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For Independence Day, I wanted to capitalize on red, white, and blue, so I made a smoothie with strawberries, frozen banana, coconut milk (actually the watery liquid left after making whipped coconut cream), and blackberries (almost blue). Because I also included a couple of cubes of frozen blackberry puree, I knew I had enough dark color to overwhelm the color of the greens that I added in to boost the nutritional profile.

The strawberries were small ones from my organic garden and I was feeling lazy. Did I have to remove the stems? I decided to research strawberry leaves. Are they edible? Do they have any nutritional value? I discovered that strawberry leaves contain two anti-inflammatory compounds: quercetin and kaemperol. Read the research here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27611634   

And yes, they are edible. So they got blended into my patriotic smoothie, which did not taste any different than usual. Now I’ll be looking for new ways to use strawberry leaves!  I tried popping fresh strawberries in my mouth, stem and all, but my texture sensor didn’t like that. What ideas do you have for not letting strawberry stems go to waste? 

I would recommend using organic strawberries for this in order to minimize exposure to pesticides and other chemicals, which are likely inflammatory. 

If you’d like to learn more about a plant-based anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle, join my Facebook Group called Plant-Based Anti-Inflammatory Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/610547362484517/

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