Most of you have read a post or two of mine where I talk about being born and raised in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, right?! I’m pretty sure that the key word there is WINTER, since most everyone else has strawberries go in season in late spring or early summer! Regardless of date, I will always have a spot in my heart for all things strawberry!
So when Shelly Dion contacted me with a post on strawberry DESSERTS…how could I refuse?! Trust me, you’ll be glad I didn’t! Check out her ideas!
Right around the end of May and early June, you can hardly drive down a country road without encountering at least a couple of signs advertising a “pick-it-yourself” strawberry patch. Strawberries are one of the earliest fruits of the season, and are rather simple to grow. If you don´t have a small patch of land to plant a few strawberry plants on your own, there are surely dozens of small farmers around your region that are growing one of summer’s most delectable delights.
Since strawberry harvesting has to be done by hand, it can be an extremely time consuming process for the small farmer. For that reason, many farmers set up “you-pick” systems where customers can come and pick to their heart´s delight. Not only is it a great way to get some exercise and enjoy a fun day as a family, you´ll also get a great deal on the strawberries you pick as they´re generally much cheaper than if you by them already picked.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
Believe it or not, strawberries are actually extremely healthy for you. They are packed with antioxidants and super rich in essential vitamins and minerals. On top of that, consuming strawberries regularly can reduce the risk of heart attack by over 30% in young and middle aged women.
Furthermore, the high level of antioxidants can help to prevent blood clots which could lead to strokes. If you struggle with high blood pressure, a strawberry and banana smoothie will load you up with needed potassium which is a great way to reduce the negative effects of sodium in the body. One study had a group of people consume a pound of strawberries every day for a month. At the end of the month, the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides had been significantly reduced.
Lastly, if you suffer from allergies during late spring and early summer when pollen of hundreds of plants fill the air, eating strawberries on a regular basis might actually help to combat your allergies . Strawberries contain quercetin which is an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce the effects of your allergies.
A Few Great Dessert Recipes
Simply cutting up a strawberries and covering them with a little bit of honey and cinnamon is my favorite way to enjoy strawberries. There is nothing better than sitting on the back porch after dinner, listening to the crickets and frogs begin their nightly melody, watch the sun set through the trees, and enjoy a sweet bowl of strawberries. Strawberries, however, are also an extremely versatile fruit that can be used in hundreds of dessert recipes. From the most gluttonous and fattening shortcake that we all deserve once in a while, to a light yogurt and strawberry parfait that will fit the standards of any diet, strawberries can be used for almost any dessert.
Let´s begin with the traditional favorite: strawberry shortcake. Shortcake is made with lots of shortening (thus the name) and you can´t truly enjoy it without plentiful scoops of whipped cream, so if you´re on a strict diet this might not be the one for you. But if you don´t mind the occasional splurge, then by all means do try this one out!
- 3 pints fresh strawberries
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 2 cups whipped heavy cream
- 1 egg
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Cut the strawberries into thin slices and mix with 1/3 cup of honey. You can add cinnamon if you wish.
Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and the salt in a large bowl and mix in the shortening until coarse crumbs appear. Beat the eggs with the mix and then add to the volcano looking flour mixture and stir well.
Prepare an 8-inch cake pan by greasing and then flouring. Spread the batter into the pan and bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) until golden and just crispy (about 15 – 20 minutes).
Once the shortcake is cooled, slice it into two to make two layers. Layer one half with the strawberries and then top with the other layer to make a sandwich. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream and enjoy.
Strawberry Yogurt Parfait
This light dessert is quick and easy and is a great compliment to any meal.
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup granola
Combine the strawberries and the honey in a small bowl and let marinade for about 10 minutes. To make the parfait, start with a layer of yogurt. Then add the strawberries with their juice. Go back and forth between these two layers and top off with the granola. This simple dessert can also be eaten as a quick and healthy breakfast on your way to work.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
This classic dessert is best when served on a skewer and enjoyed with a glass of sweet red wine.
- 2 pounds fresh whole strawberries
- 12 ounces Milk chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons of shortening
- Wooden skewers
Start by putting the strawberries in the freezer the night before. Melt the chocolate and shortening in a double boiler. While it´s melting place the whole, frozen strawberries on the skewer stick and then dip them in the melted chocolate. Once the chocolate stops dripping you can place the skewers in the refrigerator or freezer until dessert time.
These simple summer recipes will keep you and your family happy and help you find a use for the bumper crop of strawberries you´re pulling from your garden or for the heaps of frozen strawberries from your last stop at a pick-it-yourself strawberry farm.
Shelly Dion lives in the beautiful Caribbean from where she launches her travels to as far as she can go. Shelly enjoys meeting new people, exploring cultures and places. She is passionate about health, nature, cooking and watercolor painting. She also uses her public health background to inspire people to choose a lifestyle of health and wellness in her writing for HealthListed.com.
Please excuse me while I run to the store and grab some strawberries! My goodness! What is YOUR favorite strawberry dessert?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!