pecans around. They are fantastic in salads.
- Strawberry and Ricotta Pancakes from Delicious Magazine.
- Strawberry and Leek Quesadillas from Sprouted Kitchen.
- Roasted Strawberry Tomato Salsa from Great-Salsa.com
- Strawberry Soup I from All Recipes. Chilled, it has just a touch of cardamom and smells amazing.
- Finally, the one I am most excited about, Strawberry Salad with Speck and Halloumi from Jamie Oliver. Speck is a juniper-flavoured ham from the Tyrol area that bridges Austria and Italy. I'm substituting proscuitto 'cause I don't have a shmick where I'd find speck around here.