Wash away 95% of chemicals so your Summer Berries are safe to eat.

Cheesecake

If you love berries, then summer is your season.

Stop, are your strawberries safe to eat?

Without careful washing, you’ll be taking in more pesticide and fumigation residues than you bargained for. Strawberry growers use on average 20 chemicals to support growth and poisonous gases to fumigate the soil before planting. The laws about the pesticides used on strawberries are different across counties.

Many have been linked to cancer and reproductive damage. With a family history of cancer and my own infertility struggles finally having 2 boys after 16 rounds of IVF, 6 pregnancies and multiple miscarriages, I took to following organic practices as much as I could and affordable.

Strawberry

Studies have also suggested a link between pesticide residues and Parkinson’s affecting around one million Americans. In 2018, a study from Brazil and others confirmed the link and proposed a common chemical “ glyphosate has a role in Parkinson’s, autism and Alzheimer’s diseases, as well as cancer.”

USDA tests found that strawberries were at the top of the “Dirty Dozen”  2018 list of fresh produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues. The others on the list in order were spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes and sweet bell peppers.

The “Dirty Dozen’ is highest in contaminants even after picking, rinsing in the field and washing at home.

You can still eat strawberries with confidence as we’ll show you the how to wash them thoroughly at home. This is really important because globally we all love strawberries.

America produces the most strawberries of any country, and each person eats about eight pounds of every year. In Australia, the UK and EU it’s about 6 pounds per annum.

The USDA’s strawberry tests found that 99% of samples had at least one residue, 20% of samples more than ten different chemicals and the most contaminated over 22 different residues. As disturbing as these samples appear, they are all within the legal limits. The levels were set years ago, haven’t changed despite new research.

We must take action ourselves for a healthy diet. A quick wash under the tap is not enough as even the best wash leaves 20% of the residues.

Strawberry

If you buy them and pay the price, the best option is to buy organic strawberries.  There will be fewer chemicals, and you’ll support sustainable agriculture, keep pesticides out of the soil and environment, reduce exposure among farm workers, and is the best overall option for the planet.

At home we buy regular strawberries and love growing a few of our own without chemicals, and we are 100% confident they are safe to eat. For non-organic strawberries I follow these simple cleaning instructions.

Make sure your Summer Strawberries are safe to eat

OPTION 1

Plunge and rinse strawberries in vinegar water. Four parts water and one part white vinegar and soak for an hour. Strawberries last a week to ten days this way.

OPTION 2

Soak strawberries in salted water.  One teaspoon to 2 cups of water and soak for 30 minutes

OPTION 3

Baking Soda and water with one tablespoon of one cup of water and soak for 15 minutes.

Cleaning fruit with baking soda is one of many uses in the kitchen and garden. You can check out 77 uses for baking soda here.

Choose a method for all of your fruit and vegetables and when you can give them a good scrub.

Your Strawberries are now safe to eat

Once you have soaked your strawberries, they are ready for some delicious cooking or eat just as they are.

Strawberry Jellies

Serves 6

2x  punnets strawberries

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons powdered gelatine

2 cups clear, unsweetened apple juice

1/4 cup caster sugar

Method

  1. Wash 1 punnet of strawberries. Hull, and roughly chop. Place into a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. Strain the juice into a jug and set aside. Discard the strawberry pulp.
  2. Combine the water and gelatine in a medium saucepan then place over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes or until the liquid is warm. Add the strawberry juice, apple juice and sugar. Heat over moderate heat for 5 minutes until the liquid just comes to the simmer.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or until jelly is cold.
  4. Wash, hull and slice the remaining strawberries and place them into the base of six, 1/2-cup capacity glasses. Pour over enough jelly to cover them. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until jelly is set, then pour over the remaining jelly. Cover and refrigerate for a further 4 hours or until completely set.

This recipe is Heart Foundation approved.

Strawberry, Smoothie

Strawberry Smoothies

23 smoothie recipes with strawberries are here.

Strawberry

Strawberry Mousse Pots

Serves 8

180g quality white cooking chocolate, chopped

1 cup thickened cream

500g or 1 pound of strawberries, stalks removed

½ cup sifted pure icing sugar, plus one tablespoon extra for topping

¼ cup orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier), plus one teaspoon extra for topping

Two teaspoons powdered gelatine

One tablespoon water

Eight ready-made chocolate dessert cups*

mint leaves, to garnish

Method

In a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, melt chocolate with the cream and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat.

Place half of the strawberries in a blender with icing sugar, liqueur. When pureed, stir in the which chocolate mixture.

Next will be the gelatine and mix with I tablespoon warm water in a cup. Stand the cup with the gelatine in hot water and stir until dissolved.

Stir the gelatin and water mixture into the strawberry and chocolate mixture. Refrigerate, occasionally stirring, for about 30 minutes or until just starting to thicken. While this is cooling, beat the cream and stir into the strawberry, gelatin and chocolate mixture.

Pour the mixture into pots, martini or champagne glasses or chocolate dessert cups.

Chocolate Strawberry Cheese Cake

Cheesecake

Ingredints to serve 10

1 packet plain sweet digestive biscuits

1/4 cup walnuts

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

7.5 TB unsalted butter

1kg  or 2 pounds of ricotta or cream cheese

4 eggs

1 egg yolk

500g or one pound of chocolate, melted

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

pinch nutmeg

500g or one pound of strawberries, hulled and sliced

strawberry jam for decoration

METHOD

Base: Place the biscuits, nuts, sugar and spice in a blender and mix until fine. Butter your baking tin. Add 3 TB melted butter into the crumb mixture and press mixture into the base and sides of the baking tin. Place in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 150C. Mix ricotta cheese and cream cheese and then beat until soft and creamy. Add the eggs and then the egg yolk. One at a time.  Beat cheese in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, eggs one at a time and then egg yolk. Beat in remaining 4.5 TB butter and chocolate. Stir in nutmeg and carefully fold in half of the strawberries.

Bake cheesecake for 1.5 hours and cool in the tin until cold. Serve with remaining strawberries.

If you love cheesecake here are 10 delicious and decadent summer recipes.