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Bring out the strawberries and cream – Wimbledon starts today!

It’s too bad if you’re not a fan of sport. We seem to be surrounded by it at every turn this year. Euro 2012, London 2012 and today marks the start of the Wimbledon tennis tournament.  Will we ever have a 21st century British Wimbledon champion? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, whether we like tennis or not, many of us will quite happily indulge in a Wimbledon institution – strawberries and cream.

Strawberries – a great health food

Call me a strawberry snob, but I’m going to stick my neck out and say that when it comes to strawberries, British are best! They just smell so marvellous and are deliciously sweet. Eaten on their own, strawberries (of any origin) are low in calories – only around 27calories in 100g. They’re also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, fibre, folate and vitamin B6.

Some people also believe strawberries to be instrumental in lowering cholesterol since they contain pectin and other soluble fibres. Strawberries are also believed to be effective in fighting oesophageal cancer, so not only do they taste great, they do us a great deal of good too.

Cream – make sure you enjoy it at its best

Eating strawberries with cream ramps up the calorie intake somewhat, but we all deserve a treat now and again. Cream, like other dairy products, is of course a good source of calcium and protein.

Most cream undergoes pasteurisation – a heat treatment used to kill bacteria and thus prevent food poisoning. Bacteria such as salmonella, e-coli and listeria can grow in dairy products, so it’s essential that cream is stored properly and consumed by the specified date.

Safe storage of  fresh cream

Once you have purchased cream it should be placed in the refrigerator as soon as you get home.  Once opened, don’t leave it hanging around on the counter top or table – put it back into the fridge ASAP. It’s better to keep the cream on the shelves as it’s cooler here than in the fridge door.

Always seal the carton tightly once opened. This will keep it fresher and will also prevent it from being tainted by other strong smelling foods in the fridge.  A good tip is to buy the freshest cream possible and always use it before its ‘use by’ date.  It’s actually better to buy smaller cartons than buying a large carton and leaving it open for days.  It is possible to freeze cream, but do be aware that it can separate when thawed and could lose its delicious creamy texture.

You can find out more about food safety and nutrition by clicking here

Anyone for tennis?