In Season: Strawberries

strawberryThose lovely juicy strawberries are coming off the vine and they are packed full of vitamin C to boost your immune system. Did you know that there is more vitamin C in the green leafy tops than in the red succulent strawberry itself? I freeze my strawberries for year round use and keep the tops on. When I prepare a smoothie, they get blended in quite nicely. Plus if you preserve the entire berry you have no waste and get more for your money!

Our favorite strawberry concoctions include…

Strawberry Ice Cream

IMG_6021Strawberry ice cream is delightful! You can make your own homemade ice cream with whole nutritious ingredients and natural sweeteners without preservatives or additives of any kind. It is far superior than store bought!

4 cups milk (a combination of whole milk and cream is the best) or coconut milk (I love a combination of both!) – raw milk is my preferred choice
2-3 cups mashed strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey (sweeten as desired, just beware that you want it sweeter than you would think as it loses some sweetness in the freezing process – 1/4 cup maple syrup plus 3 Tbsp honey is just about perfect!)
1/4 cup strawberry jam, optional (this is a yummy addition to increase the strawberry goodness!)

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in your ice cream maker and set it to work. I cannot recommend the Cuisinart ice cream maker more highly! It wipes up a batch of ice cream in 30 minutes max!

Makes about 1 quart of ice cream.

Strawberry Feta Salad

IMG_5944Our favorite salad of all time includes spinach, sliced strawberries, crumbled feta, and avacado chunks topped with our Creamy Poppyseed Dressing. Yum!

Strawberry French Toast

IMG_5941

Strawberries on top of pancakes or french toast is a real treat!

What are your favorite ways to use strawberries?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

38 Responses to In Season: Strawberries

  1. Rachel R. September 8, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    Do you leave the tops on when making the ice cream, too?

    • Lindsay September 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

      No, I would recommend removing them for ice cream, but it is easily done by just slicing it off. Even frozen tops come off easily with a knife.

  2. Crystal July 24, 2009 at 8:16 am #

    Our Austin area Costco now has organic strawberries 4lbs. for $6.99.

  3. Jen June 30, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    Lindsay, how do you freeze them? I’m just wondering if you use a ziploc freezer bag or if you’ve found a healthier, maybe glass alternative? Thanks!

    • Lindsay July 1, 2009 at 6:19 am #

      Yes, I freeze them in the freezer Ziplocs. They are #5 plastic so I am not concerned. I would only be concerned if I was reheating something in the plastic bags as that is when it can leach. For the quantity I was freezing, any glass alternative would consume far too much space. I am limited in my condo as it is, so the ziplocs allow me to fit a whole lot of fruit in my freezer for the year. I have heard of folks freezing in glass canning jars, but again, you would need a lot of space for this.

  4. Debbie June 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    Yum – strawberries! The strawberry ice cream looks sooooo good! What a perfect recipe for these hot summer days that are here! And I love a great salad with strawberries in it – poppyseed dressing – mmmmmmm. Now I’m hungry.

    I love chocolate dipped strawberries. That’s honestly my favorite way to eat them. =)

  5. Meredith June 25, 2009 at 5:52 am #

    My little boys (2 and 4.5) and I tried your ice cream recipe yesterday and it was marvoulous. We have a hand crank machine, and they loved taking turns and making ice cream all by themselves. Thanks so much!

  6. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship June 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    I am glad to hear you can use the tops/stems/whatever! My sister-in-law went organic strawberry picking with us and threw the whole bag of berries in the freezer when she got home b/c she didn’t have time to clean them. I was worried she would end up wasting them, but I emailed her your post. I also tried the strawberry ice cream tonight – divine!

    For those w/o an ice cream maker, you can do it in a plastic bag, just squeeze it around every half hour or so, or even use a stick blender (in any container). Yum!!!

    • Lynnette June 25, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

      I don’t have an ice cream maker but I do have an immersion blender. Did you mean you can put a container of the ice cream recipe inside a larger container with the crushed ice and salt in the large container-making your own ice cream maker sort of? Does it take as long-20-40 min and not burn out the motor on the stick blender? I love the idea of it, if I’m understanding correctly. Thanks for the tip and clarification.

      • Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship June 29, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

        There are two ways that I know of to make ice cream w/o the maker:
        1. Use two plastic zipper bags, one with the ice cream mixture in it, sealed well, and the other, a larger size, with ice and rock salt. Put the ice cream one inside the other, put on some oven mitts, and squeeze the ice around for about 5-10 minutes. You will have ice cream in the inner bag!
        2. Put the ice cream mixture in any container in the FREEZER, and mix it up with the hand blender (briefly) every 30 minutes until it’s the consistency you want. It took 4 hours or so at my house. I also tried it in the bag in the freezer and jus squeezed with my hands every 30 minutes. Both worked all right, but creamier with the hand blender (although that takes a little longer).

        Do those make sense? Good luck!

        • Lynnette July 1, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

          Yes, it made perfect sense. Thank you for your reply. We love homemade ice cream

  7. Lynnette June 24, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Interesting about strawberry leaves/tops…please share the source for the leaves having more Vitamin C than the berry. I would think from what I’ve read that one must be very careful to make sure the leaves are very fresh and absolutely free of any possible pesticides.
    http://www.kstrom.net/isk/food/k_straw.html
    “In gathering berry leaves for teas, be aware that a poisonous compound develops in the leaves of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and others after the leaves begin to wilt, soften and curl. Either make teas right after the green leaves are picked or dry them thoroughly in shade (indoors, don’t use the oven!) for about 2 weeks until they are crumbly — the toxins (poisons) will all be gone then.

  8. Lisa June 24, 2009 at 5:17 am #

    I’m glad to hear about that ice cream maker, I have a friend who has one and we will be purchasing one for our mothers day/fathers day combo gift next week. thanks for the tips Lisa

  9. lisa June 24, 2009 at 3:52 am #

    Great ideas! I have also found a recipe using your strawberry ‘tops’ to make strawberry vinegar at http://www.frogcreekcottage.com/2009/05/waste-not/

    I have tried it by adding olive oil and a little mustard. My husband loved it!!

  10. Madonna June 24, 2009 at 2:50 am #

    I will eat strawberries just about anyway you fix them. They are my second favorite fruit and I could eat them until I bust I think :) .

  11. Kelli June 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    Do you dry them whole or if you slice them, how thick would you recommend?

    • Gillian June 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

      The small ones I cut in half, larger ones in 3rds or 4ths. Partially depends what size you want in the end and how long you want to wait for them to dry. Also the more uniform their size the easier the process is. I’ve awful at that part! I used the Great Harvest dryer. I’ve only done it twice so their may be better advice out there!

  12. Gillian June 23, 2009 at 8:26 am #

    Ah nothing beets Hood strawberries!:) I freeze my smoothie strawberries with the tops on too! Much quicker that way as well. Also thought I’d mention for the locals that Thompson Farms in Damascus/Boring, OR area uses no pesticides or chemicals! And they have pretty good prices too. These strawberries deffinatly have to be eaten or processed right away though. I’ve done 13 flats so far! yummy:) They also are realy good dried.

    • Lindsay June 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

      That is where I got my strawberries too! How in the world do you use 13 flats? I only bought 4 flats and that should last us for the year.

      • Gillian June 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

        I dried a lot this year (ended up with 2 quart bags and one sandwich bag of dried), my husband likes them on his cereal and we’ll take some backpacking. And we’ll use the frozen in smoothies and strawberry rhubarb crisps or sauce and cook them as a topping for pancakes/biscuits throughout the year. This is only my second year putting them up so I’m still learning how many we’ll eat during the winter, wanted more then last year, we’ll see if I did to many this year. But my goal is to have enough fruit put away from when the various local kinds are in season to only buy some citrus and maybe bananas this winter:) That also includes the fresh we ate right away. My husband and I are huge fruit eaters:)

      • Kate June 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

        You should try growing them! They don’t require a lot of room either.

