Strawberry Season

We absolutely love the summer and fall here in Spokane when we can go pick our own fruit. For two city kids, there is something about being outdoors picking your own food that just seems magical to us. Plus we always come home and have to come up with a million ways to use all the fruit we just picked! This week- it was strawberries!!

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Strawberries are a great source of antioxidants. They are also a good source of vitamin C, folate, manganese and potassium. 1 cup of strawberries contains 99% of recommended daily vitamin C intake! Strawberries have a low glycemic index, meaning they help keep blood sugars level- which is good for everyone's health. Strawberries have a fairly low amount of calories and high amount of fiber- 1 cup has about 50 calories and about 3 grams of fiber. Overall, strawberries are a great seasonal snack and have many health benefits!

Here are some of the ways we used our strawberries:

Strawberry Salsa on Tilapia

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lbs tilapia
  • Salt and pepper
  • non-stick spray
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (seeds removed)
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 1/3+ cup cilantro chopped
  • 2+TBSP lime juice

How to:

  1. Preheat grill. Salt and pepper fish. Prepare a large piece of foil and spray with non-stick spray. Place fish in foil and fold foil so it is sealed.
  2.  Place the foiled fish on the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until fish is done.
  3. Meanwhile, combine strawberries, jalapeno, green onion, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl. Add salt and pepper if desired.
  4. Enjoy fish topped with salsa!

We served ours with grilled corn and asparagus and quinoa

Strawberry Salad

I feel like a kale strawberry salad is a well known salad. We spiced it up with a few extra fun vegetables and herbs!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale, ribbed and chopped
  • 2/3 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 2/3 cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/4+ cup mint, diced
  • 1/4+ cup basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted or unroasted
  • poppyseed dressing OR olive oil and vinegar 

How to:

  1. Chop and combine all ingredients and top with dressing. Enjoy :-)

Would go great with grilled chicken! 

Chocolate Pudding with Strawberries

I am a sucker for chocolate pudding! I love to make it from scratch because then I know the ingredients going into it. It is actually easier to do than you might think! This recipe is not "healthy," although I did make some substitutions to the original to make it healthier. It is a nice treat though :-) 

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 TBSP corn starch
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 5 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • sliced strawberries for serving

How to:

  1. In a medium glass or metal bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar. The mixture will be clumpy and crumbly- just make sure it gets combined.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, chocolate and salt over medium heat. Stir frequently until chocolate melts. (heat and milk always worry me because the milk can coagulate- make sure you are stirring enough to prevent this from happening).
  3. Once chocolate has melted, whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture (about 1/4 cup at a time). Whisk until completely combined.
  4. Pour mixture back into saucepan and continue to whisk over medium heat for 12-15 minutes, until it thickens. It may seem hopeless at minute 8, but I promise it will thicken!!
  5. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla. 
  6. Place in refrigerator for 3+ hours and serve with sliced strawberries on top.

Quick No-Sugar Strawberry Jam

Okay...maybe I can't call this a jam, but we use it as a spread on all sorts of things. It does not keep long, because there is nothing in it to preserve the fruit. Our favorite thing to use it on is pancakes. We have both found that pancakes are a good carbohydrate fuel source for the night before a long run or bike ride. The pancakes we make are made with whole wheat flour, oats, greek yogurt and just a bit of sugar. We did top ours with this jam this week!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 2-3 TBSP water

How to:

  1. In a small saucepan, place strawberries and water over medium-high heat. 
  2. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring and smashing occasionally, until berries begin to breakdown and create a sauce. It is important to keep stirring so the sauce doesn't burn to the pan.
  3. Serve and enjoy on anything you can think of!
  4. To store- place in a container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 
 

That is it for my strawberry recipes this year! I hope you found some inspiration to enjoy strawberries while they are in season!!