SHE DREAMS IN COLOUR …
SHE DREAMS IN RED …
When the first local strawberries are available, summer begins for me. The very special light in the early morning hours, the dew on the plants and the already warming sun rays. Walk barefoot over the still damp grass and pick some strawberries here and there. What a feeling!
The strawberry “the queen of fruits” not only tastes delicious, it is also healthy. Like the asparagus, the strawberries consist of about 90 water and are therefore considered as foods without remorse (100 grams of strawberries have 32 kcal). Among the more well-known fruits, only the rhubarb has fewer calories, namely at 100 grams 21 kcal (source: https://www.foodspring.de/kalorientabelle). Strawberries contain a lot of vitamin C (100 g contain 60 milligrams, the daily dose for adults is 100 milligrams), folic acid (important for cell division), phytochemicals (e.g. polyphenols: strengthen the immune system or flavonoids: catch free radicals in the body), are good for the heart and circulation and supposedly keep mentally fit. Unfortunately, however, not everyone tolerates the sweet fruits. Some people are allergic to strawberries; pollen allergy sufferers are particularly often affected. Typical signs include itching in the throat, pustules on the tongue, swollen lips or tongue, inflammation in the mouth, rashes and redness on the face. Since at worst an allergic shock is possible, one should definitely consult a doctor at the smallest signs.
- 1 kg strawberries
- 400 gr rhubarb
- 460 gr Gelling Sugar 3:1
- 3 stalks of lemongrass
- 1 lemon lemon zest + juice use
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 4 cm long piece of ginger
- 1 tsp soda
- Dice brushed strawberries and rhubarb. Peel ginger, dice very finely. Slit open the vanilla pod, scrape out the marrow. First remove the lemon zest thinly with a peeler, then squeeze out the lemon.
- Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan with the gelling sugar, adding the vanilla pod. Let it pass through for 60 minutes.
- Bring everything to the boil over a high heat, stirring. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove the pot from the stove, fish out the vanilla pod and lemon zest. If you like it more, now purée some of the fruit.
- Quickly fill hot rinsed glasses with the hot mass and immediately seal them airtight.
Tips for making jams:
In the meantime I leave out the lemon juice and use only the lemon zest for the taste, because my jam has lost its beautiful red after a short time and has turned brown.
In contrast to many fruit varieties, where natural vitamin C or ascorbic acid is added against the “browning”, this does exactly the opposite in the case of strawberries. The jam turns brown even faster because the vitamin C slowly degrades during the storage period, releasing hydrogen peroxide, which splits the strawberry anthocyanins more. These plant dyes, which are mainly found in strawberries, raspberries and blue grapes, are extremely sensitive to enzymes and therefore the strawberry colour is not particularly stable.
Another trick against “becoming brown” is the addition of small amounts of elderberry, blackcurrant, aronia or beetroot juice when preparing the jam.
In addition, jams made from strawberries that have been frozen for a few months are largely safe from colour change. Even if the jam is not stored above 5 °C, it stays red much longer. Some even put the jam jars in the freezer. But then do not fill the glasses full to the edge, otherwise they could burst.
How long the beautiful red of the strawberry jam is preserved also depends on the picking time: Fully ripe berries are more colour-stable. Fully ripe strawberries of red-meat late varieties, picked at the end of the season, are therefore the best fruits!
Why is the strawberry not a berry, but a nut?
The strawberries belong to the family of rose sprouts. Some genera of the rose family produce collectible fruits, besides the strawberries these are also the rose hips. When ripening, the flower bottom of a strawberry blossom forms a juicy, fleshy, red sham berry. The delicious red flesh is therefore only a sham fruit, while the actual fruits of the strawberry are the small yellow grains (nuts) on the surface. The nuts are the seeds that have emerged from the numerous fruit leaves after fertilization. Animals that eat the strawberry fruit excrete the small hard-shelled nuts, so that these seeds can germinate as far as they find suitable location conditions.