Haudenosaunee Strawberry Drink Recipe

It's finally strawberry season in San Diego, and what better to celebrate than with a fresh pitcher of traditional, Haudenosaunee strawberry drink?

Strawberries are an important part of the Haudenosaunee food culture, so much so that they are even mentioned in our creation story. According to one version, the Earth was created when a woman fell from the Sky World and landed on a turtle's back. Many water animals tried to dive to find mud from under the sea, but the only one to survive was a muskrat. He brought mud up from deep below the surface of the water and put it on the turtle's back, helping to create Turtle Island as we know it today.

When the Sky Woman died and her body was buried, various plants sprouted from the earth. The Three Sisters of corn, beans and squash came from her head; tobacco from her heart; and various medicines and strawberries from her feet.

Strawberries are known to have many health benefits: they are good sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B-6 and folate; they're rich in antioxidants; and they are a natural blood thinner.

Today, strawberries remain an integral part of our culture, and are celebrated each year through singing, dancing and storytelling in June during the Strawberry Festival. The following recipe for Haudenosaunee strawberry drink uses sugar instead of the more traditional maple sap (which is pretty much impossible to find in Southern California), but the flavor of this juice makes for another way to enjoy this delightful fruit.

Ingredients:
🍓2 pints of fresh strawberries 
🍓2 TBS sugar 
🍓Fresh, filtered Water (enough to fill pitcher)

Recipe:
1. Remove leaves from strawberries, then slice them lengthwise.
2. Save 6 strawberries-worth of slices and mash remaining strawberries with a fork, muddler or potato masher. 
3. Mix sugar with mashed strawberries, and then add the mixture and sliced strawberries to a 1 gallon pitcher.
4. Fill the remainder of the pitcher with fresh water and enjoy. Can be served chilled or over ice.

Note: You can omit the sugar if you desire a less sweet or healthier juice. You can also substitute agave syrup, maple sap (not syrup) or honey for the sugar - just add a little at a time until it is the desired level of sweetness.


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