The strawberry moon has emerged – Strawberry season is here!
Strawberry season – In Algonquin tradition, the full moon of June is known as the Strawberry Moon. It is so named because its appearance is believed to signal the peak time for picking this important berry. This year’s Strawberry Moon graced our sky this past Thursday and sure enough, Quebec strawberries have made their grand debut in stores. Though we are now seeing them more frequently throughout the whole summer, June and July is when they are most bountiful. There’s nothing like biting into a fresh Quebec strawberry straight from the basket (though you should wash it!), and the good news is, they’re so good for you.
Strawberries are a good source of manganese, folate, potassium and vitamin C. In fact, one cup of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange. They are also low on the glycemic index and high in fibre making them gut-friendly food. Strawberries contain powerful polyphenols that may help control blood pressure, lower inflammation, and improve the function of blood platelets. Taken together, these berries seem to be an excellent support for cardiovascular health.
As you’ve probably noticed, imported strawberries have nothing on our Quebec strawberries! They may be ample and sweet, but they are quite tasteless. The strawberries from the south are bred for some important characteristics like size, sweetness, and yield but taste just isn’t as much of a priority. Quebec strawberries are a deeper red, their texture draws you in, and they are full of that strawberry flavour that is missing from the imports! For those of us willing to hold out for fresh local strawberries, we can take comfort in knowing that the season is no longer so short; many farmers have started growing ever bearing varieties. In contrast to the June-bearing ones, these plants continue to produce more fruit throughout the summer, which is why you now see local strawberries in stores well into September.
A great way to enjoy the strawberry season is by going to a farm and picking your own. A trip out to the fields can be fun for the whole family and you can remember this experience every time you dip your spoon into your homemade strawberry sorbet (recipe below).
The strawberry, with its heart shape, is known in indigenous cultures to represent reconciliation and the importance of love and friendship. It’s a great time of year to get together with friends and family and share sweet and fresh local foods. Happy summer!
Makes for 4 small portions
- 1 pint of strawberries (frozen)
- ½ cup of coconut milk (cold)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp of maple syrup
Let the strawberries thaw for 5 minutes on the counter before starting. Using a high-power blender or a good food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth. The sorbet will be more similar to soft-serve style ice cream. Serve right away or let it harden slightly in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Natalie Lavers is a health and wellness consultant in Montreal. She offers advice on using food and stress reduction techniques to support proper digestion and optimal health. Find out more about her and get more recipes at www.lavienourrie.com.