Monday, April 30, 2012

A Taste of Spring: Ode to Strawberries

Due to my allergies, I have a love-hate relationship with Spring. But one of my favorite things that I always look forward to? Strawberries.
Strawberries Taste Like Strawberries
Strawberries are an amazing fruit. One serving of the berries gives more than half your daily amount of Vitamin C, a super antioxidant & immune booster. They can also promote eye health and fight off cancer, wrinkles, inflammation, and even bad cholesterol. They also help regulate your blood pressure & maintain a healthy weight. This is only if you're not adding tons of granulated sugar. But why would you need that?

Take all of that and add the fact that fresh strawberries are delicious. Thankfully, there are several local farms here that offer plenty of strawberries. Our city used to be considered the strawberry capital of the world in the 1940's. My friend Roxy & I visited a farm just outside of town that grew organic strawberries this weekend. Even better: they let you pick the berries.
Roxy's kids helped us too
There is nothing better than picking fruit for you & your family. It helps you understand where your food comes from. You can also witness life itself. Everything from the blossom that will become a strawberry down to the breakdown after it goes bad.
A good bonus to always getting local? It was only $3.50 a quart... and the farmer threw a few extra in afterwards. I love working with the person that grows my food verses picking out something from a shelf with no idea where it comes from or who produced it.

So needless to say, we got a lot of strawberries. And I already had a plan to use them. Before going out, I found an amazing recipe (on pinterest of course) for Strawberry Crumb Bars that I had to try. And I'm so glad I did. You should check out this recipe for sure. Look at it ahead of time though. The hardest thing I found was trying to make the dough crumb-ally. The author suggested cutting up the butter into pea-size pieces, but that's easier said than done. I ended up spending a lot of time with the dough mixture & a fork to get it right. But believe me, it's all worth it.
My outcome of the Strawberry Crumb Bars recipe
I baked it one evening & tried it out the next morning. Oh my. I think this recipe will become a staple every spring when strawberries are ripe. While the dough took some work, it is light, buttery & a perfect match with the strawberries & sauce. I highly recommend this simple & delicious recipe.

That wasn't the only thing I baked this weekend. Apparently I was in full sweet tooth mode with some no-bake oreo truffles (turned a little messy for some reason) & made some healthier tweeks to my favorite oatmeal muffin recipe (used Amish butter & oat flour instead. Still delicious.) Mix that in with the constant unpacking, cleaning & work and you end up with a full weekend. It all went by so fast.

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