Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strawberry Season




Spring brings with it so many wonderful fruits and vegetables – we have been eating as much asparagus and Swiss chard as we can get our hands on. Ruby red, irresistible strawberries have also begun to show up at our farmer’s market. As a child I absolutely adored strawberries – during the height of the season I would head out into the berry patch with two bowls, one filled with water, the other a bit of sugar. I would camp out, carefully picking the reddest, ripest fruits, giving them a brief wash and a little dip in sugar before gobbling them up. I have since given up the sugar, but not my love for strawberries. In addition to enjoying the perfectly ripe berries on baby greens, I made a couple of honey-sweetened strawberry treats this week (you could easily substitute agave nectar to make these vegan friendly and lower glycemic, but my tummy seems to tolerate honey better). First a strawberry and peach crumble (gluten free and dairy free), and second a strawberry rhubarb refrigerator jam (also gluten and dairy free). Both are really simple and super yummy.

Strawberry Peach Crumble
*sorry no picture – I took this to a dinner party and cooked it at the hosts home so it would be nice and warm at dessert time

Filling:
Juice from half a large lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons Arrowroot (could substitute cornstarch, but probably use a little less)
11/2 Pounds of Strawberries, rinsed and halved
1 Pound Peaches, sliced (I used frozen – gasp!)
¼ Cup Honey or Agave

Topping:
2/3 Cup Almond Meal or Flour (if you can have wheat you can also use regular flour, but you will probably need to add a little more oil - a couple tablespoons)
2/3 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
½ Cup Sliced Almonds
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ Cup Honey or Agave
¼ Cup Olive Oil (or melted coconut oil or grape seed oil)

For the Filling:
In a large bowl, use a whisk to thoroughly combine the lemon juice, arrowroot, and honey. Add the strawberries and peaches; toss to coat them evenly with honey mixture

For the Topping:
Combine the almond flour, oats, almonds, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda – taking care not to break the sliced almonds. In a separate bowl (or large liquid measuring cup) combine the honey and oil. Add the honey mixture to the almond flour mixture; use a fork to create a crumbly mixture.

Assembly:
Place the filling in a deep pie pan or square glass baking dish. Use your fingers to sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling.

Cooking:
Bake the crumble in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (the fruit will still be a bit toothsome at this point). Keep a close eye on the topping – the honey makes it brown quickly, so you may need to tent it with a piece of foil. Allow the crumble to cool at least 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.

Strawberry Rhubarb Refrigerator Jam
*This would also make a nice sauce for ice cream, yogurt, pancakes or a simple cake

1 pint strawberries, rinsed and quartered
2 large stalks of rhubarb, thinly sliced
1/3-1/2 Cup of honey or Agave (depending on the sweetness of the fruit and your taste preferences)

Combine the berries, rhubarb and honey in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often until the berries and rhubarb breakdown completely and the mixture thickens – about an hour. Store jam in a clean glass jar in the fridge.

Other Ideas:
If, like me, you just can't get enough of these jems toss some onto salads, oatmeal/cereal, fold into muffins batter or make a fruit salad!

I'd love to hear your favorite strawberry recipes and ideas too!

By the way, I've included this recipe as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays and Tuesdays at the Table. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!

4 comments:

  1. Even without a photo, it sounds to die for! (I've been doing a lot of my lunch salads with strawberries - they make everything so much happier :))

    ~Aubree Cherie

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  2. Thanks Aubree - They certainly make us happy too :)

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  3. Sounds wonderful. I like adding oats to crumbles and other such dishes. You should add the rhubarb recipe to the Friday Foodie Fix for rhubarb over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang. Diane was sorely lacking for recipes. ;-)

    Shirley

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  4. Thanks Shirley - I have never contributed to Friday Foodie Fix, but I'll head over there right away!

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