Great for the gatherings with friends and family, this Strawberry Toasts with Mozzarella Recipe is a hit!
Whether it’s practice for holiday season or a casual get together, this recipe is one to try out! 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 holiday months like 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!
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.
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!
• 1 lb strawberries, cleaned, hulled and cut in half
• ¾ tsp honey
• 2 tsp balsamic reduction
• 8 slices of ciabatta or baguette
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
• Fresh basil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
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.
Place prepared strawberries in a large bowl. Add honey and 2 tablespoons of prepared balsamic reduction to strawberries and mix to combine ingredients.
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.
Check out more California Strawberry Recipes here!
When it’s time to break out your coziest pajamas, hang with your family and eat all the foods, it may seem like there’s no way to avoid a sugar overload. While it may feel like pies, cakes, and cookies are the focus (and major temptation), you can totally get your sugar fix by using this naturally sweet strawberry snack.
While I love them ‘just as they are,’ (hi, Bridget Jones fans!) they’re also a great addition or substitute to traditional ingredients in your favorite sweet and savory recipes. And, bonus, clinical research suggests that eating just one serving of eight strawberries is good for the whole body. They’re packed with potent nutrients that support brain health, diabetes management, and heart health, and reduce the risk of some cancers.
The brain health part is especially significant this November because it’s National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. A recent study in the Annals of Neurology suggests that eating strawberries more than twice a week appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years. Strawberries also feature prominently in The MIND Diet, an eating plan that may reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers at Rush University. The MIND diet is rich in berries, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, and limits red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.
This is a dessert that you can feel good about eating and serving to your family this winter. It’s rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin C…and it looks pretty too. It combines some of my favorite foods: peanut butter and jelly and chocolate dipped strawberries. Instead of dipping strawberries in chocolate, you swirl them into a warm peanut butter fondue (see you later bread and jelly!).
While these peanut butter yogurt-dipped berries are a sweet treat, they steer clear of all the ‘unhealthy’ ingredients on the MIND Diet list and combine some of the ‘brain-healthy’ food groups: berries, nuts, and whole grains (if you choose to roll them in a low-sugar granola).
When I was a kid, I used to LOVE strawberry milk. Thinking about it now, I kind of cringe – tons of sugar, artificial color and flavor, and who knows what else. But then I thought – why not create a healthy homemade version of our old classic favorite, this time using real strawberries? Just in time for back to school season, too!
Unlike the processed strawberry milk on the market, this creamy, delicious version includes real California strawberries. Strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange and are packed with essential vitamins, dietary fiber, potassium and health-promoting phytochemicals. In fact, did you know that research suggests eating just 1 cup of strawberries a day may improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of some cancers and support brain function? Sweet. Now that is an after school snack everyone can feel good about!
For a unique take on strawberry milk, this recipe is actually dairy free and made with homemade cashew milk! Have you ever tried to make cashew milk at home before? Turns out it’s quite easy – all you need are cashews, water, and a high speed blender! The first step is to soak the cashews in water overnight so they become soft and are more easily blended. The next morning, simply drain them and rinse. Then, you are ready to make cashew milk!
Pop the softened cashews into a blender with more water (full recipe details below), and blend until smooth (usually a couple minutes). Then, add your strawberries and a little pure maple syrup to taste. If you’d like the milk sweeter, add a full tablespoon of maple syrup. For less sweet, try a half tablespoon. Up to you! Blend another couple minutes until smooth.
Depending on how efficient your blender is, you may want to strain the strawberry milk before serving. This is optional!
Serve cold and enjoy! This creamy and slightly sweet treat will make a great healthy afternoon snack for both kids and parents. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week; just shake it before serving in case settling occurs.
If you’re not feeling the cashew milk thing, don’t have cashews on hand, or don’t want to wait until tomorrow to make this recipe (because the cashews need overnight soaking), feel free to simply make this recipe using whole milk or any store bought alternative milk (like almond or soy milk). Just skip steps 1 and 2 of the recipe, and add about 3 cups of your choice of milk to the blender with the strawberries and pure maple syrup. The possibilities are endless!