Berry delight: one variant, three meals

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Scientifically known as Fragaria X ananassa, strawberries are by far the sweetest fruit that just brings memories of childhood when you indulge. They are available nearly all year round, but, like any fruit, they are most enjoyed in summer. We think they’re somewhat juicier then and in spring too.

Because of the many health benefits this fruit presents, we thought recipes of how best to enjoy them would be in order. Of course, it is such a versatile fruit that you can have it for breakfast, lunch or supper, so here are our favourite recipes for all three meals.

Bonus: Get your strawberries from the Publix ad for this week at $6 for 2.

Breakfast Option 1: Strawberry Milk

 Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 cups cold milk
  • 1 qt. Fresh hulled strawberries
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. Sugar
  • Salt (pinch)

How to make it:

Blend strawberries and sugar then add to a bowl using a wire mesh strainer to collect the juice only. Discard the pulp. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract. Add milk and mix well. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving. This makes about six cups; you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days.

PS: You can make this a great cocktail drink too by adding ¼ cup strawberry liqueur just before serving.

 Breakfast Option 2: Fresh Strawberry Tacos

Ingredients

6 x 6 inch flour tortillas

1 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. butter

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1 ¾ cups fresh strawberries (quartered)

⅓ cup softened cream cheese

⅓ cup vanilla yogurt

How to make it:

Switch on your stove to medium – low heat. Take a large skillet and heat 1 teaspoon of butter. Place a tortilla in there and cook it till golden brown on each side. Do this with the remaining butter and cook all the tortillas. Transfer them to a wire rack when they’re done. Take a bowl and put together your cream cheese, cinnamon and honey. Beat the mixture and slowly add your yogurt until everything is well-blended. Scoop your mixture onto the tortillas and spread evenly. Top with strawberries and enjoy the yummy sweet treat.

Lunch Option 1: Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Cobb Salad

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 succulent chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1 head lettuce
  • ½ sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 4 oz. crumbed feta cheese
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

How to make it

Tear your lettuce and layer it in a bowl together with the chicken breast, avocado, red onion, peas, strawberries and feta. In a cup, mix the lime zest, juice, honey, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the mixture over the salad while tossing it. Serve immediately.

Lunch Option 2: Healthy Strawberry Spring Rolls with a Peanut Dip

Ingredients

For the Spring rolls:

2 carrots (grated)

8 strawberries (diced)

1 ¼ cups green cabbage (shredded)

¼ cup cilantro (chopped)

8 x 6 inch rice wrappers

For the Peanut Dip:

1 clove garlic (peeled)

1 tsp. Ginger

½ tsp. Sriracha

¼ cup rice vinegar

½ cup peanut butter (we prefer the no-sugar-added type)**

2 tbsp soy sauce or liquid aminos

**If you are allergic to peanut butter, you can substitute it with seed butter or another type of nut butter.

How to make it:

Dip:

Place your dip ingredients in a blender and work it until you have a smooth paste. You can add a bit of water for a thinner consistency. Make sure to add it one tablespoon at a time. Put the dip in a bowl and refrigerate it whilst you prepare the spring rolls.

Springrolls:

Take a medium-sized bowl and add your cilantro, cabbage, strawberries, carrots and the dip. Toss the ingredients using tongs.

Take a large plate and fill its centre with water.  Lay your first rice wrapper on the plate and when the edges start curling, flip it and let it sit for 30 more seconds. Take it out of the water and place it on a dry plate. Scoop a generous amount of the vegetables from your bowl and spread them over half of the wrapper. Roll it and tuck in the front and edges until the spring roll is formed and sealed. Do this with all the rice wrappers. Share the goodness with a friend or family member!

Dinner: Pita Sandwiches with Strawberry Hummus

Ingredients

For the hummus:

2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 tsp. Fresh lemon juice

¼ tsp. Ground black pepper (fresh)

½ tsp salt (kosher)

114.5 oz garbanzo beans (rinse and drain them)

For the sandwiches:

1 cup cooked chicken, shredded

2 pitas, halved (we prefer whole wheat ones)

1 bunch watercress

4 strawberries hulled and cut up

½ cup cucumber (sliced)

¼  cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup red onion sliced thinly

½ of the strawberry hummus

How to make it:

Hummus

Take your food processor and fill it with the strawberries, beans, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend the mixture until it’s a smooth texture.

Pita sandwiches

Open up your pita halves and put in the reserved hummus. Spread it evenly around for full taste. Add your shredded chicken, sliced strawberries, watercress, cucumbers, onion and feta cheese. The other half of the hummus is for dipping. Enjoy!

After Dinner Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup rhubarb, finely chopped
  • 3 cups plain/fat reduced Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup

How to make it:

In a bowl, mix 2⁄3 cup sugar, yogurt, corn syrup, half-and-half, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk the mixture till all the sugar has dissolved. Let it stand for 5 mins before chilling it in the refrigerator until very cold – about 2hours. While waiting, take your strawberries, rhubarb and leftover sugar to the pot. Cook the mixture for about 8 mins over medium heat – or until the strawberries are soft, almost breaking down. Swirl this mixture into the yogurt one. Use an electric ice-cream maker to process it and then freeze it for about an hour before serving. This yummy dessert can last up to 1 week in your freezer.

Healthy Facts

Strawberries are packed with goodness: fiber, vitamins – especially vit. C, antioxidants, manganese and potassium. They are fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free and very low in calories. They are good for your heart, brain and general well-being! Eat 8 medium strawberries a day and watch your health change.

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