Strawberry Madness!

Thrifty Travel Mama - Strawberry Madness! Ideas and RecipesMmmmm strawberries!  Nothing says summer like a juicy bite out of a gigantic ripe strawberry.  The deepest darkest crimson ones are the sweetest, bursting with flavor.  Savoring each refreshing berry, it’s hard to think that life could get any better than this.

The boys and I have embraced this season by heading out to some fields in our area and picking our own strawberries.  Since we haven’t joined the harvest-it-yourself bandwagon for several years, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Would they be bored?  Rowdy?  Would they turn into little thieves, stuffing their faces with pilfered fruit?Thrifty Travel Mama - Strawberry Madness! Ideas and RecipesThankfully, after a quick lesson in which berries to pick (big, bright, all-over red) and which ones to leave (small, white, green, rotten) each of the boys dutifully placed the strawberries in their designated buckets.  Thrifty Travel Mama - Strawberry Madness! Ideas and RecipesWhat’s more, I didn’t even have to give a soapbox speech about stealing.  Okay, we “taste tested” a few to make sure we were buying quality goods.  But, after doing our due diligence, we picked our way past 4 kilos!

While it’s great fun to fill your baskets, afterward you must decide just what to do with allllll those strawberries.Thrifty Travel Mama - Strawberry Madness! Ideas and RecipesMay I offer a few simple suggestions?

Fruit leather.  A huge hit in our household, you won’t believe what a cinch this is to make.  Simply puree your fruit, spread it on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and dehydrate in the oven at the lowest possible setting for 6+ hours.  If you must have a recipe, this one’s handyThrifty Travel Mama - Strawberry Madness! Ideas and RecipesFor thicker, more pliable fruit leather (and a more balanced taste), add 1/2 cup applesauce to your strawberries before pureeing.  P.s. – you totally do not need sugar in your fruit leather.  You do, however, need to sweeten your syrup (see below).Thrifty Travel Mama - Strawberry Madness! Ideas and RecipesBerry Sorbet True sorbet isn’t made with dairy, but this particular recipe uses a bit of yogurt to smooth out the texture.  Place frozen berries, yogurt, and a few tablespoons of sugar in a food processor.  Give it a whirl, and voila!  An easy summer dessert that’s good enough for company.

Thrifty Travel Mama - Strawberry Madness! Ideas and RecipesStrawberry Syrup.  Another mighty fine condiment, this one is just as easy to whip up as blueberry or chocolate syrupBoil strawberries, water, and sugar until the berries break down.  Blast to bits with a hand mixer.  You can either leave the syrup as is or strain it to remove the seeds and pulp.  Though I strained the blueberry variety, I decided to leave the strawberry syrup as is.  If you need a recipe, here’s a good one.Thrifty Travel Mama - Strawberry Madness! Ideas and Recipes

Thrifty Travel Mama - Strawberry Madness! Ideas and RecipesThis sweet & pretty dark pink puree is the base for all sorts of kitchen magic.  Allow it to work wonders as a French toast topping or be the star of pink lemonade.  Make show-stopping strawberry milkshakes with this syrup and vanilla ice cream.Thrifty Travel Mama - Strawberry Madness! Ideas and RecipesOther ideasBesides the obvious jam option, toss sliced strawberries into a spinach salad with balsamic and toasted walnuts.  Make chocolate-covered strawberries with the biggest ones.  Bake a strawberry crumble, or even this amazing no-bake strawberry cheesecake.  If you really want to impress, this is the best strawberry cake EVER.

Dairy-free berry tart: crust recipe here, but sub coconut oil for butter.  "Cream" recipe (and gluten-free crust option) here.

Dairy-free berry tart from our Fourth of July picnic in Badenweiler: crust recipe here, but sub coconut oil for butter. Vanilla bean custard recipe (and gluten-free crust option) here.

Whatever you do, do it quickly for these sweet red gems don’t last long.  Eat, drink, and enjoy because soon the strawberries – and summer – will be gone.

In the mood for blueberries instead?  Indulge in a sip of summer with these refreshing summer blueberry drinks!Signature-Marigold

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6 thoughts on “Strawberry Madness!

  1. I am loving strawberry season here in Germany! They seem so much sweeter than the ones that were imported from California to where we lived in the States. Can I pick the berries and just have you make all that stuff for me? ;-)

  2. Pingback: Apple Madness! A Recipe Round Up to Whittle Your Stash | Thrifty Travel Mama

  3. Pingback: Ketchup: The Past Four Months + the Future in 1000 Words (or More) | Thrifty Travel Mama

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