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Five ways to make the most of your strawberries

Few fruits are as attractive as strawberries: red, beautiful, rich, low in calories and because of its high water content it is ideal for fat loss and control.

Strawberries have many vitamins and minerals that help us purify and eliminate toxins from our body. You can eat some pieces after sanitising them or enjoy them in salads.

Strawberries are also good for value addition, especially for farmers, as they can get some extra coin from value added products.

Jane Muthoni has a small farm in Kiambu, where she grows her strawberries. Most of the time, she says she enjoys making other products from strawberries instead of simply selling them as fresh produce.

She tells how one can get other products from strawberries.

Strawberry jam

You need clean, ripe strawberries, honey or sugar and lemon juice. She uses the Chandler variety to make this.

“Before you begin ensure you have removed the strawberry stalks and know how to measure your ingredients, let’s say you have a kilo of fruits, you will have to also use a kilo of sugar, the ratio is 1:1,” said Jane.

After blending, put the purie in a pan, add sugar and heat the mixture on low heat. After the sugar dissolves and the purie becomes thick, add half a cup of lemon juice, continue heating for a few minutes then let it cool.

To know if the jam is ready take a small amount and put it in a glass of cold water, if it settles at the bottom, then it is ready.

She sells 500g at Sh250, 300g at Sh150 and 100g at Sh100

Strawberry juice

It is almost similar to preparing jam. Blend the strawberries, add little sugar and heat it for a few minutes.

“If you do not have a juicer, you can use a sieve to remove the seeds. Just heat for a few minutes because we do not want to lose the Vitamin C in the fruits,” said Jane.

Add a few drops of lemon juice and water. The ratio of the mixture to water should be 1:3.

According to Jane, the juice can stay as long as six months when it is properly sealed and with proper hygiene used during preparation.

She sells a litre of Juice at Sh300.

Strawberry smoothie

For a smoothie, use strawberry and another fruit, like a banana. One also needs milk and sugar to taste.

To start the process, take the bananas, strawberries, add a spoon of sugar, add milk to ease on the blending (add the desired consistency) and blend.

“With that your smoothie is ready, it is easy to make and quite nutritious,” says Jane.

A glass goes for Sh200. Other products you can get from strawberries are:

Strawberry ice cream

Another easy way to preserve those berries is homemade ice cream. Still, the fruit will be required to go through a blender and one will need an ice cream maker for production. Still, it could be a worthwhile investment.

Strawberry face mask

How about applying those helpful antioxidants right to your skin? A face mask made from strawberries may help keep your complexion bright.

Using overripe berries will prevent your mask from being too runny, since older fruit has less moisture inside.

Mash two to three strawberries with a fork until it makes a pulp. Add a tablespoon of raw honey, and stir until it forms a paste. Massage the mask into your face for a minute or two, and let it rest for 10 to 15 more minutes.

Rinse off with warm water and glow!

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