Fruit of the Week: Strawberries
Updated: May 9
Did you know that California grows most of our nation's strawberries? Our climate is ideal for these amazing berries. Right now is the start of strawberry season. The strawberries are huge at this time and this is a natural process - strawberries really can grow that big! We have some great recipes and storage tips this week including salad and scone recipes and an easy jam lesson. Check out our video tutorial on Facebook or Instagram to see how the jam is made.
In addition to being delicious, strawberries are rich with polyphenols which might help prevent heart disease. They also have a good amount of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and antioxidants which make them a great fruit to stock up on in this season! Enjoy our tips below and let us know if you try out a recipe.
Did you know it is best not to wash strawberries until you eat them? Line a wide bowl or dish with a paper towel and then put the berries on top. Refrigerate until ready to eat. The more moisture the strawberries hold, the quicker they become mushy. Freezing fresh strawberries is also a good idea when you can buy a lot in season. Wash the strawberries first. After they dry a bit, place on a wax paper lined baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze until hardened – most likely overnight. Then place in a freezer bag. If frozen without the wax paper step, they will freeze all stuck together.
4 oz of spinach
4 pieces of bacon chopped (optional)
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/3 cup walnuts or pecans
1-2 green onions finely chopped
Handful of feta or goat cheese
Raspberry or Poppyseed vinaigrette
Place spinach, green onions, and sliced strawberries in large serving bowl. Roast the nuts in dry frying pan, tossing a few times until fragrant. Once roasted, place in spinach bowl. Cook chopped bacon in frying pan if using. Drain on paper towel. Add to salad. Sprinkle cheese on top and dress with vinaigrette.
2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup chopped strawberries, keep them dry on a paper towel until using.
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Use a non-greased baking sheet.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
Stirring with a fork, add berries to flour mixture followed by cream. The berries will run into the mixture a bit turning it slightly red.
Dough will be sticky as you work it into a rough mass.
Lightly flour a surface and transfer the dough, kneading it 9-10 times.
Make a circle about 10 inches in diameter. Cut into 10-12 wedges.
Combine butter and sugar to make a glaze and brush on scones before baking.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Enjoy with the lemon curd from a couple of weeks ago.
Easy Strawberry Jam
(Can double the amounts for a larger batch)
3 lbs of strawberries diced
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tablespoons of strained lemon juice
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Put 2-3 spoons in the freezer on a plate.
Place the chopped strawberries and sugar in a wide non-reactive saucepan.
Bring to a slight boil, stirring frequently at this temperature for 5 minutes so they don’t stick to the bottom. Put a colander over a large bowl and drain the strawberries – separating them from the juice. Return the juice to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Keep the colander over the boil because more juice will accumulate. Boil while stirring occasionally until the juice becomes 1 ½ cups of syrup. This takes up to 20 minutes.
Return the berries and any remaining juice to the pan. Add the lemon juice and zest and bring to a slight boil. Keep it at this temp while stirring frequently. Cook for about 15 minutes. Take one of the frozen spoons out of the freezer and put a dab of jam on it and place back in freezer for one minute. After that minute, take the spoon out and see if the jam is somewhat firm – it will not be gel-like, but it shouldn’t run off spoon easily.
Ladle the jam into clean jars and let cool. After they are cool, you can place in fridge or freezer.
Recipe adapted from Liana Krissoff's Canning For a New Generation (Abrams, New York: 2010)