With strawberry season already here, household fridges across the UK will soon be jam-packed full of Pavlovas, Eton messes and Strawberry shortcakes. Here are some great ways to enjoy strawberries this summer.
Boasting an abundance of vitamins and antioxidants, strawberries are undeniably delicious, yet equally nutritious.
The cherished red fruit has proven itself a key ingredient in several traditional British recipes over the years, yet few of us are aware of the humble strawberry’s versatility in the kitchen. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, the vibrant fruit can transform any meal from mundane to mouth-watering in minutes.
For those wishing to branch out this summer, Gary Durrant, Head Chef at Hunter 486 restaurant in London’s The Arch Hotel (now the Prince Akatori Hotel), has lent his top tips on how to make the most of the sweet strawberry season and create unique strawberry-centric dishes at home.
Great ways to enjoy strawberries
Hot and cold
Roasting strawberries can create tremendously tasty results, particularly when paired with a generous scoop of Cornish vanilla ice-cream.
To make the most of the oven-baked fruit, ensure the stem is sliced off, cut into quarters and then whisk together with a dash of maple syrup.
The presentation is important with this pretty summer dessert, so let the strawberry slices cool down slightly before scattering them neatly on top of the ice cream.
|Nutella French Toast With Strawberry credit: The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife|
Begin at breakfast
For a decadent breakfast treat, combine sliced strawberries with rhubarb pieces and spread over two thick slices of toast.
To ensure a thorough fusion of flavours, press the fruit gently into the bread then chill in the fridge overnight.
Fry your bread slices the following morning in a frying pan with plenty of butter. Feel free to add dashes of cinnamon and brown sugar too. Serve with a generous helping of Greek yoghurt.
Preparation is key with this dish but it’s worth the fuss!
Scoop it out
Strawberry cheesecake is a well-loved classic and a popular party pudding for any occasion. Why not re-invent the traditional recipe and try a new dinner party dessert?
Simply scoop out the centre of the strawberry and fill it with a cheesecake filling. The classic combination of cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract will hold perfectly inside the fruit when served fresh out of the fridge. For extra wow-factor, serve with a cinnamon glaze.
Alternatively, if it’s a romantic snack you’re after then swap the glaze for a white chocolate dipping sauce.
|Strawberry Kulfi – Image Credit Kalaiselvi Murugesan|
As the weather warms up, homemade strawberry ice-lollies are a refreshing sunbathing snack.
Simply combine crushed strawberries with a spoonful of sugar before mixing into a cold jug of lemonade. Pour the liquid into ice-lolly moulds and place a wooden stick in the centre.
Alternatively, simply add strawberry slices to your ice cube tray and freeze overnight, a trick that will transform your summer beverage from simple to spectacular in a split second.
You could also try a refreshing strawberry kulfi lolly.
|Image credit: Corey Harmon|
Seasonal summer salad
Contrary to popular belief, strawberries are not strictly reserved for the sweet-toothed. Inject a zing into your leafy summer salad by adding balsamic glazed strawberries into the mix.
Gorgonzola cheese and pecan nuts both work particularly well with this dish. You’ll also find a great recipe for strawberry and feta salad in my post about quick and easy summer salads.
I don’t know about you but I’d love to try all of these! What are your favourite ways to enjoy strawberries?
More about strawberries
Is a strawberry a berry? Nope. Strawberries are part of the rose family and they are an accessory aggregate fruit, meaning one that forms from multiple ovaries within the same flower. Accessory fruits contain additional floral parts that grow into achenes, or seeds, on the strawberry flower’s surface.
The strawberry season is generally from late May to September but, you’re thinking of picking your own, it’s best to check with the farm you’re visiting to check their crop is in season.
Chocolate covered strawberries are a great choice for buffet desserts and they’re easy to make too.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamins C and K as well as providing fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. The fruit contain significant amounts of phytonutrients and flavanoids which makes gives them their bright red colour.
How many calories in a strawberry? According to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, a single, large strawberry has six calories. About the same as a stick of gum but much better for you.
If you’re on a keto diet, keep your strawberry portion small. Strawberries have the fewest carbs of all types of berries with about 7.68g of carbohydrates per 100 g of the fruit.
Are strawberries safe for babies? You should be wary of feeding strawberries to babies under 1 year old due to the risk of an allergic reaction. Also make sure that the fruit is carefully chopped to avoid the risk of choking on large pieces.