Strawberry Fields Forever

Oh those little red jewels of summer! Strawberries. Sweet and juicy, we fight off our kids to stake our claim when we bring them home from the farmer’s market.  Who knew that something so delicious could be so good for you? Rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, folate, and antioxidants, strawberries (as part of a healthy diet) can help reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, as well as make it super easy to maintain a healthy weight.

Look for strawberries that are plump, bright red in color, and have fresh green caps. If you’re going to use them right away, then store them on the counter. If you’re not going to get to them for a day or two (impossible – how could you resist?), then store them in the refrigerator. Rinse them under cool water right before you eat them. By the way, strawberries taste best when they are at room temperature.

Unfortunately, strawberries rank high on the “Dirty Dozen” list – the twelve fruits and vegetables that contain the highest levels of pesticides. Because of this, make sure to buy organic strawberries. You’ll pay a bit more, but it’s worth it.

Strawberries can be used in all kinds of recipes – both savory and sweet. Mix up a strawberry salsa to serve over chicken. Puree them and then strain out the seeds to make a beautiful strawberry coulis (sauce) to go over pancakes, waffles, french toast, or ice cream. Toss them in some balsamic vinegar and spoon over some ricotta cheese for an elegant dessert. When in doubt, melt some dark chocolate and dip the strawberries; place them on a plate and let the chocolate harden in the refrigerator. All this talk of strawberries has put us in the mood for some!

For a dessert that will really wow! your crowd, try our Triple Berry Cobbler.

TRIPLE BERRY COBBLER

8 servings: Per serving: 227 calories; 1.3 (g) fat; 50.8 (g) carbs; 10.6 (g) fiber; 5.6 (g) protein

  • 2 pints organic strawberries
  • 1 pint organic raspberries
  • 1 pint organic blackberries
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tbs. vanilla extract
  1. Puree 1 pint strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla extract in a food processor.
  2. Place remaining berries, 1/4 cup sugar, and flour in a Dutch oven.
  3. Pour puree over berries. bring to a boil over medium-high heat and let thicken.
  4. Transfer to a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Top with biscuit dough.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned.

Biscuit topping

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  1. Pour the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine. Add the milk and oil and stir until blended. If your mixture is too “wet” sprinkle in a little more flour and mix with a fork until you can handle the mixture with your hands.
  2. Sprinkle a little flour on a large wooden cutting board or on a granite counter top. Place the dough on the flour and roll out with a rolling pin until 1/2-inch thick. Cut out biscuits with a cookie cutter in the shape of your choice (I like stars for the upcoming 4th of July). Place the biscuits on top of the cobbler filling about 1 inch apart.
  3. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl and sprinkle over the top of the biscuits. Place in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until the biscuits are golden. Remove from oven and let stand about 20 minutes before serving.
  4. Optional: serve with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt or freshly whipped cream.

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