Want to know something that I’ve realized over the last week? Everybody loves strawberries. Sorry Raymond, but it’s really strawberries that everybody loves. Grown-ups, kids, grandmas, dogs, everyone. Truly, have you ever met anyone that said, “No thank you, I don’t like strawberries.”? Neither have I.
Thankfully, California strawberries are such a fun, versatile and healthy food to add into our diets and they’re available year around. Whether it’s eating them straight up or adding them to a salad, baked goods, or even a margarita, the ways to get your “8-a-day” in are endless.
Did you know that one serving of strawberries contains more vitamin C than an orange? 140% to be exact. And even better, despite being sweet they’re naturally low in sugar. One serving of strawberries has half the amount of sugar of an apple. In addition, strawberries are loaded up in antioxidants, phytochemicals fiber and potassium.
And while California strawberries are available year around, summer is just around the corner and nothing screams “summer” better than a bowl of fresh strawberries. And ice cream. Summer always comes with ice cream. And because of that, I decided to create the perfect Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream using California strawberries that you can indulge in guilt-free all summer long.
I’m not going to lie, creating a dairy-free ice cream that wasn’t overly icy was no easy feat. Alternative milks tend to have a higher water content than traditional dairy and tend to make an “icy” ice cream. In addition the water content for those beautiful juicy strawberries can add to that iciness.
So here’s how I fixed that problem… First, I added some eggs to the ice cream base to create more of a “custard” and make the base a bit creamier. And second, I reduced the strawberries down over some heat to remove some of the liquid and concentrate the strawberry flavor.
When the ice cream is done, I filled up a large freezer-proof jar and store it in the freezer. We can dig in at any time.
This Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream is the perfect example of that. Not only were we able to add fresh California strawberries to it, but I was able to omit the refined sugar by using honey instead and use nothing but simple ingredients.
Next time you grab a giant flat of California strawberries don’t forget this recipe, it’s the perfect way to use up those last few strawberries that you don’t want to go bad.
In a medium saucepan, combine the almond milk, ½ cup of honey, coconut milk and vanilla extract. Whisk the ingredients over medium heat. Once it is hot, slowly drizzle the beaten egg into the saucepan vigorously whisking. Continue to whisk for 3 to 4 minutes, pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, add the strawberries, remainder of the honey and lemon juice to a large saucepan over medium heat. Frequently stir the strawberries as the fruit breaks down. Continue to cook and reduce the strawberries down until they are a jam-like consistency, about 10 minutes.
Add the strawberries to the large bowl with the ice cream base and whisk in the strawberries. Let the ice cream base come to room temperature. Once it is at room temperature, add the ice cream base to your ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions.
This post was created by Michelle Smith from thewholesmiths.com.
Who doesn’t love a delicious strawberry salad? This Strawberry Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vinagrette will satisfy your cravings. Knowing that California strawberries are low in sugar and calories – only 45 calories per serving! – enjoying this salad is even sweeter. Not to mention, it’s a super easy way to eat a serving of 8 strawberries.
Eating one serving of 8 strawberries a day has many suprising health benefits! For example, eating 8 medium strawberries provides 160 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, and 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of potassium. Talk about some great health benefits in a tiny package!
8 medium sized California strawberries, stemmed and cut in half
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Canola oil spray
½ teaspoon mustard
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
Heat oven to 400 degrees.. In a medium-sized bowl, add the strawberries, coconut sugar and thyme. Mix and let it sit for about 5 minutes to allowsome of the natural juices to be released.
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with canola oil. Add the strawberry mixture and roast for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 minute.
In a food processor, add the strawberry mixture. Make sure to get any excess juices left over from the baking sheet. Add the mustard, salt, vinegar and oil. Puree until it reaches a smooth consistency.
Roasted Strawberries and Clotted Cream Ice Cream are a great pair for dessert on any occasion!
Simply hearing the words “strawberries and cream” brings me tremendous joy. There’s something so perfect and decadent about the combination, whether it’s a bowl of fresh strawberries and freshly whipped cream, a classic strawberry shortcake, or a more elegant dessert. When I recently came upon clotted cream at the grocery store, I immediately knew I wanted to pair it with strawberries. In case you’re unfamiliar, clotted cream is a thick, spreadable cream with a high fat content. It’s a UK product, but I’ve been finding it more frequently in the states, and I love throwing it into desserts for some added luxury. If you can’t get your hands on clotted cream, fear not. Mascarpone cheese can be substituted in this recipe as well. It’s thicker, but the flavor is similar and it will yield very similar results. Creme fraiche would also work.
Roasting strawberries is a wonderful way to enhance their flavors. The recipe will still work if you simply puree the berries without roasting them first, but I highly recommend taking this extra step. Also, since the base needs to be very cold before it goes into the ice cream maker, I like dividing this recipe into two parts when I manage to plan in advance. Basically, I follow steps 1-5 the day before I plan to serve the ice cream, and let it chill overnight in the refrigerator. It’s ready to go in the morning! (Note: I recommend doing this will all ice cream recipes when possible).
Optional: 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the strawberries in a large bowl, and toss with ¼ cup of the sugar to coat evenly. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring and gently flipping the strawberries every 5 minutes. Allow to cool briefly, then transfer the berries and roasting liquid back into the same bowl. Use an immersion blender to puree (a regular blender or food processor will also work).
In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks and remaining sugar.
Place the half-and-half, clotted cream and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gently stir the mixture a few times as it heats up to help the clotted cream melt into the other ingredients.
