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28 June 2013 @ 01:00 am
Putting it by – Strawberries x 3  
The local strawberries right now are spectacular. Ripe and flavorful they are out in force, reminding Portlanders of the bounty on our doorstep.
Last Saturday I got a great deal on a mountain of strawberries. Over 4 pounds for $5. Whoot! How could I pass that up? What to do with all that oh so ripe goodness? Once I got home and had my fill of them straight out of the box, I made the following.


Strawberry Banana Smoothie                              Makes 1 Large Smoothie
This recipe has been my go-to summer breakfast solution for years. At pennies a glass why would I buy one?

COMPONENTS
6-8 berries, de-stemmed

1T fresh ginger, minced
1 banana
1t cinnamon, ground
1/4t nutmeg, ground
1/2c yogurt
1c milk

TOOLSET
Food processor or blender
Cutting board and knife
Measuring cups & spoons
Coffee mill for grinding spices (optional)

Chilled glass with straw

PROCEDURE


  • Assemble all the components and set up processor.

  • Wash, peel and chop fruit. Mince root. Grind the spices.

  • Add everything but the dairy to the workbowl and blend thoroughly.

  • Pour in the dairy and blend again.

  • Serve in a chilled glass.

  • Enjoy!


TIPS & VARIATIONS

  • For a creamier sweeter tasting smoothie, chop and freeze the fruit before hand.

  • Like shakes for breakfast, but have no time in the morning? Make this smoothie the night before and freeze it. Enjoy it at work while it defrosts.





Strawberry Dressing – Hattip to CLD                                Makes about a cup
This recipe was inspired by a recent post from CLD. She was kind enough to share her proportions so I had a starting point.
COMPONENTS
1/2c berries, puréed

1/4c balsamic vinegar
1/4c olive oil
6-8 fresh mint leaves, minced
2 sprigs thyme
1t brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

TOOLSET
Food processor or blender
Cutting board and knife
Measuring cups & spoons

Clean squeeze bottle with lid

PROCEDURE


  • Assemble all the components and set up processor.

  • Wash, haul and purée fruit. Rinse and mince herbs. Grind the spices.

  • Add everything to bottle, seal and shake to mix thoroughly.

  • Chill in overnight to let the flavors develop.

  • Use on veggies, rice and greens.

  • Eat within a month (I doubt it will last that long).

  • Keep in icebox.

  • Enjoy!





Cheater’s Strawberry Freezer Jam                
This recipe is based on a trick I learned from one of the neighborhood mothers when I was a child down in Texas. We were always picking berries and making things out of them, which generally also meant destroying her kitchen in the process. Cheater’s Jam was her name for this because instead of pectin it depends on commercial cranberry jellied sauce to set. Interestingly the sauce does not overpower the flavor of the fresh fruit but rather supports it, making it even stronger. I like this recipe because it uses no special equipment, minimal ingredients and is pretty much instant gratification.
COMPONENTS
2c berries, puréed

On 14oz can of cranberry sauce
1/4c H2O
1/2t allspice, ground

TOOLSET
Food processor or blender
Cutting board and knife
Measuring cups & spoons

Whisk
Saucepan and large soup spoon
Coffee mill for grinding spices (optional)
Large bowl
Electric kettle
Three 8oz jelly jars with lids
Tongs
Tea towel

PROCEDURE


  • Fill kettle and set to boil.

  • Put jelly jars and lids in bowl.

  • When the water comes to temp, fill the bowl with enough water to submerge the jars and set aside while making the jam.

  • Assemble all the components and set up processor.

  • Wash, haul and purée berries. Grind the spices.

  • Open the cranberries, dump in the sauce pan, whisk in the water, put on medium heat and cook till smooth and bubbly.

  • Add fruit purée and bring back up to light simmer.

  • Mix in spices and allow sauce to bubble gently for 5 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat and allow jam to cool slightly in the pan.

  • Remove the jars from the bowl and dry thoroughly with clean towel.

  • Using a large spoon carefully divide the hot jam between the jars, leave about a half inch of empty space at the top and screw on the lid.

  • Refrigerate or freeze at once.

  • Jam will last about a month, though it has always gets eaten well before then.

  • Use toast, pancakes and ice cream. Also try as a filling for pies or cobblers.

  • Frozen jam should be eaten within 6 months.

  • Keep in icebox.

  • Enjoy!


TIPS & VARIATIONS

  • For a chunkier product, purée half the fruit and dice the rest.

  • This jam depends on the natural pectin present in the cranberry sauce, almost any non-citrus fruit or berry will work in place of strawberries.

  • Spices. Try other spices or herbs to enhance your choice of fruit. Experiment and enjoy!




Frugally yours-
KC
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