It’s spring, which means strawberries are at the peak of their season. These beautiful, juicy, red gems are like nature’s candy. We usually buy a few boxes at a time because everyone in the house fights over them. We put them in smoothies, cereal, salads, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and eat them straight out of the box (after rinsing, of course).
And we only buy organic, as strawberries are on the “Dirty Dozen” list published by the Environmental Working Group. Organic means chemical-free, not dirt-free, so please rinse before using 😉
Did you know that strawberries are also delicious cooked? And, they pair beautifully with balsamic vinegar. Balsamic-macerated strawberries are actually a very popular dessert in Italy. Quite often basil or ground black pepper is also added to the mix and it might be served over some fresh ricotta cheese.
For a recent cooking class, we decided to take a classic strawberry shortcake and elevate it. First, we swapped out the raw strawberries for balsamic and honey roasted strawberries. Then we decided to “healthify” the shortcake by making gluten-free and paleo-friendly shortcakes using almond meal. The kids loved the shortcakes so much that they ate them plain for a snack! Kid-tested and approved!
- 2 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved
- 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs. raw honey, melted
- For the shortcakes:
- • 2 eggs
- • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (grade B)
- • 1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil
- • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- • 2 1/2 cups almond meal or almond flour
- • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- • freshly whipped cream (add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 Tbs. pure maple syurp when the cream is almost fully whipped)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Place the strawberries in a large bowl. Combine the vinegar and honey and pour over berries; toss to coat. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Place berries on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Roast 25 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Combine the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract in a food processor until frothy. Add the almond meal, salt, and baking powder blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Drop the batter using a 1/4 cup measuring cup onto a lined and sprayed baking sheet (or Silpat). Bake for 25 minutes.
- Cut cakes in half; top one half with strawberry mixture and 2 tbs. whipped cream or yogurt, then top with the other half.