Once the cream is just simmering, turn the heat to low. Briefly re-whisk the yolks, then ladle in the cream while whisking. Carefully pour the mixture back into the saucepan, using a spatula to scrape everything out of the bowl. Over low heat, stir the mixture for several minutes until it thickens slightly and coats the back of the spatula. Stir in the pureed strawberry mixture, along with the orange liqueur, if using. (Note: adding some alcohol to ice cream improves its texture).
Pour the ice cream base into a clean container (I like to use a quart-sized liquid measuring cup), and press plastic film directly against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator and chill until very cold.
Prepare in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.
Summer is coming and my internal food alarm seems to be ringing off the hook for summer food and flavors. At the top of my list are juicy California strawberries and steak. Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to enjoy them together in a recipe? Good news: I’ve created a salad recipe that brings them together in new way, a Roasted Balsamic Strawberry & Peppered Steak Salad.
I love pairing bold-flavored foods, like steak, with fresh and light ingredients like strawberries to create surprising combinations. Plus, layering a lean steak on top of a mound of nutrient rich ingredients is a balanced way to enjoy it any day of year.
Instead of using fresh strawberries in this steak, I enhanced the strawberries by slow roasting them. This turns them into a naturally-sweet chutney/dressing on top of this flavor-explosion of a salad. If you’ve never roasted strawberries before then today is the day and this recipe is the place to start.
While the prep time looks lengthy in the recipe below, it’s mostly hands-off cook time. You can even prep many of the cooked ingredients ahead of time and reheat right before serving. Truly, this salad is easy to put together but is a show-stopper for looks and flavor. I hope you will give it a try at your first summer gathering or at your dinner table this week.
Author: Jenna Braddock, MSH, RDN, CSSD of MakeHealthyEasy.com
Serves: Serves 4-6
1 lb fresh California strawberries, washed, dried, hulled, and cut in half
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 lb top sirloin fillets
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1” pieces
6 cups spring mix greens
Extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (from about ¾ cup dry quinoa)
¼ cup sesame seeds
4 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
2 tablespoons chiffonade fresh basil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a 2 quart baking dish (or 8x8 square pan), toss strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Bake strawberries for 50 minutes, checking every 15 minutes and gently tossing in the juices.
Meanwhile, cook quinoa if needed.
Then, heat a heavy skillet (cast iron if you have it) over medium high heat. Season fillets with pepper and salt. When skillet is hot, add vegetable oil, then cook fillets to medium doneness, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside on a cutting board to rest. After about 5 minutes (more time is OK), thinly slice steak against the grain.
Reduce the skillet heat to medium and add green beans. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook till evaporated or green beans are crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
When strawberries are done baking, assemble salad. Layer a large platter with the spring mix greens, then spoon cooked quinoa on top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, about 1 tablespoon. Layer green beans on top of quinoa. Place steak slices on top of salad then spoon cooked strawberries and juice on top. Lastly, arrange sesame seeds, mozzarella pearls, and basil all around salad to your preference. If desired, sprinkle a small amount of fresh, ground black pepper on top.
When it comes to power food combos, nothing beats strawberries and chocolate. Although dipping strawberries in melted chocolate is a delicious (and foolproof!) way to enjoy this food pairing, I thought it’d be fun to create a recipe that incorporated a few other foods that my kids and I enjoy eating, like pudding, graham crackers, and yogurt. So Chocolate Strawberry Crunch Parfaits were a great option!
Since I’m not a great baker and I don’t have time to craft intricate recipes, I decided to keep it simple and just add a bunch of juicy, seasonal and nutrient-rich California strawberries into a beautiful parfait. Like the character, Donkey, from the movie Shrek said, “You know what everybody likes? Parfaits. Parfaits are delicious!” I agree! Not only are parfaits delicious, they are simple to make and look beautiful when served in clear glasses.
In my Chocolate Pudding Crunch Parfaits, I took sugar free instant chocolate pudding mix, added milk, creamy and protein-rich Greek yogurt, and a bit of whipped topping, then folded in a bowl of diced strawberries. I took this rich pudding mix and layered it over crumbles of chocolate graham crackers and sliced, sweet strawberries. How can this dessert get any better? Shavings of dark chocolate over the whole thing, that’s how!
If you’re wondering how this recipe is healthy, you can rest easy knowing that in each parfait, you’re not only getting a dose of bone-building calcium from milk and yogurt in the pudding, you’re also getting at least one serving of fruit. That’s right! Between the diced strawberries in the pudding and the sliced ones between the crunchy grahams and creamy pudding, you are getting your #8aDay of strawberries. Here are three health highlights about this sweet superfood:
A 2012 study published 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.
The American Diabetes Association identifies berries, including strawberries, as one of their Top 10 Diabetes Superfoods because of they have a low glycemic index and because they are packed with cancer fighting antioxidants and dietary fiber.
Have the kids help you assemble these Chocolate Pudding Crunch Parfaits for a special dessert or impress your friends at your next gathering by serving them in pretty, stemless wine glasses. Whatever the occasion (or the excuse!), enjoy!
4 sheets (about ¾ cup) chocolate graham crackers, crushed
1 tablespoon dark chocolate shavings
Whisk first 2 ingredients in a large bowl until blended and smooth. Fold in yogurt and whipped topping. Chill in refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until firm. Gently fold strawberries into pudding mix. Set aside.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon graham cracker crumbles into each glass. Top crumbles with a layer of sliced strawberries, then add about ¼ cup of pudding. Repeat layers.
Top the second layer of pudding with a dollop of whipped topping, a single strawberry and chocolate shavings.