It’s been a few weeks since our last trip to the farmer’s market. So much change in such a short period of time. Most notably, the fruit. After months of relative quiet on the fruit front, the warm weather options have arrived in abundance. Strawberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, raspberries, blueberries – they are all here and tasting fabulous!
Although it may seem like we are jumping the gun a bit, we have already started stockpiling our spring/summer fruits for when the cold weather rolls back in. This past Saturday was all about the strawberries. They were perfectly ripe, sweet & juicy. After much taste-testing, we selected a flat (about 12 pounds), brought it home and started prepping for winter. Of course, we ate quite a few along the way.
Here are three tasty alternatives for enjoying your warm-weather fruit well beyond the summer season. Each one is deliciously simple and stands up well to time in the freezer. They are also just as wonderful used right way. Maybe stock up enough for both!
- Rinse your berries, picking out the spoiled or mushy ones along the way. Don’t let them soak up too much water. They are little sponges and will take all the moisture they can get.
- Hull your berries, being sure to remove all the leaves and stems.
- Spread them out evenly on a sided baking sheet (no sides and they will invariably roll off). Try to keep them from touching so they don’t freeze in a big, inconvenient block. Put them in the freezer until they are frozen solid.
- Transfer them to a freezer-friendly airtight container or bag. If stored well, your frozen strawberries will keep for up to a year.
Kitchen Note: Frozen berries are a wonderful addition to a smoothie. They can also be used for baking or, our personal favorite, strawberry pancakes.
1 pound fresh strawberries
1½ tablespoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
- Rinse & hull your berries per the recipe above.
- Add the berries to your blender or food processor. Continue blending until the ingredients are liquified.
- If you prefer to get rid of the seeds, run the blended mixture through a fine sieve. I tend to skip this step.
- Transfer to a freezer-friendly airtight container or bag.
Kitchen Note: Try your strawberry coulis over a small bowl of Greek yogurt and homemade granola. Pour it slightly warmed over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or with a batch of homemade waffles.
12 ozs fresh strawberries
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Rinse & hull your berries per the recipe above. Cut your berries into halves or quarters so that they all end up about the same size.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the maple syrup, olive oil and salt. Add the strawberries and coat them well.
- Arrange the berries on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading them out evenly.
- Roast them for about 40 minutes or until the juices start to thicken. Be sure to keep them from burning.
- Transfer to a freezer-friendly airtight container or bag and store them away for future use.
Kitchen Note: This recipe for roasted strawberries comes from Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Super Natural Everyday. She suggests adding a couple tablespoons of port and a splash of balsamic vinegar to the berries once they are done. I’ve tried it and it is amazing! But I tend to keep it simple for the younger palettes here at home. Either way, think of them as a wonderful alternative to your traditional jam. Try them on toast or with a warm crepe or biscuit. Delicious.