  13. Migdalia June 23, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    Just out of curiosity, why do you keep the stems on? Thanks!

    • Lindsay June 23, 2009 at 8:13 am #

      Because they are more nutritious than the berry and I hate the waste. When I use it all I get more for my money!

  14. Janette June 23, 2009 at 7:18 am #

    Hi. I’m just curious if you have ever tried using kefir to make ice cream? If so how did it turn out etc? I enjoy your blog.

    • Lindsay June 23, 2009 at 8:11 am #

      No, I have not tried that. I would be afraid that it would be rather tart and chunky. We use kefir for smoothies for the most part.

    • Kendra June 23, 2009 at 10:29 am #

      I have a recipe for lemon-kefir ice cream. It is tart, but very refreshing on hot days!

      • Lindsay June 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

        Please share!

        • Rachael June 23, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

          My wonderful and amazing mother-in-law made a delicious kefir ice cream in her ice cream maker. The ingredients: homemade whole milk kefir and fresh pureed strawberries. Delish! It was sweet and tangy and the perfect creaminess!

  15. Becky June 23, 2009 at 7:18 am #

    We just purchased the same ice cream maker, but we are VERY disappointed with our first batch of ice cream. After putting it in the freezer overnight it’s very icy. Not a good texture at all. Do you eat yours soft straight from the machine or do you freeze it? I’m looking for tips because I really want to like this machine. It’s sooo easy to use!

    • Lindsay June 23, 2009 at 8:09 am #

      Yes, I have learned a few tips for this machine: 1. To avoid icy texture, it is best to use all heavy whipping cream/raw cream or half and half with whole milk. Your texture will be more icy when just using milk. 2. Ice cream will be the best texture when eaten within a few hours of making. I normally make ice cream before dinner and then transfer it out of the bowl and place in a covered container until we serve it (within a few hours) before it gets too solid. Do not leave it in ice cream bowl as it will get some freezer burn and cause further icyness. 3. If you wait to eat until it is solid, allow to sit at room temperature for 15-20 min or so until it gets soft. This will bring back some of that creamy texture, but again it is best eaten within a few hours before it solidifies completely. Hope that helps!

      • Becky June 23, 2009 at 10:05 am #

        Thanks, Lindsay. I’ll try your tips. My kids often request homemade ice cream cakes for their birthdays, but it’s sounding like that might not be the best bet since I make them a day or two ahead.

        • Shannon Hazleton June 24, 2009 at 4:47 am #

          On You Tube there’s a very helpful video Alton Brown (from the Food Network) has put together on making ice cream. A few things he suggests that affect the texture:
          -Let the batter sit in the fridge overnight before putting it in the ice cream machine
          -Use a combination of milk and cream
          -Don’t check on your ice cream often once it’s in the freezer. The more you open the ice cream container the more ice crystals form.
          -Try putting a layer of plastic or wax paper on top of your ice cream (inside the container) to help keep ice crystals from forming

  16. Karina June 23, 2009 at 5:41 am #

    Yummy!

  17. Michelle June 23, 2009 at 5:14 am #

    These all look so WONDERFUL! I love strawberry smoothies with homemade yogurt or kefir. But, we also love homemade strawberry jam. http://steadfastathome.blogspot.com/2009/05/strawberry-jam.html :-)

  18. Crystal June 23, 2009 at 4:36 am #

    We love strawberry smoothies, homemade popsicles, and pureed into baked items (pancakes, muffins, etc.). Last Summer, Costco had the best price on organic strawberries, around July. It was a huge quantity, so I just froze some.

  19. emily anderson June 23, 2009 at 4:14 am #

    when you say the green strawberry tops…you are talking about the leafy stems on top, correct?
    thanks!

    • Lindsay June 23, 2009 at 6:28 am #

      Yes, that is correct. I just couldn’t think of what to call them! ;)

  20. Denise June 23, 2009 at 3:00 am #

    Thanks for the information on the TOPS!! Hmmmmm

    An Ice cream maker just may have to go on our list of kitchen purchases.

    Thanks