Sweet Summer Strawberries

Summer is the time for strawberries! Strawberries are great for a quick, healthy snack while packing and moving. Once you are at your new place you can explore your new neighborhood to find strawberry farms or fresh strawberries from the local farmers market! If you love strawberries, then this blog is for you!

Strawberries have many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, reducing inflammation, reducing risks of cancers and improving cognitive function. Eight strawberries will provide 140 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for kids. Pregnant women who eat strawberries can lower the risks of birth defects in their children.
There are more than 600 different varieties of strawberries grown in the United States. While they can be grown year-round, strawberries are most prevalent from April through mid-August, which is a great time to go picking at your local strawberry farm!

When choosing the most flavorful strawberries, look for ones that are brightly colored, dry, firm, shiny and plump that still have fresh-looking green caps attached. Avoid soft, dull-looking or shriveled berries. Strawberries do not ripen after being picked so avoid any with white patches on them. Smell the strawberries and if they do not smell like a strawberry, do not buy or pick.
Once you get your strawberries, do not wash them until you are ready to eat. Strawberries are like small sponges and will soak up water, which causes them to get mushy and rot quickly. Store in a moisture proof container in the refrigerator for two-to-three days at the most. Freeze the strawberries if you are not planning on using them for a few days. This will keep them unblemished. This is also perfect for smoothies, sauces and baking.

Once you are ready to use, wash the berries by putting them in a large colander and rinse with cool water. Dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel in a single layer. Hulling strawberries is removing the green caps. To do this, place the knife at the base of the cap, insert gently to remove only the soft white part at the base of the stem and slowly turn the strawberry. Once you come full circle the top will pop right off without sacrificing too much flesh.

Now you are ready to use your strawberries! Below are a few, popular recipes using strawberries:



Strawberry Shortcake
From: Diethood

For the Cake
• 1-1/2 cups cake flour
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup milk
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 3 large eggs
• 1-1/4 cups sugar
• 1 clamshell of fresh strawberries, halved

For the Filling
• 1 can (21-oz.) Strawberry Pie Filling
For the Whipped Frosting
• 2 cups cold heavy cream
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

• Preheat oven to 350.
• Set oven rack in the middle.
• Lightly grease two (9-inch) cake pan with baking spray and set aside.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk until combined.
• Set a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add milk and butter; bring to a boil.
• Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and lemon juice.
• In your mixer’s bowl, combine eggs and sugar; beat until pale yellow, fluffy, and doubled in size.
• With the mixer on, slowly pour in the milk mixture; mix until well incorporated.
• Turn off mixer and gently fold in the flour mixture.
• Spread the batter in the prepared pans and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
• Remove from oven and set pans on a cooling rack.
• Let the cake completely cool
• In the meantime, prepare the frosting.
• In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla.
• Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
• When chilled, beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.
• When cakes are completely cooled, cut one of the cakes crosswise so you end up with three round layers. One will be bigger than the other two.
• Spread half of the whipped frosting over one of the thinner cake layers.
• Add the thin cake layer over the whipped frosting.
• Spread the strawberry pie filling over the cake.
• Top with the last cake layer.
• Spread the rest of the whipped frosting over the cake.
• Top with fresh strawberries.
• Chill cake for one hour.
• Serve.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad
From: Good Housekeeping

• 1 pound(s) strawberries, hulled and sliced
• 3 tablespoon(s) lime juice
• 2 teaspoon(s) honey
• 1 teaspoon(s) olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 1 container(s) (12-ounce) baby spinach
• 10 ounce(s) (2 cups) chicken breast meat, coarsely shredded
• 3/4 cup(s) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1. In blender, puree 3/4 cup strawberries with lime juice, honey, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Transfer dressing to large serving bowl.
2. To bowl with dressing, add spinach, chicken, and remaining strawberries; toss to coat. Sprinkle salad with walnuts to serve.



Strawberry Lemonade
From: My Baking Addiction

• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup of water
• 1 pint fresh strawberries
• 1 cup fresh lemon juice (this equaled close to 8 of my lemons)
• 4-6 cups cold water (this will vary depending on your taste)
• 1 cup vodka, optional
1. Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and heat until the sugar in completely dissolved; swirl the pan occasionally. Let cool.
2. Once the simple syrup has cooled, puree strawberries in a blender with ½ cup water.
3. In a large pitcher, combine strawberry puree, simple syrup and lemon juice. If using the vodka, add it to the pitcher and stir to combine.
4. Add 4-6 cups of cold water. The amount of water you use will depend on your taste, so add as little or as much as you want to achieve your perfect sweet/tart balance.
5. Serve over ice. If desired, garnish with fresh strawberries and lemon slices.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie
From: Allrecipes

• 1 cup of white sugar
• ½ cup all-purpose flower
• 1 lb of fresh rhubarb
• 2 pints of fresh strawberries
• 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
• 2 tablespoons of butter
• 1 egg yolk
• 2 tablespoons of white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mix flour and sugar. Add strawberries and chopped rhubarb. Toss with sugar and flour and let stand for 30 minutes.
3. Pour filling into pie crust. Dot top with butter, and cover with top crust. Seal edges of top and bottom crust with water.
4. Apply yolk to top of pie, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut small holes in top to let steam escape.
5. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and brown. Cool on rack.

10 Minute Strawberry Jam
From: French Press

• 1 pint of hulled and quartered strawberries
• 3 Tbsp sugar
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp vanilla

1. combine the berries, sugar, and cinnamon in a microwave safe bowl
2. stir
3. microwave on high for 3 minutes {uncovered}
4. stir, and if needed return for another minute or two
5. add the vanilla, and allow to cool
6. the jam will thicken as it cools
7. cover and refrigerate

Do you have a favorite recipe that includes strawberries? Post is below!!



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