Chef Wendell: Celebrating the local strawberry harvest

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Today’s bland grocery versions of the strawberry are shipped from 2,000 miles away and picked before they are allowed to mature on the vine.

Real, locally harvested, mature strawberries are a sweet and juicy divine gift. Grab the family and a bucket and visit a community “U-Pick-ems”. The quenching flavor and delightful fragrance of strawberries have enchanted taste buds for generations, but they must be washed because of field dirt, fecal matter and toxic chemicals.

One cup of strawberries has more Vitamin C than an orange. Their manganese, copper and potassium support heart health and copper supports proper growth, eyes, hair and speed-bumps aging.

The crimson orbs contain colon cleansing fiber, B Vitamins, iodine, Omega 3, and Vitamin K that supports bone health.

In one study, strawberries topped a list of eight foods most linked to lower rates of cancer deaths among a group of over 1,000 seniors.

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Those eating the most strawberries were three times less likely to develop cancer compared to those eating few or no strawberries. The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry says anthocyanins which create their color are potent antioxidants that prevent oxygen damage to temples, cells and organs.

Strawberries are highly perishable and should be purchased only a few days prior to eating. Don’t wash them until they are ready to be eaten or added to a smoothie.Spicy, warm Sichuan Strawberry Slaw

  • 1 quart shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1 quart shredded Napa cabbage
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves rinsed and drained
  • 1 3/4 cups washed, hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. thin sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. minced crystallized ginger
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp. wheat-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. Chinese five spice
  • 1/4 tsp. hot chili flakes
  1. In a salad bowl, combine cabbage, spinach, strawberries and green onions.
  2. In a 3 quart pan over medium-low heat, stir almonds often until golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Pour from pan.
  3. Add sesame oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, five spice, and chili flakes to pan. Stir often over low heat until bubbling, 30 seconds.
  4. Pour dressing and almonds over salad and mix gently.

Amaretto Strawberries: 4 servings

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1/4 cup Amaretto
  • Serve with Vanilla ice cream, biscotti or alone
  • Slivered almonds
  1.  Wash and hull strawberries; drain.
  2.  In a large bowl, marinate strawberries in Amaretto liqueur overnight.
  3.  Serve over ice cream or biscotti and then sprinkle with slivered almonds.