Nothing says summer like ripe juicy strawberries. The mouth watering, taste-bud tingling delectable red fruit is bursting with sweet sugary palate awakening flavor and is pretty much over the top when it comes to sensational foods that nail our senses dead on. They are the ultimate low calorie summer treat to get the festivities rolling and our mouths watering.
There are literally thousands of recipes that include fresh strawberries because cooks and foodies know that it takes any dish to a whole new level of freshness, quality, and they remind us of our inner-child. It is the quintessential summer food that works perfectly in both drinks and desserts. Strawberries are also the go-to breakfast warm up, feel good side dish that works well on top of waffles, crepes, cheesecake or sliced on top of yogurt.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and potassium. They also happen to be low in calories and fat. It is no wonder that strawberries, champagne and romance go hand in hand when you consider popular folklore over the succulent fruit. It is thought that cutting a double strawberry in half and sharing it with a potential lover will soon lead you directly into marital bliss.
Strawberry Drinks & Recipes
Quick Strawberry Compote
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced in half
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool and serve over ice cream, cheesecake or waffles. Refrigerate any unused portion.
Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries
16 ounces sweetened Nestles milk or dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons Crisco shortening
16-24 large fresh strawberries with leaves left intact
Slowly melt the chocolate and shortening in a double boiler over medium low heat. Stir occasionally until smooth. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip it into the chocolate mixture. Remove it from the chocolate, and turn the strawberry slightly tipped upside down onto wax paper. Allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature.
4 cups fresh strawberries cut into quarters
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh strawberries sliced for garnish
1 can Ready Whip topping
8 dessert bowls
Puree the strawberries and sugar in a food processor. Pour the puree into a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Next put the gelatin in a small saucepan and add the water. Let it stand for a few minutes until the gelatin dissolves. Simmer over low heat and stir just until the gelatin is clear and hot. Remove from the heat. Slowly whisk the gelatin mixture into the strawberry puree.
In a separate bowl, beat the cream until it holds soft peaks. Gently fold the cream into the strawberry mixture. Divide the mousse into the 8 dessert bowls. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set. Just before serving, garnish each bowl of mousse with whipped cream and sliced berries.
Non-Alcoholic Strawberry Coolers
Nothing beats the summer heat quite like a refreshing fruity cooler. Betty Crocker has developed the perfect non-alcoholic drink that both children and adults will enjoy. The recipe is simple and the combination of cold fruity-red sweet liquid and ice cubes is divine at any party or for just plain relaxing table or pool side.
1 envelope (2-quart size) strawberry-flavored drink mix
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups water
2 cups strawberries, stems removed
1- 2 liter bottle 7-up
Mix the first three ingredients. Pour mix into ice-cube trays. Place one whole strawberry in each cube. Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight. Pour the 7-up in tall glasses with the strawberry ice-cubes and serve.
Strawberry Rum Coolers
2 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup ginger ale, strawberry soda or 7-up
1 shot dark rum
Mix all of the ingredients in a blender for 30-40 seconds. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberry.
Quick & Easy Strawberry Daiquiri’s
½ cup white rum
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ to ½ cup simple syrup depending on taste
1 cup fresh strawberries
Ice cubes-enough to give thick but pourable consistency
Sliced lime wedges
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Bring the water to a boil. Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly.
Once the sugar is dissolved completely, immediately remove the pan from the heat so that it doesn’t get to thick. Allow to cool completely.
Add all ingredients to the blender and mix to desired consistency. Pour into cocktail glasses and serve with lime wedges.
Monterey Bay, Watsonville, California “Sweet 16” Strawberry Festival
Strawberries are to Watsonville, California as garlic is to Gilroy, California. In fact the region is one of the largest strawberry growers and producers in the World. The state of California harvests 83% of the strawberries grown in the U.S. on approximately 24,500 acres. There just is nothing quite like it, and several thousand people flock each year to prove it is one of the best berry fairs in the U.S.
The free admission festival is from July 31st to August 1st 2010, and features sweet berry treats, savory dishes, carnival rides and street entertainment. Sweet aromas fill the air as strawberries and other delicious food and strawberry desserts fill your tummy. For more information call (415) 249-4625 or go to: http://www.mbsf.com/
The London, Ohio Strawberry Festival is held annually on the first Thursday through Saturday after Father’s day. The 2011 festival will be held on June 23, 24, & 25. Events like the thunder of Cobras, a baby and shortcake contest are only a few reasons to visit this well established strawberry extravaganza. Each year the festival grows and thousands of people from all over the U.S. come to sample the heartiest and sweetest strawberries in the region. For more information go to: http://londonstrawberryfestival.com/
Strawberries are the only fruit with the seeds on the outside.
Wepion, Belgium is the World capital of strawberries.
Roses and strawberries come from the same family.
A Non-Edible Strawberry Tidbit
From August 7th to August 10th, 1970, the Strawberry Fields rock musical Festival held at Mosport Park raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario Canada, drew in a crowd estimated between 80,000 and 100,000 people and has been dubbed Canada’s answer to Woodstock. John Lennon, Strawberry Fields 1966 was rumored as being the mastermind and organizer behind the festival although he was not personally there.