Strawberries: Signs of Summer

standard April 20, 2015 Leave a response

One of my favorite food memories growing up was eating bowls of Cheerios and strawberries in the summer. There’s something about the sweet, tart, sticky flavor that just screams summer. Which is ironic when you consider that, at least in Texas, strawberry season starts as early as February. The first time I got strawberries in my CSA delivery, most of the country still had snow on the ground. One of the reasons Texas is slowly growing on me. Juicy, local strawberries for half the year? Yes, please! This week I got my first pint of the season, and it took all my willpower to not eat them all at once.

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Nutrition:

A cup of strawberries packs 12 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, and 150% DV vitamin C into just 50 calories. Like most fruits and veggies, strawberries also fit a ton of vitamins and nutrients into their little red juicy fruit. Most notably, they are g good source of folate, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

Benefits:

The strawberry is high in antioxidants and polyphenols that act as an anti-inflammatory, benefiting heart health, reducing risk of stroke, and alleviating allergies. Their potassium content also aids in heart health by balancing sodium intake to help reduce blood pressure. As a high fiber food, strawberries are good for regulating digestion and maintaining a healthy weight. And their folate content is particularly beneficial for pregnancy and pre-natal health.

Recipes:

Still good straight from the container or in a bowl of cereal, but these recipes will elevate the strawberry to a whole new level of summery deliciousness.

Springtime Salad

standard April 22, 2012 Leave a response

After long weeks of eating out while traveling, all I seem to want is fresh, raw food when I am home. We’ve gone through a lot of salad greens and fresh spring produce this week. My favorite meal from this week was this delicious salad. Crisp, roasted asparagus and juicy, ripe strawberries on top of spinach and spicy arugula. Yum!

Asparagus and Strawberry Salad

Serves 2

Print Friendly Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 c asparagus, ends removed and diced in half
  • 1/2 c chickpeas (plain or roasted)
  • 1 c broccoli slaw (optional)
  • 6 ripe strawberries
  • 2 c arugula
  • 2 c baby spinach
  • 4 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Steps:

  1. Rinse arugula and spinach and divide into two salad bowls
  2. Optional: Toss chickpeas with a dash of cinnamon, and a teaspoon of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Roast at 350 for 30 minutes or until crispy and golden.
  3. Slice strawberries and add to salad, along with chickpeas and slaw (optional, but it adds a nice crunch)
  4. Drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper over asparagus. Roast at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Make dressing by whisking together oil, vinegar, mustard, agave, salt and pepper.
  6. Add warm asparagus to salad and toss with dressing to coat.

Quick Tip: I’ve discovered a super easy tossed salad for potlucks or a side to dinner is spring greens or spinach tossed with a bag of broccoli slaw. Its like getting a package of pre-made iceberg lettuce salad mix, but heartier and full of more nutrition.  I now always keep a bag on hand to add crunch and extra veggies to our daily salads.

Good-Bye, Summer

standard September 11, 2011 Leave a response

I’ve been ready for Fall for a while. But this summer also flew right by, as we moved, traveled, and started school. Labor Day weekend was uneventful for us, highlighted only by the start of football season. After scouring the stores for weeks, knowing my search would probably be hopeless, I finally found some decent strawberries. Ever since seeing a recipe for coconut milk whipped cream, I knew I had to try to make the husband’s favorite dessert before summer and strawberries were gone for the year. After a long weekend of studying for midterm exams, I think it was a perfect ending to enjoy one last summer treat.

Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 biscuits, see steps below
  • 8 strawberries
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled
  • 2 T sucanat, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Steps:

  1. Make biscuits. I used this recipe from one of my favorite vegan blogs.
  2. Slice strawberries and combine with 1 T sucanat in a bowl.
  3. Scoop top layer of coconut fat out of can. Discard or save the remaining water. Whip like regular cream. Add 1 T sucanat and vanilla. (Original recipe found here, thanks to Pinterest!)
  4. Separate three biscuits into 2 halves each. Place one half in a shallow bowl. Spoon 1 T berries on top, followed by a spoonful of coconut cream. Layer another biscuit half, strawberries, and cream. Top with the third half.

Definitely the perfect way to bid farewell to end Summer!