Strawberries are a delicious and nutritious fruit. They can be enjoyed in many ways, such as eating the fruit itself, making a strawberry shortcake, or adding them to your cereal. There is one part of the strawberry that many people don’t eat: the leaves! Haven’t you wondered if that juiciness in the berries could somehow be brought out in the leaves? The question we want to answer today is whether you can eat strawberry leaves. You will also learn some fantastic ways to make use of strawberry tops.
What part of the strawberry do we eat?
You are going to like this! When I was an amateur cook, I would literally throw away the tops without a second thought. But then one day, a thought occurred to me – suppose the colorful fruit is not the only edible part of the berry? And, true to my suspicion, I had been throwing away totally consumable parts.
As a matter of fact, almost all the parts of a strawberry are edible; the flesh, the leaves, and the tops. More so, these parts are usually tender enough to be eaten raw. You can eat strawberry leaves, tops and all.
Can you eat strawberry stems?
The answer is no. strawberry stems contain a mild toxin. Notably, this is the same toxin that repels pests from the plant. The poison may not be potent enough to cause adverse effects in humans, so the leaves, the tops, and bottoms can be consumed without reservations.
The green stems are also not a welcome appearance in a nicely made strawberry shortcake. You’re better of using the fruits only, unless you are experimenting on something.
It’s worth noting that some people use dried stems to make strawberry tea. Once the stems dry, the hydrogen cyanide toxin breaks down and is no longer a cause for alarm.
Are strawberry leaves edible?
Yes! Now that we know where to look and what to eat, let’s address the benefits of eating strawberry leaves.
They are antioxidant-rich
As the leaves age, antioxidants reduce, so it’s best to consume them young.
The calyx and leaves of a strawberry contain quite a good amount of antioxidants. These protect your body from the harmful effects of free radicals, which can cause chronic diseases like arthritis and heart disease.
They are good for your body’s immune system
Strawberry leaves contain vitamin C and antioxidants. These can help in the production of antibodies that can protect your body from infections.
Interestingly, strawberries have a higher amount of vitamin C than oranges, per unit mass.
They can aid in digestion and constipation relief
The high fiber content found in strawberry leaves can ensure regular bowel movements, clear out harmful toxins from your intestines, and give you a feeling of fullness after meals. This can prevent heart disease and diabetes in the long run.
They can help keep your blood pressure under control
Strawberry leaves contain potassium, which can regulate the levels of sodium and water in your body. This can lower high blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
Did you know strawberry leaves are good for your skin too? Turns out you can add them to melting oils to induce the scent. Due to their antioxidant properties, your skin will be guarded against aging wrinkles, rashes, eczema, and acne.
Also, vitamin C can help get rid of age spots on your skin.
Help against cancer cells
It can be said that there are no natural remedies more potent than the ones found in nature. Consuming strawberry leaves can significantly prevent some forms of cancers due to their strong antioxidant properties. This is one good reason for you to eat them regularly.
Can you eat strawberry tops?
Yes! As mentioned above, the strawberry can be consumed almost entirely. The tops can even be made into jams and jellies or used as a garnish for desserts.
Here are some ideas on using strawberry tops:
Blending in smoothies
Just like you’d spike your smoothie with kale or spinach leaf, strawberry tops can be added to make it juicier. It’s even more convenient now that you can blend the whole strawberry fruit without cutting off the tops.
Using them as a salad garnish
Strawberry leaves can add color, taste, and texture to your salads. You can eat strawberry top raw or lightly cook them first. They are not bitter like other leafy greens can be.
Infuse a strawberry vinegar
Infusing your vinegar with strawberry tops can give it an extra flavor. You can even blend the strawberries into juices to make cocktails, like strawberry mojitos!
Give your vodka a strawberry punch
You can infuse your vodka with strawberry tops too. You can have a “strawberry summer” party by serving pink cocktails made of this.
Use them as herbal tisanes
Strawberry leaves can be used to make hot or cold tea, just like you’d use other herbs for the purpose. Strawberry can give your tea a rich taste.
Are strawberry leaves poisonous?
No, strawberry leaves are not poisonous. They can be eaten without causing any harm to your body at all. However, the green stems and old leaves contain a small amount of hydrogen cyanide which repels insects and pests.
While the amount of this toxin is insufficient to cause harm to humans, farm animals may suffer adverse side effects such as diarrhea.
Other than that, strawberry leaves can be used to relieve digestive issues such as indigestion and bloating.
Can you eat strawberry leaves?
Having seen that strawberry leaves offer several health benefits, there is no better way to reap the benefits than to eat the leave.
For cosmetic benefits, infuse the leaves with oils and then apply on your skin.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are green strawberries poisonous?
Green strawberries are safe for consumption too. While the stems may contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide, the unripe (green) strawberries are free from the poison.
Are strawberry leaves good for you?
Yes, they can have a lot of benefits on your health if consumed regularly. This is one reason why strawberries can be considered a superfood.
What is the top of a strawberry called?
The part on top of the fruit itself can best be referred to as the calyx. This is the part that’s usually cut off before serving strawberries.
What can you do with strawberry tops?
Many things can be done to put the top parts of the fruit to good use. From infusing them in hot or cold tea, using them as a garnish for salads and desserts, to even making vinegar out of it (by steeping it in white wine vinegar).
You could even give your booze some oomph by infusing it with a strawberry top. Try making your vodka pink by infusing it with the tops, or make cocktails with the leaves.
This article has answered your question of whether you can eat strawberry leaves. In summary, you can eat strawberry top raw or as a salad garnish, infuse them in tea and cocktails, or even enjoy their rich taste by blending the entire fruit into smoothies.