Springtime Strawberries

When I was a kid I hated strawberries.  Too many little seeds.  Now I LOVE them!  The other day I bit into a large, ripe, organic beauty from Whole Foods…first bite of the day…and it literally popped in my mouth.  A delicious burst of exciting, sweet flavor!  Oh, it’s going to be a very good day.

Strawberry Fields ForeverI am thankful for this special time each day to revel in the beautiful bounty You have created.  Allow this bite to bring me closer to My Source and remind me of Your grace and goodness throughout my day.  May I be a vehicle of Your light and love with everyone I encounter today. 

Did You Know:

Strawberries have great nutritional value and although a significant amount of the calories come from sugar, in their raw state they’re high in Vitamin C (149% DV), Manganese, Potassium and are a great source of fiber as well as essential Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.  They’re a low-fat, low-cholesterol, and low-sodium food that helps aid weight release, and as one of the darker skinned fruits, they offer a good amount of cancer preventative anti-oxidants too!

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry Fields Forever

dehydrator before

There are lots of ways to enjoy them:  raw, whole (just pop them into your mouth), raw, sliced in a salad or over a bowl of cereal, or atop a dollop of Greek Yogurt.  Have you ever tried dehydrating them?  They’re great that way.  I also love strawberries as dessert.  Hey…  Another wonderful opportunity to use my fabulous Convection Steam Oven!

This month I chose to focus on the sweet, red, strawberry… so indicative of Spring.  I had fun creating some artwork and was also inspired by two wonderful recipes:

June/July 2015  issue of Fine Cooking:
Strawberry-Rhubarb-Pecan Crisps

Living Without: Spring Baking issue 2015, page 35,
“Strawberry Shortcakes with Ginger Biscuits”

On Mother’s Day I made this gluten-free version:
“Mixed Berry Crisp with Ginger-Pecan Topping”

Mixed Berry Crsip

1 pint fresh strawberries, rinsed and quartered
1/2 pint blackberries, rinsed (and halved if large)
1 TBLS. tapioca
2 TBLS. sugar
juice of 1 lemon
grated lemon rind of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 – 1 tsp. butter for buttering baking pan
2/3 cup quick oats
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. candied ginger, finely chopped
2 TLBS brown sugar
dash of cardamom
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
3 TBLS butter, cubed

In a large bowl gently mix the berries with the next 5 ingredients.
Butter a shallow baking dish and add berry mixture.
In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the topping and cut in the butter until crumble forms.
Sprinkle topping over fruit mixture (you may not need the whole amount).
Select the Bake/Steam setting for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees.
Remove from oven and cool on rack.
Serve warm or at room temp with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.

The inspiration for the ginger came from the ginger biscuits and I substituted blueberries and blackberries for the rhubarb for which I never acquired a taste… My mom grew rhubarb in her great big summer garden.  I always thought it was a weird, red celery that couldn’t possibly  taste good in a dessert so thus declined her home made Strawberry (the seeds) Rhubarb (too weird) Pie.

I was really thinking of Mom that day and enjoyed memories of her garden, her magic with the fruits that came from it (peach cobbler for the WHOLE neighborhood), and reflected on her truly giving nature.   I was immersed in the memories as I spent Mother’s Day 2015 preparing to share this dessert with my own children.

 

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