For as long as I can remember, strawberries have been my favorite fruit.
I was born on an Indiana farm where my parents planted a huge strawberry patch, and I remember helping myself to the juicy red gems with the abandon enjoyed only by small children. As an adult, my strawberry-lover reputation preceded me, inspiring one of my friends to give me a single strawberry plant for my birthday one year, and thanks to my husband’s green thumb, that one plant has grown into an entire strawberry patch in my backyard. During spring days, I look out my kitchen window and admire its leafy green tangles dotted with little white flowers that promise to bring sweet summer strawberries.
In the kitchen
The bright beauty and tantalizing flavor of strawberries aren’t its only notable benefits. The berry has higher vitamin C content than an orange and offers significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants to help fight free radicals. Other vitamins found in this crimson berry include vitamin K, manganese, folic acid, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin B-5.1 For skin care, strawberries offer exfoliating benefits and can help control oiliness and acne, as well.2 Although strawberries can be acquired year-round, they are best between April and July when they are in full season.3 A delicious component of many desserts and salads, strawberries also complement meats in many entrées and can be used in soups, beverages and appetizers, as well.
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A favorite spa cuisine treat, strawberries can be found in a variety of dishes, including:
Strawberry Angel Food Roulade—New Age Health Spa, Neversink, New York;
Chocolate Madeleines with Pearl Cake—Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, Vista, California;
Strawberry Parfait with Orange-Custard Sauce—Green Mountain at Fox Run, Ludlow, Vermont;
Frisée With Garden-fresh Strawberries and Mango-Tahini Dress—Golden Door, Escondido, California;
Power Smoothie with vanilla yogurt, soy milk, strawberries, banana and pineapple—Heavenly Spa at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Maui, Hawaii;
Scallop Salad with field greens, strawberries, mozzarella and more—Knick Salon & Spa, Milwaukee;
Strawberry-Basil Martini—See this Web Exclusive recipe from Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York, at www.SkinInc.com/martini;
and Grilled Duck with Strawberry and Fig Sauce—See recipe from Executive Chef Jim Palmeri of Mohonk Mountain House.
In the spa
Beyond their nutritional benefits to the body, strawberries also nourish the skin, proving to be an effective exfoliator.2 They can also help maintain oily skin and include antioxidant benefits to help stave off free radicals and allow the skin to protect itself from outside elements.1
Spa treatments embrace this luscious berry for its incredible scent, as well as its powerful skin care abilities, including:
The Chocolate Covered Strawberry Manicure and Pedicure moisturizes and exfoliates—Garden Spa at Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort, Flintstone, Maryland;
The Strawberry Scrub uses strawberries to remove dead skin cells and increase circulation—Avanté Salon & Day Spa, Mansfield, Texas;
The Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Signature Package includes a strawberry parfait scrub followed by a chocolate fondue wrap—The Spa at the Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Pennsylvania;
The Body & Soulmates Package for Couples includes strawberry and champagne pedicures—Spa Space, Chicago;
The Strawberry Herbal Back Cleanse cleanses and replenishes the back—The Spa at Carnegie Abbey, Portsmouth, Rhode Island; and
The Wild Honey and Strawberry Manicure—See the step-by-step treatment from The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Wyoming.
Professional skin care products also use this juicy berry in a variety of different products, including the following:
Pevonia Botanica’s Strawberry HydraBoost In-Spa Treatment for teens counteracts environmental aggressors, includes a cleansing exfoliation and finishes with an antioxidant strawberry mask.
Saian’s Strawberry Cleanser is a silky foaming cleanser that is ideal for younger skin and includes natural strawberry oil that is rich in lycopene to protect and nourish skin.
Farmhouse Fresh’s Strawberry Smash features live strawberry cells in a nourishing body gel along with a sweet cream body whip that leaves skin soft and fragrant.
Éminence Organic Skin Care’s Sweet Cheeks Hydrating Hyaluronic Collection includes Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant, Masque and Hyaluronic Serum.
Sonya Dakar’s Berry Mask cools while absorbing impurities, helping firm and tone skin.
Elemis’ Fruit Active Rejuvenating Mask includes strawberry and kiwi actives to restore glow to dull complexions.
The epitome of summer
July is the perfect month to pay respects to the sweetness provided by ripe, red strawberries. Embrace the season by offering cuisine, products and services that revolve around this delicate and delicious berry that is the epitome of the warm air, green grass and blue skies of summer.
(All accessed Jun 14, 2010)