Sweet Summer Strawberries
Every summer Canadians experience the joy of eating local strawberries that have been freshly picked. The satisfaction and excitement surrounding strawberries is understandable; imported strawberries sold the rest of the year pale in comparison to the juicy sweetness of locally grown strawberries.
Nutritional benefits of eating strawberries
Strawberries are jam-packed with vitamin C; a single cup of raw strawberries contains just less than 150 per cent of the recommended daily value! The same amount of strawberries also has 3 grams of fibre per serving and high amounts of manganese and potassium. Like many other intensely-coloured berries, strawberries contain high amounts of a pigment called anthocyanin which fights against free-radicals as an antioxidant.
How to store strawberries
Strawberries can be kept at room temperature if being used on the same day they were bought, otherwise they should always be kept in the fridge. Moisture is the enemy of strawberries and can cause an unwanted spongy texture as well as mould. Wash strawberries as needed and dry on a clean dish towel or paper towel before using. If the strawberries won’t be eaten within a couple of days, wash and thoroughly dry them before spreading on a baking sheet in a single layer before freezing. Once the strawberries are frozen they can be kept in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to six months.
Make a memorable summer fruit salad
For an instant healthy snack on busy days, make a big fruit salad at the beginning of the week with other seasonal fruit that can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Try combining strawberries with cubed watermelon, sliced peaches and nectarines, halved grapes and plums. Before serving, add basil and mint leaves and a generous squeeze of lime juice.
Take a spinach salad to the next level
Update a classic strawberry and spinach salad by including thinly sliced red onion that has been lightly pickled in balsamic vinegar for half an hour, poached or roasted chicken breast, crumbled fresh chevre, and a small sprinkling of toasted almond slivers.
Update a smoothie with strawberries
Wake up to a smoothie made with frozen strawberries, a frozen banana, frozen peaches, a generous scoop of Greek yogurt, coconut water, and a handful of baby spinach leaves. Make it a vegan smoothie by subbing silken tofu for the Greek yogurt for.
Make strawberry-yogurt popsicles
Cut strawberries into a small dice and place in a bowl with a few teaspoons of sugar. Allow to sit at room temperature for half an hour to an hour or until they become very syrupy and juicy. Gently stir together the macerated strawberries with an equal amount of vanilla yogurt, pour into Popsicle molds and freeze for at least 5 hours before eating.
Simple to make and extremely versatile, fruit compotes are delicious drizzled over oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, and angel food cake. Simmer rhubarb with a small amount of sugar and water for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a cup of thinly sliced strawberries and a squeeze of lemon juice before folding all ingredients together. Remove saucepan from heat and, serve at room temperature, or store in the fridge for up to a week.
Cool down with a strawberry-watermelon frosé
Blend together equal parts frozen strawberries, frozen watermelon, and a sweet rosé wine for a classy and refreshing frozen cocktail that takes less than 4 minutes to make. Garnish with sliced strawberries and a thin wedge of watermelon.