Irish Grown Strawberries

Aoife Hearne of Operation Transformation fame is working with us in support of National Strawberry Week which runs from the 6th to the 12th of June. Look out instore for strawberry packs carrying competition stickers – you could win €1000!

Aoife Hearne - StrawberriesNew season strawberries herald the arrival of ‘real’ summertime in Ireland. Strawberries are one of the most popular soft fruits eaten in Ireland and worldwide.  There are many different varieties strawberries with different texture, flavour and size.  But is there anything better than when Irish grown strawberries are in season?  Irish grown strawberries have a unique taste profile and can be a great way to get one of your 5 – a – day in the summer.  Just 7 strawberries (80g) are one of your 5 – a – day, contain as little as 20 calories and are jam packed with fibre.

80g of strawberries (just 7) provide nearly 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin C! Vitamin C has a host of health giving properties – it contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism, to normal functioning of the nervous system, to normal psychological function. As well as that it contributes to the normal function of the immune system, and to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. And finally, vitamin C contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue and increases iron absorption. That’s  a lot of health benefits from just seven strawberries!

So now that strawberries are in season it’s a good time to add them to breakfast, snacks and even salads.

StrawberriesStrawberries are the idea snack or dessert in the summer time.  And the best news is that despite how sweet strawberries taste, they are actually low in sugar.  But just like all fruit – the naturally occurring sugar in strawberries does not pose a risk to your health.  In fact using whole fruits such as strawberries and other fruits can be a great way to add natural sweetness and also vitamins and minerals to your breakfast and snacks.  But it doesn’t have to end there, I love adding strawberries to chicken salads for a bit of variety in the summer time.   I recommend you choose locally grown strawberries for the best nutritional profile and taste.

Some ideas of how to increase strawberries in the summertime:

  • Add a portion to breakfast – a great way to add natural sweetness to cereal in the morning or even to pancakes if you have having a treat.
  • Add a portion to a mid morning smoothie – when made with natural yogurt, a smoothie can be a great addition to your day
  • Add to salads such as a chicken and strawberry salad with spinach leaves – a very colourful and nutritious mid day meal

Strawberry, Ginger and Lime Smoothie

Makes 2

  • 15 large strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 250ml natural yoghurt
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 2 – 3 pieces crystalised ginger, roughly chopped
  • Zest of ½ lime

To decorate the glasses

  • Zest of ½ lime
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  1. Blend the strawberries, natural yoghurt, ice and ginger until smooth.
  2. To decorate the glass, combine the zest and caster together and dip the rim of the glass into a little water and then into the lime sugar.
  3. Pour the smoothie into the glass.

Aoife’s work is in support of National Strawberry Week which runs from the 6th to the 12th of June. Look out instore for strawberry packs carrying competition stickers – you could win €1000!

Click here for some Strawberry recipes…