Fresh strawberries are the sweet red fruit of the strawberry plant. They are at their best fresh in the summer months, although imported strawberries can be found year round. Frozen strawberries are always available and work very well in smoothies or desserts where a fresh texture is not so important.
Strawberries contain natural sugars and some dietary fiber, with plenty of vitamin C. Fresh strawberries are delicious but they don’t keep for long, so be sure to wash and trim them, then eat them as soon as possible.
It’s well worth the investment in organic strawberries. Non-organic strawberries are grown with a large selection of pesticides, making them some of the most toxin-laden produce available. Organic strawberries on the other hand, are allowed to ripen slowly in the sun, absorbing the nutrients of the soil. The result is a firmer fruit, with less water content and much more flavor.
The following recipes are from www.nutritionmd.org, reprinted with permission
Makes 4 servings
Fresh strawberries are a sign of summer. For fun, cut the shortcakes into different shapes using cookie cutters.
2 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
4 teaspoons sugar
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons organic canola or safflower oil
1 tablespoon frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed (undiluted)
1/3 cup fortified plain or vanilla soy- or rice milk, as needed
1/2 cup Tofu Whipped Topping or other non-dairy whipped topping
Combine strawberries and sugar and toss gently. Let stand 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°F. To make the shortcakes, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry wire whisk. Combine oil and juice concentrate in a small measuring cup and beat with a fork until well blended. Pour into flour mixture, and cut in with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Using a fork, stir in just enough non-dairy milk so dough leaves the sides of the bowl and rounds up into a ball. (Too much non-dairy milk will make the dough sticky; not enough milk will make the shortcakes dry.) Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 20 to 25 times, about 30 seconds, then gently smooth into a ball. Roll or pat dough into a 1/2-inch-thick circle and cut with a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter into 4 rounds. Place shortcakes on a dry baking sheet as soon as they are cut, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Bake on center rack of oven until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack.
Carefully split shortcakes crosswise while they are warm, and spread with a small amount of the whipped topping. Place bottom halves of shortcakes on four dessert plates, and spoon half of the strawberries over them. Cover with the top halves of the shortcakes. Spoon on remaining strawberries, and top with the remaining whipped topping.
If desired, any other fresh, seasonal berries of your choice may be substituted for the strawberries.
Kiwi Strawberry Salad
Makes 2 servings
1 pint large organic strawberries
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
lime zest, for garnish
Rinse strawberries and pat dry with paper towel. Cut or pull out the leaves as well as the hull of the strawberries with a paring knife. Peel kiwis with the knife. Cut strawberries and kiwis into thick slices. Arrange the fruit in overlapping layers on a serving dish. In a small bowl, mix lime juice, agave nectar or honey, and orange juice until blended to make the dressing. Drizzle the fruit with the dressing. Garnish with lime zest.
The following recipe is from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook, by Vegetarians of Washington
If you prefer a more liquid consistency, replace some of the tofu with more soymilk. For a more solid dessert, use more tofu and less soymilk. You can use other fresh fruits in season, such as peaches, pineapple, nectarines, mango, papaya, kiwi, pears, cantaloupe, etc. Be adventurous!
4 ounces (1/2 cup) silken tofu
1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 large banana
Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Serve.