Food Topic: Strawberries
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Strawberries.  My family likes them dipped in chocolate, dusted with powdered sugar and cocoa, pureed and mixed with whipped cream as a chantilly sauce, or mixed with lemonade for a refreshing strawberry lemonade, sliced and served with pancakes and maple syrup, in our cold cereal and topped with yogurt and granola and just the way they are. Locally, they are in season for just a few short weeks and their time is now.  You pick signs are out and the truest flavor of strawberries is at its peek when just picked.

Strawberries are the most popular berry in the world. Their peak season is from April through July.  Believe it or not, there are more than 600 varieties of strawberries that differ in flavor, size and texture, both wild and cultivated. The smaller the berry, the more intense the flavor. They are filled with phytonutrients that are antioxidants help protect our body’s organs.  Strawberries also contain vit. C, K, B2, B5, B6, manganese, dietary fiber, iodine, potassium, folate, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium and copper.  That’s a whole lot in a little berry. 1 cup of strawberries contains only 42 calories.

 Strawberries are very perishable, so purchase just what you can eat in a couple of days.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use, then rinse and lightly dry before serving.  If you plan to dip them in chocolate, they need to be very dry so the chocolate will adhere to the berry.

Larger strawberries can be used as freezer pops: after cleaning, remove stem with the tip of a small paring knife, removing as little berry with the stem as possible and insert a wooden popsicle stick into the stem end.  Place on cookie sheet pan and freeze.  Can be eaten just as is, or dip into white or dark chocolate and served immediately or placed back into freezer to be served another time. Yummy!

Try the fabulous Strawberry Lemonade recipe that I have finally posted on this website.  I have a pitcher in my 'frig all summer long.

 

Strawberry Chantilly

(strawberry sauce/dip for fruit)

 1 c whipping cream

¼ c sugar

1 c strawberry puree (approx. ½ lb)

 

In a medium sized bowl, whip the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form.  Fold the strawberry puree into the whipped cream.  Transfer into a pretty bowl.  Place bowl in center of a serving platter and surround with fresh fruit cubes and more strawberries.  Serve.  Can be made 4 hours ahead and kept in the refrigerator until serving time. 

 

 

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