“Strawberries always fill my heart with joy.”— Anthony T. Hincks
The delicious days of June have arrived! Exquisitely ripe and fragrant strawberries are now in season. A bowlful of these beauties is a marvelous way to appreciate the mighty glory of nature’s bounty. What other early summer crop evokes more pleasure than perfectly ripe strawberries? Their intoxicating scent and fabulous flavor fills a conscious cooks’ heart with delight.
A member of the rose family, strawberries are a vibrant, versatile ingredient that infuse both sweet and savory recipes such as tarts, pies, cakes, syrups, jams, salads, soups and beverages with delectable flavor. A simple pairing of fresh strawberries and brown sugar laced sour cream is a perfect dessert. Strawberries marry well with other fruits and berries for sumptuous shortcakes, compotes and salsas. Try a new twist on your favorite trifle or tiramisu recipe by combining strawberries and rhubarb with almond scented whipped cream and delicate lady fingers. Spread whipped feta, goat, or cream cheese on toasted baguette and top with roasted strawberries drizzled with balsamic glaze. Cut up a goodly amount of strawberries, sprinkle with brown or white sugar, then gently toss and let sit until the strawberries release a generous amount of juice. Use this to top pancakes, French toast, buttered toast, cereal, oatmeal or yogurt. What a way to start the day!
An exceptionally nutritious food, strawberries are rich in vitamin C and manganese and contain plenty of dietary fiber. Low in calories, strawberries are also sodium, cholesterol and fat free. Consuming plenty of strawberries may help ease inflammation, lower cardiovascular disease, promote bone and eye health and improve memory. Strawberries may have the potential to also safeguard against inflammation, macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis.
During June, enjoy an outing to a pick-your-own strawberry farm. You will be supporting hard working farmers. If you have little ones, you can teach them the pleasures of plucking berries right off the plant and enjoying “one for the basket, one for the belly!” If purchasing strawberries at your local supermarket, look for brightly colored, unblemished berries, with plenty of lovely strawberry scent. Strawberries are quite perishable and must be used within a couple of days. Store them in the refrigerator, unwashed, until ready to use. Rinse well with cool water before prepping for your recipe.
Savor the sweetness of the season as you prepare your delicious life.