Berry season has finally arrived in Alaska. And the strawberries. Oh the strawberries. With the glut of all this delicious fruit, I’ve been finding new ways to enjoy these sweet ruby jewels…after thoroughly gorging on them naked and unadorned.
As someone who loves a good chip and dip—it’s a meal right?—this strawberry salsa is one I’ve been enjoying quite a bit lately. A few simple ingredients add depth, while the strawberries take center stage.
Picking the Best Strawberries
In this recipe I’ve used wild strawberries, which have a tart juiciness that you won’t find in supermarkets. If you can’t forage or grow your own, seek out the freshest, ripest, organic strawberries you can get your hands on and eat them soon after purchasing (not hard). They should be red through and through without any hint of yellow or white shoulders and have a strong fruity aroma. If you can’t smell them, you won’t be able to taste them either. You want the strawberry flavor to really sing here.
Fresher berries mean better flavor but also greater protection against cancer, heart disease and inflammation from strawberries ample vitamin C and flavonoids—qualities that can degrade soon after harvest.
Fresh Mint for the Win
The wild card here is fresh mint, a subtle hint of freshness that plays off the sweet-tart berries. Mint grows wild all over the world—keeping with the wild theme of this recipe—and is very easy to grow. There are three varieties growing in my backyard and hundreds of varieties to choose from. Find out which varieties grow in your area and consider growing a pot or wild harvesting.
Not only in mint tasty but it also has potent medicinal qualities. Mint soothes the digestive tract, relieving IBS and indigestion symptoms by regulating the contractions of the digestive tract and reducing bloating and flatulence.
Mint really adds a nice flavor twist to this unconventional salsa, but it could easily be left out or replaced with cilantro if preferred.
Is it possible to eat too many berries?
Right now my garden is at the crux where the strawberries have peaked and the raspberries are picking up the pace. If I go more than a couple of days without picking, I’m greeted with overripe, moldy berries, which makes me little sad. I leave a few for the birds—a little reward for eating all the bugs that would otherwise be eating my berries—and pick until my bowl is full and my hands are stained pink.
Keeping up is hard work, but the rewards are delicious! Peace, love and lots of berries!