Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella Recipe

Roasted Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella

Great for the holiday season, this Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella Recipe is a hit@

The holiday season has officially arrived! Even though a bit of panic set in just as I typed that statement, I know that I have lots to look forward to during the month of December. Traditional tree trimming, checking out the beautiful holiday lights in our neighborhood, baking cookies with the kids and, of course, gathering with family, friends and coworkers.

By far, getting together and sharing great foods with friends and loved ones is one of my favorite things to do during this time of year, but let’s be honest, typical food options are not always the healthiest! No matter how strong our willpower may be, it can be extremely challenging to stick to healthy habits, but I’ve got a delicious recipe that can help keep us all on track. It’s light, healthy and will look beautiful on your holiday table!

Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella Recipe

This recipe features strawberries dressed in a combo of honey and a balsamic vinegar reduction, then roasted in the oven. Roasting brings out a rich, sweet flavor to the strawberries and this pairs perfectly with melted fresh mozzarella cheese on toasted crusty bread.

Roasted Strawberry Toasts

Besides adding a bright and festive flair to your holiday spread, strawberries are packed with nutrients that  benefit the entire body.  A serving of eight strawberries has been shown to promote heart health, brain health and even helps with diabetes management. Strawberries have also been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. (Source: California Strawberries). The best part? They are naturally sweet, yet low in sugar. A single serving has less than half the sugar of an apple and half the calories of a banana, making them the perfect option for your holiday spread. Though they may be small, strawberries pack a big nutrition and flavor punch to both sweet and savory dishes, so enjoy!

 

Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella

Recipe type: Appetizer

Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: 35 minutes  Total time:45 minutes

Serves: 4 (2 toasts = 1 serving)

Ingredients

For Balsamic Reduction:

  • 3/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar

For Strawberries:

  • 1 pound strawberries, cleaned, hulled and cut in half
  • 3/4 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic reduction

For Toasts

  • 8 slices of ciabatta or baguette
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Over medium heat, add balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Heat until vinegar boils, then reduce heat a simmer. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching. Simmer for 10-13 minutes, until vinegar has reduced by at least half and consistency is that of syrup. Set aside.
  3. Place prepared strawberries in a large bowl. Add honey and 2 tablespoons of prepared balsamic reduction to strawberries and mix to combine ingredients.
  4. Transfer berries to a parchment lined baking sheet. Arrange in an even layer. Bake berries for 25-30 minutes. When done, set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  5. While strawberries are roasting, prepare toasts by brushing them with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and place into the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove toasts from the oven. Add sliced fresh mozzarella cheese to each one and top with roasted strawberries.
  7. Place prepared toasts back into the oven for about 5 minutes, or just until cheese begins to melt. Remove from oven and top with a fresh basil leaf. Garnish with an extra drizzle of balsamic reduction and extra basil, if desired.

 

Check out more California Strawberry Recipes here!


Strawberry Overnight Oats

Strawberry Overnight Oats

If you feel too rushed to eat right, check out this recipe for Strawberry Overnight Oats from guest blogger Christy Wilson, RD!

As a registered dietitian, I have made a conscious effort to reach out to my community for the past several years to spread the word about the month-long nutrition campaign, National Nutrition Month (NNM) that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics started back in 1973.  It’s such a pleasure to do cooking demonstrations at elementary schools, speak to community organizations and find fun ways to remind everyone how eating well can benefit lives.

This year’s NNM theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives. One way I “savor the flavor of eating right” is by eating foods that taste good and are good for me and my family –  like delicious,  California Strawberries.

Did you know that only eight strawberries a day can support brain & heart health, help manage diabetes and reduce the risk of some cancers? Here are a few more fun strawberry facts:

  • One serving of strawberries (8 medium) has only 45 calories and more vitamin C than an orange
  • Strawberries contain blood pressure lowering potassium, folate, along with a variety of health-boosting antioxidants
  • In just 8 strawberries you get 3 grams of heart healthy fiber and a mere 7 grams of natural sugar

Although March is a busy time for many of us, eating nutrient rich foods should remain a priority. Including fruit, like strawberries, as part of everyday meals can keep you energized and healthy to tackle all the activities in our busy weeks.

One recipe that makes a great on-the-go breakfast or snack is my Strawberry Overnight Oats. Make several of these and you’ve got yourself a tasty and convenient breakfast for the week! Made with whole foods including sweet strawberries, rolled oats, chia seeds, Greek yogurt and honey, this recipe is one that will help keep you eating right all month (and all year!) long.

Strawberry Overnight Oats

Serves 1
Total Time: 8 hours
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (also labelled Old Fashioned Oats)
  • 1 container (5.3 ounces) vanilla flavored Greek style yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 8 strawberries, chopped and divided into two servings
  • 1/3 cup light vanilla soy milk (or any milk of your choice)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds

Directions

  1. In a 16-ounce mason jar, add oats, yogurt, chia seeds, honey, four chopped strawberries, milk and cinnamon. Stir ingredients to combine and cover jar with a lid.
  2. Refrigerate oat mixture overnight or for 8 hours.
  3. To prepare oats, top mixture with remaining strawberries and top with sliced almonds.