Strawberry season is upon us. It is a wonderful time of year that needs no introduction.
Strawberry season is upon us. It is a wonderful time of year that needs no introduction. The strawberries available in the off season, imported from far away, pale in every comparison when put side by side with local, fresh strawberries ripened on the plant, not a truck or store shelf. A friend at the Edge of the Woods Farm, stumbled across some wild strawberries the other day on the property, and I’ve been on the hunt ever since.
To me, eating in season is one way to connect with nature and the world around you, As the seasons change so do our bodies and what they need to function well. As a start try to pick one fresh fruit or vegetable to only eat when it was grown locally and in season. When not available try sticking to locally preserved produce. I have chosen tomatoes in the past and will be trying again this year until next year’s growing season.
There are many ways of preserving your strawberries for enjoyment in the off-season. A simple way of using modern technology is to freeze them. Wash and pat them dry, leave them plain or toss them in sugar, in both cases lay them individually out on a tray lined with wax paper. Once individually frozen place them in a freezer bag until needed. The texture will not be that of fresh strawberries, they will be slightly softer than when they were fresh. They can be used in various baked goods, strawberry juice, compotes and more.
A more familiar and older way of preserving is making jam or jelly, I have fond memories of going strawberry picking with my family and the ensuing sounds of the jars popping in the basement. The use of long-standing preserving methods, such as jamming and canning enable us to preserve a variety of fruits and vegetables. The active preservative in this case is sugar. It makes the jam an inhospitable place for harmful bacteria.
With the heat of summer upon us, nice refreshing treats are always good to have on hand. An easy to make frozen treat is a sorbet.
- 1 part White Sugar
- 1 part Water
- Fresh Strawberries
- Lemon Juice (optional)
- Bring equal parts sugar and water of the boil, ensure sugar is completely dissolved, this is a simple syrup. Save extra syrup to sweeten drinks. It will keep in your fridge.
- Wash and pat dry strawberries, puree in blender with just enough simple syrup to make the puree smooth. If you don’t have a blender mash by hand with a spoon or potato masher as smooth as you can.
- Add lemon juice if desired to balance the sweetness.
- Place in shallow (preferably metal) container and let chill in fridge for about 2 hours
- Once chilled place it in your freezer, take a fork and mix it every so often until it is frozen. The more you mix the sorbet the smoother the end result will be. Optionally you can puree it in your food processor when it’s partially frozen for an even smoother end result.