I look forward to eating strawberries every year, and with Wimbledon just around the corner, the British strawberry is ripe and ready to take centre stage! As these are one of my favourites, I try to make sure I not only make the most of them, but also don’t waste any, and with these easy ideas, you can too!
First stop: buy your berries. I’m lucky enough to have access to my parents’ strawberry patch for fresh pickings, but when I buy from the shop, I look for the best berries that I know I’ll be able to use for a few days. Look for plump, shiny strawberries, ideally organic, always British! As well as supporting British farmers, these strawberries have clocked up less miles than imports, and also taste sweeter – or is that psychological?…
As I found out this week, apparently it is! I watched a TV programme with Michael Mosley that revealed the secret of strawberries’ sweetness is their lovely fragrant smell, and that they actually have less sugar than sharper blueberries – who knew? So because of this, I’m adding a fragrant smell to my list of things to look for in the perfect strawberry. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love the delicious smell of fresh strawberries in summer?!
Once you’ve got your strawberries sorted, next comes the best bit – eating them! If, like me, you can’t quite eat a whole box in one sitting, there are a few things you can do to make the most of all the strawberries, without having to throw out the ones that got a bit squashy. On the day you buy them, eat them exactly as they are, or serve the classic Wimbledon combo, with cream. To make the most of their flavour, serve the strawberries at room temperature, and preferably, in the sunshine!
After a day or 2 in the fridge, the strawberries will still be really tasty, but not quite the little starlets they were when you bought them. Give them a little helping hand and add some texture to slightly softer fruits with this easy layered yogurt dessert pots recipe. You could even switch the biscuit base for granola and serve them as a summery breakfast treat!
I put these together as a quick afternoon snack on a hot day, and they didn’t last long! Make sure you get in quick and enjoy these before someone else does… You might notice some sneaky raspberries in this recipe, and these go perfectly with the strawberries, but any combination of fresh berries will be delicious!
Berry and Yogurt Layered Dessert Pots Recipe (makes 1 pot, ready in 5 minutes)
2 tbsp of crushed digestives & whole rolled oats 4 tbsp 0% fat yogurt 2 tbsp double cream 2 tsp raspberry jam A handful of fresh berries, washed
Mix the yogurt and cream together in a separate bowl. Layer the ingredients in a glass or jam jar, starting with the biscuit and oat mix, then about 2/3 of the yogurt & cream, then jam, then the rest of the yogurt & cream, and top with fresh berries. Enjoy!
Another day or 2 later, and the strawberries are starting to look sorry for themselves now. Strawberries can go quite squashy after a few days, and definitely don’t look as plump and shiny as they did on day 1! At this point, they are perfect for cooking with. Bake strawberry tarts or cakes, make strawberry sauce or jam, to keep a little ray of sunshine in the cupboard to brighten autumn and winter days.
To me, these are absolutely calling out to be whizzed up into a fresh summer smoothie, that’s a perfect snack or breakfast. Make it the night before a busy day for a healthy quick fix breakfast, or whizz up an afternoon treat.
‘Strawberry Milkshake’ Breakfast Smoothie Recipe (serves 1, ready in 5 minutes)
¼ cup of whole rolled oats 1 cup fresh strawberries, washed & leaves removed ½ cup milk 1 tsp maple syrup 4 tbsp 0% fat yogurt
Whizz all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. If it’s a little thick, stir in a little extra milk until you achieve the desired consistency. For a little decoration, add some powdered freeze-dried raspberries (you can do this really easily in a spice grinder). Enjoy straight away, or keep in the fridge for tomorrow morning!
If you have homemade strawberry jam to use, why not try it in try this Victoria Sponge Fairy Cakes Recipe