Thursday, June 4, 2009
Use What You Have: Strawberry Leaves
The strawberries here are done and gone. We did actually get a few this year, but the birds and rabbits got the majority. I think I want to pot them up next year, but that's a discussion for another time. What we're talking about today is not the yummy, juicy, ruby red berries of yesterday (can you tell I miss them just a little?). What we're talking about now is the LEAVES.
Once the plants have fruited, I move right on to harvesting the leaves. Most people say that the leaves are most flavorful when the plant is in bloom, but you can (and I do) harvest them all spring and summer. They get bunched and dried and, for the most part, made into tea. It does, surprisingly enough, taste quite a bit like the berries, which means it's y-u-m-m-y. It does, of course, have added health benefits (iron, vitamin C, calcium, and other minerals). I'm finding that it really helps to boost my milk production, very important in these early months of nursing.
As with any summer tea (lemon balm and mint are among other summer favorites), I like to drink it iced. I've also been using it to make popsicles for the kids.