One thing that I am always on the look out for is a GREAT deal…after all, what mom who is preparing for SHTF wouldn’t be? Its more important than ever to stretch the dollar, make the most of what you have and get ready for ever increasing self-reliance. So, lo and behold, I found strawberries (organic) at the local grocery store today. On sale by the pound, many on the point of being overripe (but those are the BEST aren’t they?) and I just couldn’t help myself. Had to buy what I could reasonably manage to eat and dry in the next few days. My family loves to eat them enough that I put in about 100 bare root strawberry plants this year, but being small they only produced a handful of small (but sweet) berries this year. Made a mistake though, didn’t get everbearing plants so right now the plants are growing but no fruit for the rest of the summer…oh well, next year unless I can find some everbearing plants on eBay in a couple of weeks. Last years plants were eatten by my greenie Pitbull (the same one who over the past couple of weeks has somehow managed to get 1/2 of my very small peach crop inspite of the fence)…trial and error..yes, pitbulls like to eat plants…especially tasty ones.

Making do for now with my great deal at the store and will be drying them tonight and tomorrow to go with my growing collection of dehydrated foods. Dehydrated strawberries are a great addition to cereal and wheat berries btw. You can also rehydrate them and add to bread or blend into a smoothie at a later date..and the great thing about this is that I saved $$ Am playing around with making my own sorbet too perhaps instead of feeding my children the stuff from the store. A bit of time invested would be well worth the cost savings and knowing that the food is good.

Now for the BEST part strawberries are an excellent source of healing and help for your and your families’ body…check it out:

Eye Care: The primary reasons for almost all the problems of eyes are free radicals and deficiency of certain nutrients. With the growing age and lack of these protective nutrients, the harmful oxidants or free radicals cast heavy damage on our eyes, such as drying up of eyes, degeneration of optical nerves, Macular degeneration, vision defects and make them prone to infections too. The anti oxidants such as vitamin-C, Flavonoids, Phenolic Phytochemicals and Elagic Acid, present in strawberries can help avoid this situation to a great extent. One more factor is ocular pressure, i.e. the pressure of the eyes. Any disturbance in it is also harmful for the eyes. Here too, strawberries are helpful as they contain potassium, which help maintain right pressure.

Arthritis and Gout: The degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the fluid which help mobility of the joints and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals present in our body, which are primarily responsible for Arthritis and Gout. Strawberries, with their team of anti oxidants and detoxifiers, can effectively help push away such health hazards forever

Cancer: Vitamin-C, Folate and Anthocyanin, Quercetin and Kaempferol (few of the many Flavonoids in strawberries which possess excellent anti oxidant and anti carcinogenic properties) together form an excellent team to fight cancer and tumors. A daily intake of strawberries is seen to have remarkably brought down the growth of cancerous cells.

Brain Function: It is a very common observation that old people tend to lose their memory and control over their activities, limbs etc. This is because of aging of their brain and the nervous system. Actually, the free radicals, the agents very much responsible for aging, have a very adverse effect on these systems. Due to them, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves get weaker. Strawberries can help you out. The vitamin-C and the phytochemicals in them neutralize the effect of these oxidants and also rejuvenate the system. One more thing, strawberries are rich in iodine too, which is very helpful for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

High Blood Pressure: Strawberries are very good in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are very effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium.

Heart Diseases: High fiber, Folate, no fats and high anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and those phytochemicals (Flavonoids) together form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol. Some of the members of the vitamin-B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and help better functioning of the heart.

Other Benefits: Folate is known to protect from birth-defects. Vitamin-C effectively prevents from infections and cold. The phytonutrients also have anti inflammatory properties

the above is taken from: http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-strawberry.html

So the next time that you are in the store and see a fruit or veggie that your family loves to eat at an awesome price, why not go ahead and pick it up? Break out your dehydrator, trusty mason jars and 02 packets and save yourself a buck or two down the road and still enjoy the fruit and veggies? Actually, in my house they are munched down on by themselves dried…much better than candy (sweeter) and no mess, no fuss. And be sure to get organic strawberries to avoid high levels of pesticides that can be found in much of the ‘regular’ strawberries.

Simple way to dehydrate:

Just chunk them up (I like to make them about 1/3 of an inch in size so they don’t fall through the screen plate) and then spread evenly around the tray and let it go until nice and crunchy!

Here’s to happy eatting the fruit of summer…strawberries…and helping the health of my family on the cheap.

Just for added thought…here is the nutritional value of strawberries…

One cup of whole strawberries contains 0.96 grams of protein, 46 calories and 2.9 grams of dietary fiber.

Potassium – 220 mg
Phosphorus – 35 mg
Magnesium – 19 mg
Calcium – 23 mg
Sodium – 1 mg
Iron – 0.59 mg
Selenium 0.6 mcg
Manganese – 0.556 mg
Copper – 0.069 mg
Zinc – 0.2 mg

Vitamin A – 17 IU
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.035 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.032 mg
Niacin – 0.556 mg
Folate – 35 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 0.18 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.068 mg
Vitamin C – 84.7 mg
Vitamin E – 0.42 mg
Vitamin K – 3.2 mcg

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