Family fun? Go strawberry picking - there are plenty of "U-picks" around to choose from....remember to pick red, firm berries which are ripe. And the wild ones are much more tastier than the cultivated berries. I like my berries without sugar - there is nothing better than cold, juicy, natural strawberries!!!
From the University of Illinois website
This sauce can be used to spoon over yogurt with fresh strawberries, ice cream, pound cake or your favorite dessert. Great as topping for pancakes and waffles too.
2/3 cup sugar
1 pint strawberries, washed and hulled
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Place sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool completely. Hasten cooling by setting pan in a shallow bowl of ice water.
Place half the berries in the jar of a blender; add lemon juice and all the cooled syrup. Puree until smooth. Press through fine sieve to remove some of the strawberry seeds, if desired.
Coarsely chop remaining strawberries and add to strawberry puree. Serve.
Can be stored refrigerated, in tightly covered containers for up to 4 days.
Fabulous Strawberry Muffins
Firm fresh strawberries work best in this recipe, but when the season is over substitute blueberries, cherries or chopped peaches.
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
Additional sugar for topping
Pre heat oven to 400°F. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. On a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir well until all ingredient are well blended. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, eggs and vanilla. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour liquid mixture in and the strawberries. Using a large spoon, gently fold ingredients just until moist do not overmix.
Spoon the batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1/2 teaspoon sugar, if desired.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.
Strawberry and Spinach Salad
This spring salad is teaming with Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The bright green of the spinach and contrasting red of the strawberries is beautiful and the flavors are excellent together.
1 pint fresh strawberries
2 bunches fresh spinach
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Wash strawberries under cool running water. Remove caps and set aside to drain. Wash spinach and remove large tough stems. Tear large leaves into small pieces. Drain.
In a medium bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk together.
Slice strawberries into halves or quarters and place in a large bowl. Add dry spinach. Pour dressing over all and toss.
Makes 8 servings.
Strawberry Banana Power Shake
This is a great breakfast shake. It is quick and nutritious. Eliminate the jam, if desired and use an additional 1/2 cup strawberries.
1 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons wheat germ
1 tablespoon strawberry jam
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 small very ripe banana
4 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender; blend on high speed until smooth, scraping down ingredients in blender if necessary. Divide into two tall glasses and drink with a straw. Makes 2 servings.
1 cup coarsely chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 green onion, finely chopped, top included
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons dried currants
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Chill, serve with grilled chicken or fish. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Not-So-Rich Strawberry Shortcake
1 quart strawberries
1/2 cup honey or sugar
1 recipe shortbread (below)
2 cups vanilla or plain yogurt
Wash, hull and slice the strawberries. Pour honey or sugar over berries and let them soak in the sweetener for an hour or more at room temperature. Reserve a few perfect berries for decoration.
Bake the shortbread following the recipe below.
To assemble, place the bottom shortcake on a serving platter.
Pour half of the sweetened strawberries and juice over it. Cover with yogurt, reserve about two tablespoons for decorating the top layer and then put on the top layer.
Slowly pour on the rest of the strawberries and juice, letting the juice soak into the shortcake. Top with remaining yogurt and decorate with whole reserved berries. Best if served immediately. Makes 6 dessert servings.
Shortcake Short Dough
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 1 egg white
1/2 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
In food processor bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Drop in butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl blend milk, lemon peel and one whole egg.
Pour egg mixture into flour mixture, gently mix to form a soft ball of dough. On a floured surface, divide dough in half. Roll into 9 inch circles.
Poke each circle with a fork a few times. Brush generously with the remaining egg white, beaten. Sprinkle tops with additional sugar.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Assemble shortcake using hot or cold shortbread.