Chef Wendell: Strawberry caprese salad with mint

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Cultivation of the crimson heart shaped orb began before the Christian era.  Treasured by ancient Romans, strawberries were believed to lessen symptoms of melancholy, fainting, all inflammations, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, bad breath, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.  Like many perishable fruits, they were a luxury item only enjoyed by the wealthy until the mid-19th century.

The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry says the anthocyanins which create their lovely flush-red color, are potent antioxidants that prevent oxygen damage to the temples cells and organs. You won’t find the heart-smart, anti-cancer and an anti-inflammatory fruit in processed foods.  Strawberry’ poop’ tarts and fruit pies don’t count. Fresh is infinitely best.

In one study, strawberries topped a list of eight foods most linked to lower rates of cancer deaths among a group of over 1,000 seniors. Those eating the most strawberries were three times less likely to develop cancer compared to those eating few or no strawberries.

The problem? Most have been soaked in pesticides. Fruit is notoriously difficult to grow organically and without pesticides, says Jeff Moyer, farm director at the Rodale Institute, an organic research institution. “Fruit is colorful and high in sugar content,” he adds. “We all, many insects included, love sugar.” Because most fruits have soft skins, the pesticides that are used to kill those bugs (and the molds and fungi that also love fruit) get into the flesh and into your mouth, and no amount of peeling or washing can remove them.  (Rodale News)

Strawberries are an outstanding source of:

  • Vitamin C-1 cup of strawberries has more Vitamin C than an orange
  • Manganese, copper and potassium
  • B-Vitamins 
  • Colon cleansing fiber
  • Iodine 
  • Omega 3
  • Vitamin K*

*Its  vitamin K supports bone health,  magnesium and potassium support heart rhythm and its copper content supports proper growth, utilization of iron, enzymatic reactions, connective tissues, hair, eyes, and speed-bumps the ageing process.

Strawberries are highly perishable and should be purchased only a few days prior to use.  Don’t wash them, though, till you’re ready to eat or smoothie them. Alas, GMO grocery berries lack flavor and healing nutritional mojo since they were genetically mutated, sprayed aggressively,  picked prematurely, and shipped 2000 miles.  Buy Local!!!!

Regular processed sugar is a toxin that feeds cancer and causes Diabesity. That’s why in this recipe we use Coconut sugar that contains magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron B vitamins and amino acids.*

Spring Strawberry Caprese’ Salad with Nuts Mint

3 tbs.  Balsamic vinegar
2 ½ tsp. coconut sugar*
1/8 tsp. Sea salt-Trace minerals
¼ tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup grape seed oil-Vitamin E
4 cups fresh local strawberries, tops removed and berry cut in half-Vitamin C
1/3 cup chopped walnuts-Omega 3 and Fiber
1/2jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
2 reg. size mozzarella balls, in water-Protein

  • In a heavy sauce pan, put in the Balsamic Vinegar, turn fire on low simmer and reduce the liquid by half; LET COOL.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the coconut sugar, vinegar, sea salt, jalapeno and black pepper, and grape seed oil and mix till coconut sugar has dissolved.
  • WASH the berries WELL with tepid water and then remove the green top. (Remember, they grow on the ground.)
  • Pat the berries dry.
  • Gently toss the strawberries into the balsamic vinaigrette dressing and let macerate in the fridge over night or at least 2 hours.
  • Ready to serve?
  • With a hot sharp knife, slice the mozzarella into circles.
  • Overlap the round slices onto a serving platter.
  • With a tablespoon, dispense the marinated berry mix evenly down the center of the arranged cheese.
  • Stick leaves of mint everywhere.
  • Garnish freely with coarsely chopped walnuts
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