Available from our Quebec growers or grocers; we will certainly not miss the chance to offer you a recipe with strawberries.
Éric Simard, doctor of biology and researcher, helped me specifically highlight the health benefits of strawberries, not to mention its anti-aging molecule called “fisetin”. He had spoken of this molecule in his second book written in collaboration with Dr. Lambert (Live Young, Two Times Longer).
Fisetin is a molecule found in various plants, in mangoes, cucumbers, onions, grapes, kiwis, and in strawberries. It is a flavonoid, a subgroup of plant polyphenols. Fisetin is known for its impact on sirtuins, as is resveratrol. Sirtuins are a group of proteins that are particularly important for cellular repair mechanisms. Their implications in the aging processes make them important targets for healthy life extension. This molecule would also have beneficial impacts on a large number of cancers. It is one of the natural molecules known for its senolytic impacts which help reduce the number of senescent cells responsible for several metabolic changes associated with aging.
For your pleasure and ours, a bit of history is needed concerning this fruit now known to all. It was around the 16th century that explorer Christopher Columbus brought back plants of the Virginia strawberry (Fragaria Virgiana) from Canada. This species was very interesting for its fragrant fruits for trade in Great Britain and the United States. Nowadays its production is rather low, but it is still the first variety to mature. In 1714, the maritime engineer, Amédée François Frézier, fraudulently brought back from Chile several plants of the Chilean White (Fragaria Chiloensis). Five of these large strawberries, with large white fruit, survived the trip. These fruiting plants, previously cultivated by Native Americans, turned out to be only female plants that could not bear fruit without a male plant. A few decades later, after the importation of fertile plants, the cultivation of Chilean Whites was attempted in the United Kingdom, provided however, that the latter adapted to the English climate. Unfortunately, the Northern British climate did not allow these strawberries to fruit adequately. Around 1740, botanist Antoine Nicolas Duschesne observed that beautiful berries were obtained when a Chilean strawberry was grown near a Virginia strawberry. This spontaneous cross which occurs in France, England, and the Netherlands, is at the origin of a new hybrid that was associated with a scent reminiscent of pineapple, hence its botanical name “Fragaria Ananassa“. It is now from this hybrid that we harvest the large-fruited varieties so popular with enthusiasts. Depending on the variety, the strawberry ripening season runs from May to September in the Northern Hemisphere. Thanks to artificial cultivation techniques of the above-ground, tunnel and heated types, it is possible to produce them outside the period, from April to November. It is with pride that our Quebec strawberry growers received the mention, in 1996, for the best strawberries. This mention was given to the authentic strawberry from Orleans certified organic. Analyzes were carried out on its antioxidant content, especially that of ellagic acid, being particularly higher than certain other kinds.
In this summer period, we are proud to offer you a new recipe with strawberries. We promise you that this original delight will complement your hottest of days!
– 1 red onion cut into half rings (fine or medium)
– 2 bunches of kale (about 6 cups), rinsed and drained (stems separated)
– 1 large plastic container of pre-washed baby spinach (11 oz)
– 2 large bags of coarsely chopped spinach (slightly torn)
– 2 medium avocados, mediumly diced
– 2 cups of sliced strawberries
– The juice of half a lemon
– 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
– A few chopped mint leaves (optional)
– A little crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Homemade poppy seed dressing
-1/4 cup of sour cream
-1/4 cup of mayonnaise
-1 to 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
– The juice of half a lemon
– 1 tablespoon of honey
– 1 tablespoon of black poppy seeds
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 2% milk or almond milk
- As a first step, it is imperative that you prepare your vinaigrette so that the flavors can develop well. In a non-metallic bowl, add your sour cream, mayonnaise, minced garlic, honey, lemon juice and poppy seeds. Using a whisk, mix everything until the texture is smooth and without lumps. Adjust the taste by adding salt and pepper. Dilute your sauce a little with the milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you get a creamy dressing, but not too thick to easily coat your salad. Refrigerate the dressing while you prepare your salad.
- At the bottom of a large bowl or salad bowl, place the onion half-rings with a little salt on top. This will reduce the intensity of the onion a bit. Prepare the kale by removing the stem in the center with a knife, then roll the leaves on themselves. Similarly, you will cut your rolled leaves from right to left, making medium-width cuts. Take all of your kale ribbons, and mix them with the onions, using large tongs or spoons. As for the stems, you could slice or dice them, and then freeze them in a small Ziploc. These pieces of kale will be amazing for an upcoming vegetable soup. If you choose spinach, it will be added rather towards the end to prevent it from wilting too quickly; which could not happen with kale because of its texture.
- Cut the avocados in half, removing the pit and skin so that they can be cut into large cubes. Place the avocado cubes in a bowl with the juice from half a lemon to prevent oxidation. Make beautiful slices of strawberries that will join the kale and onions. If you have decided to use the spinach, you can then add it to the reserved onions, adding the strawberries and avocado while stirring gently to avoid making a guacamole.
- For serving, take your vinaigrette out of the refrigerator and whisk it again to make sure it has an easily pourable texture. For the finishing touch, sprinkle your salad with almonds before serving it in pretty bowls. After that, pour them each a generous amount of dressing. For those who would like it; a little feta with a little chopped mint is a nice addition that goes well with this salad.
In the future, we suggest you accompany this delicious salad with grilled chicken, chickpeas or salmon, which will make it a complete meal as well as perfect for when entertaining friends. This salad should not be made ahead of time, as it will end up soggy. However, the dressing could be made two days in advance. We strongly recommend that you keep the dressing for no more than seven days in the fridge due to the dairy products used. Be sure to whisk the dressing before using it; add a little milk if necessary. We wish you a bon appétit, and long live Canadian strawberries!
- Eric Simard, Dr en biologie et Jacques Lambert, MD. 2018. Vivre jeune DEUX fois plus longtemps. Marcel Broquet la nouvelle édition, 270 pages.
- Farooqi et al, 2021. Cancer chemopreventive role of fisetin: Regulation of cell signaling pathways in different cancers. Pharmacol Res. 2021 Jul 22;172:105784. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105784.
- Gruendler et al, 2020. Nutraceutical Approaches of Autophagy and Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review. 2020 Dec 18;25(24):6018.
- Kirkland et Tchkonia, 2020. Senolytic drugs: from discovery to translation. J Intern Med. 2020 Nov;288(5):518-536.