By Shelby Morrison
Strawberries are to summer what peanut butter is to jelly. The warm weather means strawberries are at their peak. We are right in the middle of strawberry season, which means things are getting a lot sweeter and delicious around here.
Local strawberries provide an extra freshness and sweetness that we don’t usually get from imported varieties. Also, knowing that these berries are coming from fairly nearby is extra special. Supporting local farmers is always important.
Whether you pick these berries yourself or purchase local at the supermarket or famers market, fresh summer strawberries are the way to go. There are tons of different ways to enjoy this sweet fruit, so check out a few ideas below.
Making your own jam might sound time-consuming, but it is actually quite simple. Simply combine sugar and strawberries in a pot and bring to a boil to allow the sugar to dissolve. Stir continuously until you have a sticky, jam like consistency. Once cooled in the refrigerator, your homemade strawberry jam can be served in a variety of ways, such as a topper for toast or cookies, a spread for scones or stirred into yogurt.
A fresh berry trifle on a warm summer day is light, refreshing and incredibly satisfying. Fresh strawberries are layered with pudding, whipped cream and pound cake to create a creamy dessert. The presentation of a trifle is quite beautiful and takes minimal effort and time, which is always a plus, especially because serving this on your summer menu will guarantee you’ll be making it often!
Whether you use a pre-made pie crust or prepare your own, strawberry pie is the perfect dessert for summer. Simply combine strawberries with a little sugar and cornstarch on the stove, let it simmer and pour it into a pre-baked piecrust. Once it settles in the fridge, this dessert is ready to be devoured.
A frozen drink is definitely welcomed during the hot summer months. Strawberries make for a wonderful addition into any smoothie with their perfect sweetness and delicious flavour. Strawberries can be mixed with a variety of other smoothie favourites such as banana, kale, spinach, yogurt and nut butters for a delicious, nutritious and filling accompaniment to a meal.
Strawberries don’t only have to be used in sweet dishes. Strawberries work well in savoury meals as well. Strawberry vinaigrette makes for a unique yet tasty salad dressing. Top greens with a mixture of pureed strawberries, balsamic vinaigrette, a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Feel free to throw in garlic or other herbs to really make this vinaigrette an original salad topper.
With strawberries in their peak season right now, have fun with this sweet fruit and start cooking. Whether you use them in a sweet or savoury way, the freshness and bright flavour is sure to shine through.