Wednesday, June 27, 2012

using summer strawberries

Here in the Pacific northwest, it is strawberry time!  Oregonians are proud of their berries, particularly the petite, oh-so-sweet Hood variety.  In this town and in my home there is much rejoicing when the strawberries "come in."  We've been enjoying our first flat of strawberries very much, and in light of that I thought I'd share my favorite ways to use these stunning little gems - aside from simply eating them, that is!

1 cup berries
1 banana
1 cup whole plain yogurt OR kefir
1/2 cup raw honey

Blend well to combine, pour into molds and freeze.  Enjoy on a warm summer afternoon!

Here's my little secret: to make smoothies, I simply mix up the popsicle recipe above.  Pour into cups and serve.  Easy and convenient if you don't have time to wait.

Shh...don't tell my kids.

One of the most versatile ways to use summer strawberries is in freezer jam.  For several years now, I've been using this recipe from Kimi at The Nourishing Gourmet.  Using a product called Pomona's Pectin, it's happily possible to use only honey to sweeten your jam!  Long time readers of this blog will know that I really dig honey-sweetened stuff.  My family loves having a stash of freezer jam in supply; it's so refreshing to have that taste of summer all year long.

I mentioned in my post on How To Make Kombucha, I mentioned that I often flavor our kombucha (during a second ferment) with fruit.  During the summer -and while our supply of frozen fruit holds out- I use berries.  My very favorite berry for kombucha?  Strawberry.  So sweet, yet tangy and fizzy...and bright red. It doesn't get much more festive than that, if you ask me.

There you have it, my favorite ways to use summer strawberries.  Of course, the possibilities are pretty much endless, but that's how we do it at my house.  Happy end of June to you!

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