If you follow Greenside Up on Facebook or Twitter you may have spotted lots of photos of strawberries in recent weeks, as well as the recent strawberry cordial recipe shared here. It’s been a fantastic year for them in our garden as a result of some serious spring weeding and strawberry bed management (see here for tips). That combined with a sunny summer means the fruit hasn’t succumbed to botrytis and rotted on their stems as in previous years.
We began harvesting berries from the small patch in the pollytunnel at the end of May, enjoying a few fresh ones with our muesli every morning as well as on the occasional strawberry cheesecake, but the long hot days quickly brought them on outside.
We picked over 5kg one day and another 4kg a few days later with more in waiting, all from a bed 1.2m x 7m. The plants originated from a dozen or so of the Cambridge variety given to us by a friend a few years ago.
When faced with garden fruit and little time, the quickest thing to do is to freeze it. To prevent the berries turning into a globulous goo, just wash and remove the hulls, place them onto a baking tray and freeze them open on the tray. Once frozen weigh and pop them into manageable sized freezer bags. I find 500g to be a handy weight for our family.
We’re a household of strawberry lovers but one of our many favourite ways to eat them is in a simple smoothie. Just add all the ingredients listed below into a blender and blitz. This recipe is enough to fill four generous glasses.
Strawberry Smoothie Recipe
500g Low Fat Natural Yogurt
200ml 100% concentrated orange juice
1 ripe banana
500g frozen strawberries
Edible flower or strawberries to decorate
We use this as a base for most smoothies, swapping the strawberries for raspberries or blueberries – whatever’s in season at the time. We’ve found it’s a great way to encourage our children to eat dairy foods, providing calcium that’s essential for strong bones. Given that our twelve year old daughter has broken her arm THREE TIMES playing sports, I’m constantly on the lookout for food sources that will strengthen her bones and she can’t get enough of this one!!!
Do you enjoy the berry season as much as we do? What are your favourite ways of eating them?