Posts Tagged ‘strawberries’

Strawberry Agua Fresca

Luscious in color and bright in flavor, this refreshing strawberry agua fresca makes the perfect summer drink. Agua fresca is Spanish for “fresh water” and this beverage is just that — light and fresh! With its ease of preparation and its ability to be made ahead, this beverage invokes effortless summer entertaining. Try adding a splash of tequila to make an easy strawberry margarita or try experimenting with other flavors, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, or cucumber. This agua fresca will make you long for the hot days of summer!

Strawberry Agua Fresca
Cooking Light, May 2005

4 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
6 cups hulled fresh strawberries
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

1. Combine water and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves.
2. Place strawberries in a blender, and process until smooth.
3. Combine the sugar mixture, strawberry puree, and juice; stir well.

Yield: 8 cups (serving size 1-1/3 cups)

Linnell’s Notes:
1. I used Splenda in place of sugar with great results. Because the strawberries I had were farm-ripe sweet, I used less sweetener than the recipe called for. The original recipe states that there are 71 calories per serving, so by substituting Splenda, there will be even fewer calories!

2. Because the two limes I had yielded only 1/8 cup juice, I added 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice to the mix.

3. This beverage should be served well-chilled.


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They’re finally here! After a seemingly long wait, the little strawberry stand down the way from my home finally reopened. Baskets overflow with big, red, ripe, juicy strawberries and customers eagerly stand in line to get some of the first-of-the-season beauties. They are just one of the reasons I love spring!

#1 – Strawberry Trivia – True or False?
A. Strawberries are the only fruit with the seeds on the outside.
B. The average strawberry has about 200 seeds.
C. Strawberries were once used as a toothpaste to clean teeth.
D. Strawberries are the most valuable fruit crop in the U.S.
E. Strawberries will continue to ripen once picked.
F. Strawberries are part of the rose family.
G. Strawberries offer more Vitamin C than any other berry.
I. Strawberries are the second fruit to ripen in the spring.

Answers: A (T ), B (T), C (T), D (F – strawberries are in fourth place after grapes, apples, oranges), E (F – strawberries will not ripen once picked), F (T), G (T), I (F – strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.

#2 – Berry Beautiful
Forget about drinking your strawberry smoothie! Slather it on your face instead! Because strawberries contain salicylic acid and antioxidants, you can use them to make beneficial and natural face masks at home. Go to Strawberry-Recipes to read about the benefits of strawberry facial masks and try its recipe below:

Homemade Strawberry Facial Mask

4 to 5 very ripe, medium size strawberries
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon honey

Rinse the strawberries and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. In a small bowl, mash fruit with a fork. Add cream and honey, mixing well. Apply immediately and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse of with lots of warm water.

#3 – A Wall to Watch
Friday’s Fresh Five! is all about sharing, so when I came across Wall to Watch, an “online gallery of undiscovered content,” I knew I had to share it. It’s a site that presents nine interesting articles a day. Check it out and enjoy!

#4 – Berry Good For You
Eating blueberries and strawberries are one of the nine things listed in the article “Boost your brain: things to do, eat and drink which could stave off Alzheimer’s.” I already feed my husband nutrient-packed strawberries and blueberries; now if I could only get him to follow tip number 2 and clean the house for his own good!

#5 – Love Is A Fruit
Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.
Mother Teresa

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Locally grown strawberries are indescribably sweet and juicy treats right now, so I consider myself fortunate to live in an area where strawberry stands dot the roadsides. Strawberries have been players in my gastronomic memories. I remember going to an annual strawberry festival that helped raise funds to support a local children’s orphanage in my girlhood hometown. And when I was pregnant with my first child, I craved strawberries. Not a bad thing to crave because strawberries contain vitamins A, C, and K and also contain calcium. Fresh strawberries did little to ease my craving, though. I found that strawberry cake and strawberry pie did the trick and miraculously I was able to keep my weight gain down to the necessary minimum on that strawberry diet and gave birth to an under 6 pound baby. Currently, I live near a town that is reviving its aging strawberry festival and is promoting independent growers instead of wholesalers. Because delectable strawberry-based goodies are everywhere to be found, it’s my kind of festival!

Here are some strawberry tips to keep in mind: Strawberries will not ripen after they’ve been picked, so purchase strawberries that are firm and bright red with no white or green areas and ones that are also free of mold or damage. Look for berries with fresh looking green foliage caps. Strawberries can be refrigerated for one to three days, but do not wash or hull them until ready to be eaten. Whole unwashed berries can be frozen in airtight containers or bags for use all year long.

While I was rummaging through my recipe cards in my circa 1970’s shoebox, I came across a recipe for strawberry pie. With six baskets of berries sitting on my kitchen counter and company coming over for dinner tonight, I thought I’d dust off this recipe and give it another try. It’s a simple recipe and if it tastes as good as it looks, it should be fabulous!

Strawberry Glaze Pie
1 9-inch pie crust, baked
About 4 cups of fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 cup sugar
3 T cornstarch
3/4 cup cold water
Whipping cream or ice cream

Mash 1-1/2 cups of berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour thickened mixture into a mesh sieve over a bowl and stir to strain the glaze.

Place about 1-1/2 cup berries stem end down on baked pie crust and pour half of the glaze over the berries. Add remaining berries and pour remaining glaze over them.

Chill for several hours before serving.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Serves 8.

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