The strawberries are just about in season here in the midwest! That means that there's about to be a strawberry explosion in our house and it also means that...
It’s almost strawberry picking time!
One of the most favorite days in our families year. we pack up the car, schlep close to 60 miles outside of the city and pick, eat and dream everything strawberry.
Side note: If you live anywhere near Chicago, I would check out Stade’s Farm & Market for a great day trip.
No matter how you procure your strawberries, this is one fruit I recommend always having in your fridge. Right now we can buy them for $.99/quart because they are back into season.
It’s a good thing they got cheap, because the kids and hubby can down a container of them at one meal.
Last year, we also added strawberry plants into our garden (yes we live in the city and manage to have a pretty active garden. It’s crazy, I know!). If you have any space to do this, I highly recommend trying to grow them yourself. They need direct sun, but don’t need much tending to.
And the excitement on the kids faces when that first little strawberry emerges is priceless. I would by a few plants and see what happens (we got ours at Home Depot for under $4/plant).
When we go strawberry picking, we typically come back with enough strawberries to eat, make jam (do you want to learn how) and freeze.
The love affair with strawberries started for my little ones when I starting offering them purees, but was solidified when they got to pick them on their own. There is something about getting the food from the source that gets us all so excited! (More on other produce we pick and grow later).
Strawberries are not only super sweet and pretty to look at.
They are also a GREAT source of vitamin C, super high in fiber and have a ton of antioxidants in them (I’m no doctor or nutritionist, this information is courtesy of WebMD).
This strawberry puree is great to serve with other purees or soft foods. It blends in seconds in my Vitamix (learn more about my love affair with it here). This puree goes well with the following:
- Cooked oatmeal: Either use fresh puree or a frozen cube mixed in
- Spinach: pair with a spinach cube (same flavors a Strawberry-Spinach Salad),
- Goat Cheese: mix together again to evoke flavors of a salad, serve with spinach cube
- Apple: pair with applesauce
- Banana: use either freshly mashed banana fresh strawberry puree or defrost both from frozen cubes
- Greek Yogurt: Mix fresh puree into yogurt and eat now, or freeze in a cube for later. Is delicious as a popsicle for bigger kids.
But, this isn’t a puree only for little ones!
The adults around here really like it too. We put it on pancakes instead of syrup, into our yogurt when we are looking to cut back on sugar, and into drinks if we are feeling fancy (try it in a Strawberry Lemon Drop or Champagne this summer).
1 quart of strawberries (fresh or frozen or a mix thereof)
- Wash strawberries
- Hull strawberries (cut off the stems and a bit into the berry)
- If using frozen berries start here!
- Put them into a blender (you know I use the Vitamix) and puree to desired consistency
- Optional - if you want to strain the seeds out now’s the time to do it. I would use a mesh sieve like this.
- Refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze in cubes for up to 2 months.